As a business owner, you are committed to ensuring your company runs as smoothly as possible.  Typically, this means having a system or process in place that helps your business reduce waste, minimize customer complaints, and achieve optimal productivity.

There are many methods and systems available today that you can use to improve your day-to-day business operations. One of the most common is a quality management system or QMS.

What is a Quality Management System?

A quality management system is a collection of business processes and functions (think policies, procedures, techniques, and resources) that help a company strive for continuous improvement in meeting customer expectations and product standards. Quality management systems grew out of a movement aimed at showing managers how they could increase quality within their company, especially around two key concepts:

  • Addressing common, systemic causes of errors, such as poor product or service design, unsuitable materials, and poor physical conditions.
  • Addressing special causes of errors, such as a lack of proper training or out of order equipment.

What are the Most Common Quality Management Systems?

A quality management system should embrace and reflect the products, goals, values, and beliefs that make your company unique. This means you must choose the quality management system that best fits the needs of your business.

Some of the most common types of quality management systems include:

  • Standardized Systems: Standardized systems are quality management systems that follow a set of federal codes and regulations, such as ISO certifications.
  • Total Quality Management (TQM): TQM is a quality management system that emphasizes quality throughout every aspect of business. Individual processes and activities are examined to determine if they contribute or detract from a company’s productivity and quality goals.
  • Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI): CQI is a quality management system that takes a “Plan, Do, Check, Act” approach to continual improvement. This system focuses more on the role that teams and individuals play in ensuring quality than on processes and functions.
  • Six Sigma: Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach that aims for perfection in quality. This quality management system applies a process of define, measure, analyze, improve, and control to drive improvement and reduce deviations.

What are the Benefits to Implementing a Quality Management System?

Proper implementation of a quality management system can increase your company’s profits and its bottom line. Consider the following  potential benefits of implementing a successful quality management system:

  • Helps you realize tangible gains in productivity.
  • Helps you use your company’s resources more effectively.
  • Gives you flexibility to react to opportunities and obstacles promptly.
  • Provides you with tracking and monitoring capabilities that can detect defects, gaps in production and customer satisfaction, and core issues within processes, goals, or functions.

Best of all, product and process improvements that result from implementing a quality management system can lead to greater customer loyalty and heightened employee morale.

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