Implementing and Maintaining a Quality Management System: 5 Key Benefits of a Healthy QMS
It doesn’t matter what industry you operate in, whether you provide products or services, or whether your organization is small, mid-size or large. It is important to establish, and continually improve, a quality management system (QMS) that aligns with your business strategy. There are many common Costs of Poor Quality (CoPQ) that are largely avoidable, but let’s consider the numerous ways your organization will benefit from implementing and maintaining a healthy quality management system:
1. Lower your Cost of Poor Quality (CoPQ)
While there are some prevention and appraisal costs (testing, training, auditing, etc.) associated with adopting a new quality management system, in the long term a strong QMS will help save your organization resources and money by significantly reducing operational mistakes, and both internal and external failures. Some examples of external and internal costs a QMS can help you avoid are as follows:
- Warranty costs
- Customer returns (parts, manpower, travel)
- Sorts relating to external issues
- Premium freight relating to external issues
- Fines and other charges from external issues
- Scrap dollars
- Rework costs
- Sort costs
- OT for machines required to run weekends due to poor uptime or high scrap
- Any of the traditional “hidden factory” style items
2. On-going improvement of systems, processes and product quality
ISO 9001:2015 requires a documented process for continual improvement of your QMS. Making impactful improvements in the quality of your product is much easier and quicker to accomplish when a QMS is already in place, and its processes are defined. By continually running through the PDCA cycle, and documenting the process, your organization will make suitable, adequate, and effective improvements which is crucial to staying competitive in ever-changing industries with shifting requirements from your customers.
3. Consistency and customer satisfaction
As indicated in the ISO 9001:2015 standard requirements, a reliable QMS includes an action plan that places emphasis on the reduction of process variation. By eliminating process variation you allow for more consistent results in the products or services you offer, giving added confidence that your customer will receive the quality they expect. Remember that met expectations equal customer satisfaction in their experience with your business.
4. Expansion into new markets
When you have a quality management system in place with repeatable processes, this allows you to make clear, strategic adjustments to a system that already works in order to take on new markets and new business opportunities. The ISO standards, for example, have a high-level Annex SL structure making the integration of new systems and processes much more simple. This integration of systems leaves you with less to try to manage and is important for the growth of your organization.
5. Acquire new business and global recognition
ISO 9001:2015 is widely-accepted and commonly required by manufacturers. Being compliant to this standard opens the door to various business opportunities and partnerships for any company supplying to a manufacturer. Additionally, ISO 9001 is recognized on a global scale, allowing companies that comply with its requirements to expand their business internationally.
QMS Resources and development specific to your organization
The above benefits are just some of the reasons to take a good look at your existing operations and think about how a standardized quality management system could both improve operations and provide new business opportunities. Plexus International offers online and in-person training opportunities, as well as free tools and guidance in a variety of disciplines to help you pin point the best course of action for your organizational needs. To get started, explore the below areas of training offered by Plexus, or contact us for additional guidance.