One of the biggest challenges every company faces is how to provide top grade quality without compromising profit and growth. This is particularly difficult in a climate of raised customer expectations and increased market competition.
With expectation high, businesses must focus not just on what they do, but also on how they achieve their outcomes, says SAI Global, an Australian leader in quality management and certification.
It is a well-established fact that delivering high-quality product corresponds with the quality of a company’s internal operations. While most of the businesses have acknowledged this fact, there are those who seem to underestimate the benefits of having a strong quality management system (QMS) in place.
“It’s surprising that most organisations continue to operate without implementing an effective quality management system, especially when failing to do so can be detrimental to both reputation and profit,” says David Gray, quality management trainer at SAI Global.
“The consequences may include ongoing operational delays, budget overruns, and a waste of precious resources. As a result, both a business’s reputation and profit may be at serious risk.”
He says that many employees installed on managerial positions lack any official training or education, which hurts their company’s ability to improve performances and internal efficiency and reduces staff morale.
SAI Global is calling for quality managers to evaluate their skill sets in accordance with recognised standards such as ISO 9001, the international benchmark for any employee looking to implement a Quality Management System. Based on the official ISO 9001 standard, SAI Global has outlined 6 fool proof steps to instill quality processes in your business.
- Document your model. Make sure that there is a person responsible for quality management, one that will be tasked to establish the company’s policy that defines and delivers on its “quality promise.” Be sure to include instructional documents as well as a defined ‘roadmap’ to guide employees through to fulfilling that promise.
- Build relationships. Know your competitors and know your customers. Gain a clear understanding of your point of difference in the marketplace and learn what is it that your customers value the most in your products and services. Communicate this information to your employees and make sure that they understand what is needed to make your customers happy.
- Enable and empower your people. Engage employees by delegating responsibility and authority to deliver the promise of quality made by the organisation to its customers. Provide your employees with fundamental guidelines on every aspect of the company’s operations and what is expected of them. It is imperative that employees understand the rules otherwise they will develop rules of their own, which do not align with the expectations of the organisation or the customer.
- Deliver on your promises. Make sure all operational aspects of the organization run smoothly and in accord to deliver the promise of quality, including those that are outsourced to external third-party providers.
- Evaluate and seek improvement. Objectives and targets are of little value, unless they are used as the baseline to gauge success. Constantly monitor and measure performance results to see if the promise of quality is being delivered and if not, determine the cause. You can use the results to understand what needs to change in your business roadmap and operations.
- Apply the wisdom. Once you’ve assessed all the obstacles preventing you to achieve quality, it’s time to go ahead and remove them. If you have a sufficient quality plan in place you will be able to assess which process is most appropriate to the issue and apply the solution in a timely manner to achieve results.