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Although the business world is constantly evolving with new tools developed to progressively simplify improvement and management strategies, not all quality management systems ultimately produce favorable results.

Usually, a quality management system is only as effective as the combined result of its individual components. All the parts need to be perfectly aligned and work efficiently to produce the best results possible. A single misalignment, particularly on the human controlled aspects, could potentially affect the efficacy of the entire system.

Unfortunately, even in a relatively standard business environment, implementing a stable quality management system can be a strenuous and overwhelming task, considering the pressure one may have to endure from the bottom line, employees, and management. This, coupled with the lack of sufficient comprehension of the whole system, usually results in critical errors, which could eventually cripple even the most textbook perfect quality management system.

Apart from persistently monitoring and measuring the system, training your personnel and periodically evaluating the overall efficacy is one of the most effectual ways of guaranteeing a reliable quality management system. In light of that, here are three of the most common mistakes that could cripple your QMS implementation process:

Over-Focusing on Manufacturing

Sure, business is a complex system, relying on several individual components, with some of them comparatively bigger than the rest. That is why we are all too often lost in the notion that components that deal with production are undoubtedly more important than the rest. However, on the contrary, although some are bigger and require more effort, all the components are critical- every last one of them.

When you want to get the best out of something, you have got to give it your best shot- and that means focusing on every single element relating to it. If you need to clinch gold in athletics, for instance, you do not just buy the best sneakers and wait for the magic to happen. You have to combine a boisterous diet with a professional trainer, running skills and ensure that you get all the entities right.

Similarly, on the business front, you need to direct your resources and focus not just on the assembly areas, but also sales, research and development, human resources, customer acquisition, and employee training. That is probably the same idea T. Harv Eker had when he said: “how you do anything is how you do everything.”

Collecting Data Through Long, Complex Customer Surveys

Of course, you probably know one of the principal rules of business and quality assurance, the more you understand your customer and their needs, the better your prospects of developing ideal products.

Customer information translates to business power. Unfortunately, many organizations take this too far. They design long, involved questionnaires, which often go unanswered because people do not have the time for them. Even when they try to come up with shorter versions, they end up being too complicated and cumbersome for a regular customer, who just wants to buy a product and mind his/her business.

The era of multi-faceted customer reviews and surveys is over. Customers now only want to communicate what they like and dislike. It is as simple as that. The fewer the queries, the more comprehensive the answers you’ll get. Additionally, open-ended questions that are not particularly limited have the highest response rate. So, the next time you think about popping a couple of questions to your customer, make sure they are brief, simple, understandable, and open-ended.

Executing Corrective Actions

A solid quality management system, particularly when you are using a Six Sigma approach, is a continuous improvement process. You’ll need to consistently analyze your entire framework, identify weak points and develop the best response action. This, however, although it may seem to be counter-intuitive at the beginning, does not always mean executing corrective actions. An efficacious system usually collects and analyzes data before identifying specific elements for improvement.

Do not fall into the habit of writing your Non-Conforming Material Reports as Corrective Action Requests. Instead, collect all the necessary data and try to identify recurrent failure nodes, before making a list and generating a Pareto chart. This should come in handy in the identification of the biggest hitter, which should form the basis of the CAR report.

Conclusion

Although this list identifies some of the critical mistakes, it does not cover all the things that could potentially go wrong in your quality management system. Since each business is unique, you should consider consulting a professional expert to look into your overall process and advise you accordingly. Finally, don’t just sit back and relax; continue empowering yourself with developing QMS knowledge that could eventually make a big difference in your organization.

For additional help and information on implementing QMS software to achieve full potential, don’t hesitate to get in touch with CEBOS through info@cebos.com or (810) 534-2222.