Quality Management 101
Quality management has become something of a buzz word in the past few years. While larger companies understand the need for clear systems, smaller companies sometimes make the assumption that old fashioned memos and guidelines are enough to get things done.
The concept is not entirely new, however, and in its various forms, this is something that managers have considered ever since the corporate world came into existence.
What does quality management really mean, and how can you use this to improve your business?
Lesson 1: The Basics
The first thing you need to know about implementing any system is that it all starts with a plan. You may decide to consider ISO standardization as a way to develop your processes, or you might choose something like document control to create and organize your various plans and procedures.
Improvement steps could begin with an updated company guideline and objectives, or you may completely change the way that your company operates.
Once you have an idea of your goals, the planning process can begin.
Lesson 2: Determine Roles and Tasks
What will be needed for your newly updated objectives and guidelines to be put into action? You may need employee training to get your staff up to speed with a new customer service process. You may need to change your approach to competency or non-conformance.
Each member of your team will have certain roles and tasks set out for them, and each of these roles and tasks needs to be documented as part of your quality management master plan. Adding a checklist will also help you keep track of actions and roles.
Lesson 3: Implementation
This is the part where things are put into place. Is each employee implanting their responsibilities and tasks? Are your new systems being incorporated into your operations? Are your objectives still aligned with each process and action?
You may need to make changes to your processes during the action phase, and you will also need to keep a record of each task. This will help you monitor things in order to complete the final stage.
Lesson 4: Learning and Improving
The final lesson is one of learning and understanding. Has everything worked out according to your plan? Are there any tasks or steps that could be improved? Has your customer service and overall operations seen any improvement?
Get customer feedback and staff feedback. Go back to those objectives again. Perform audits and monitor each part of the processes you have put into place.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that implementing a quality management system is easy or something you can do overnight. It takes time but the results that you will see when the system is up and running are always worth the time spent developing it.
From a financial perspective, you should also experience an excellent ROI on the time and effort invested in developing and improving the system.