A Quality Management System compliant to ISO 9001:2015 allows organisations to effectively manage quality across all operations. In turn, this brings a range of benefits that are critical in driving continual improvement. Organisations from any industry or sector can see a range of benefits through embracing the principles of quality management.
Developing a quality management system is a way of formalising how you want your business to operate, usually consisting of policies, procedures, forms and other documentation relevant to your business. This greatly assists with coordinating and directing your activities to deliver a product or service of consistently exceptional quality.
Here are the 4 key advantages of developing Quality System Management:
Win more work, earn more money
The most common reason we hear businesses engaging JLB to develop and implement a Quality Management System is due to a gap between the businesses capabilities and its contractual requirements.
For example, Business XYZ, a construction company requires ISO 9001 certification to be able to supply to a large contractor. They engage JLB to assist with the development, implementation and maintenance of a quality management system. They are then audited and become certified.
While we always say quality management and ISO 9001 is much more than a box-ticking exercise, this is often the initial motivation to becoming certified. The intrinsic and intangible benefits of the system are often realised later, once it’s had time to mature.
Becoming certified to ISO 9001 is not only widely marketable. It also literally assists organisations to secure more work through meeting tender or contractual requirements, meaning benefits and return on investment (ROI) is realised.
It helps to implement and drive business best practice
As mentioned prior, intrinsic and intangible benefits are often realised later, once the system has had a chance to mature. An effective quality management system will ensure that your business now embraces the principles of quality management:
- Customer focus
- Engagement of people
- Process approach
- Evidence-based decision making
- Relationship management
While maintaining a “Customer focus” & adopting a “Process approach” isn’t going to immediately bring money through the doors, the above principles mean you will be able to run a business effectively. A quality management system isn’t separate to your business, it is your business and how you do things.
ISO 9001:2015 places a heavy emphasis on risk management and in particular, embracing risk-based thinking. Through adopting risk-based thinking and a systematic approach towards mitigating risk, businesses can outline key risks to their business (safety, environmental, business continuity etc.) and even capitalise on risks that become opportunities.
There are many pragmatic ways that a quality management system and ISO 9001 address risk, including through:
· conducting risk assessments and developing a risk register
· regularly conducting internal audits which address areas of risks
· reviewing all risks and effectiveness of the system through management review meetings
· identifying systemic and common areas of risk through nonconformance reporting and the corrective action process
· utilising quality management software like JLB Track that assists with conducting risk assessments, prompting regular reviews and consolidating all results.
Consistent Product/Service Offering
Historically, quality management systems and ISO 9001 were utilised predominantly by manufacturing or construction companies. This was because the process of quality management was usually tied to developing a physical product of consistent quality.
As described by Quality Systems Toolbox, during World War One, UK armaments manufacturers had problems with shells not exploding. Unexploded shells from the Battle of the Somme are still ploughed up by farmers. In retrospect, this indicates a lack of quality control in production processes and also an inconsistent product being developed. In the USA, suppliers to the military then had to satisfy “Quality Program Requirements”, setting out a list of requirements to be met every time a product was delivered to the military. This was the origins of what came to be ISO 9001.
Fast forward to how Quality Management Systems are used in the present day and you might find it’s significantly different – for the most part. There has also been an exponential rise in service-based companies becoming certified to ISO 9001:2015 and a range of other management system standards as ISO 9001 is equally useful for developing a consistent service to clients.
So what next?
JLB Management Consulting has been Australia’s leader in Management Systems development, implementation and maintenance for over 30 years, specialising in Quality (including AS 9100, Quality Management Systems for Aerospace, Space and Defence), Safety, Environmental, Asset Management, Information Security and Food Safety Management Systems.
If you are looking for assistance with management system development, get in touch with JLB today to discuss your requirements.