One of the major benefits of implementing any Quality Management System in your company, especially one that is designed specifically for your company with ISO 9001 regulations in mind, is that the QMS puts focus on continual improvements within the organisation. In fact, continual improvement is one of the quality management main principles which serves as a foundation of the ISO 9001 standard. The standard does not, however, tell you how to implement quality management system in your company – it only tells you what should it incorporate. How should you go about implementing an ISO-compliant QMS then? What are the tools that would help you get the best results?
Both internal and external audits are by far one of the most powerful tools in the process of quality management system implementation. Audits provide insight into the ways your company is currently dealing with quality management, showing you which areas can be improved on. They can also help you keep track of many improvements that have already been done and how do they compare to the initial state of things.
Quality Management System and ISO certification are a clear indication for your clients that your company is legit and it keeps up the best quality in all of the products. However, it is crucial to know beforehand what is it that your customers expect from you and how can you get there. An useful tool to find out your clients’ needs are survey tools that will also help you with your internal audit and your plan for improvements.
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Clear, detailed and meticulously descriptive plan of work is a direct result of your internal audit and it is the system that will help you get your quality under control and compliant with ISO regulations and norms. By this stage you will have used your internal audit and your client surveys and know exactly what is wrong and what needs to be worked on. Create a plan that will serve you as a guiding tool throughout the whole process of implementing ISO regulations and your new quality management system. Your improvement plan should include other minor tools that collectively will help you get everything organised and understandable to everyone involved in the process. Such tools could include data tables, scatter diagrams, trend analysis and control charts.
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Not everyone will have the urge to look through all improvement plans and documentation, especially your employees who should rather focus on their actual work. That being said, they should not be excluded from the quality management system implementation process as they are the key factor here. They should know what is the current status of affairs and what are the new rules and requirements that have to be met by their work. For this use charts and process improvement boards that will be easy to understand and won’t require too much focus on detailed reading. Treat this tool as a roadmap to better quality and a satisfying external audit result.