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The pillars of quality: Constructing an effective management system

In today’s environment, the need for a quality management system is not merely a luxury

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

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In today’s environment, the need for a quality management system is not merely a luxury. Still, instead, it is an essential requirement, just like oxygen. A robust Quality Management System (QMS) is the backbone for organizations across all sizes and industries to become excellent and surpass customer expectations. But what is included in the secret sauce of a complex, effective QMS? This article looks into these five quality pillars, which ultimately help build a successful management system.

Quality planning setting the path to excellence

A well-documented quality plan is a foundation for all good QMS. A Quality Plan is a means by which an organization can document how they plan to meet the quality requirements. Its purpose is to serve as a guide or roadmap describing the desired condition for the quality of an activity or process, how that condition will be achieved, and what the expected outcome would be in each case. In planning:

  • What are our customer expectations? It is important to identify customers’ needs and how they can be quantified in quality measures.
  • Which processes are needed to get to quality? From there, it is much easier to focus resources on improvement efforts.
  • What resources are required? That includes people, training, and the tools needed to assure quality throughout operations.

Quality control: Examination, checking and troubleshooting 

Quality control aims to improve the problem by identifying and solving it before products or services are delivered. This pillar is referenced as the one that includes activities and practices, explicitly checking, monitoring, and controlling the leftover process to comply with the standard. Some common quality control techniques are:

  • Inspections: Regular checks on raw materials, work in progress, and the goods at the end.
  • Statistical Process Control (SPC): SPC applies statistical tools to identify variations in the process, which may increase defects.
  • Product and Services Testing: For performance and safety.

Quality assurance: The process of building confidence that a product or service meets expected requirements 

It is also a process (system)-based activity. This pillar focuses on how you can put things in place that provide confidence that the QMS will be consistent and predictable.

  • Standardization: QM enables standardized practices and procedures across all departments to ensure the same quality levels.
  • Training: Keeping employees well-trained and equipped with the resources they need to perform their tasks efennnsures that they can operate efficiently while being competent to detect potential signs of quality errors.
  • Audits: Frequent internal audits to identify areas for improvement and keep up with good ideas established in the procedures.

Quality improvement & the physical manifestation of a culture of continuous enhancement 

A QMS that gets the job done is always active and flexible in its ways. The fourth pillar, quality improvement, reminds us that better is forever. It is the constant search for further improvement of processes, defect reduction, and better quality.

  • Root Cause Analysis (RCA): Getting down to the root of a quality issue for focused and sustainable solutions.
  • Process Innovation: Fostering an environment of experimentation and innovation that makes it easier to find areas where the process can be optimized and efficiency can be improved.
  • Benchmarking: Analyzing industry leaders’ practices helps companies follow best-in-class approaches.

A culture of quality and compliance: Ownership and commitment 

The most elaborate QMS in the world is only as effective as the people executing it. Creating a Quality and Compliance Culture: Last but not least is the fifth pillar of quality culture, which is centralizing long-term achievements. This includes:

  • Leadership Commitment: Consistent dedication and example-setting by leadership is needed to foster a quality-driven culture.
  • Engaging Employees: Including employees in quality improvement programs allows them to feel empowered and have a stake in the outcome.
  • Communication and Transparency: Communicate openly about quality goals, challenges, and successes to ensure everyone is aware of progress or impediments.

Conclusion 

Creating a reliable quality management ecosystem is not about having a single recipe that fits any event. The exact tactics and tools will differ depending on the organization, size, industry, etc. But with time, the establishment of five pillars of quality, i.e., planning, control, assurance, improvement, and cultural commitment, along with putting processes at the centre, organizations can create a ground to continue delivering operational excellence and drive success in the long run. Remember that quality is not an end to a path but a path on its own. A continuous quality culture is ultimately built all over the organization, which assures them to be prepared to compete in a challenging marketplace and exceed customer expectations in an active business world. Employing artificial intelligence like Fennel AI while designing a management ecosystem can be very beneficial for companies.

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Written By

Jon Stojan is a professional writer based in Wisconsin. He guides editorial teams consisting of writers across the US to help them become more skilled and diverse writers. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

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