Quality Management

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The recognition of the need for quality management has been around since the beginning of man. Even primitive man had quality problems. Which plants and animals were safe to eat and which were not. These quality decisions often meant the difference between life or death. 

Understanding the basics of quality comes naturally to us all. We begin learning about it almost the instant we're born. We feel hot, we feel cold, we think that some things taste good and that others don't.

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Today the tools and techniques have become even more complex further increasing the importance of quality.

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Quality and Service Attributes


In common usage the definition of quality is subjective and means different things to different people. For many quality is “I know it when I see it” thing. 

Quality Attributes

Typical Quality And Service Attributes

Quality means different things to different people even in the same situation.

We can all relate to these attributes relative to the products and services that we buy and use each day.

Joseph Juran, a quality improvement pioneer and author of the most widely used quality improvement handbook to this day, defined quality as “fitness for use”.

Philip Crosby, another continuous improvement pioneer, says that the definition is “conformance to requirements”.

Deming's belief was that the customers definition of quality was all that mattered.

Luckily, an agreed upon definition does exist.

Definition of Quality


In the U.S. the formal definition of quality is-

“The characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs. A product or service that is free of deficiencies.”

So what is quality? It's what the customer says it is!

What is Quality Management


All companies are interested in improvement. For some this means increasing revenue and for others it could mean reducing costs. For many it's both.

A key ingredient needed to achieve these improvements is a high and improving level of quality.

The roots of Quality Management lie in Total Quality Control (TQC) and Total Quality Management (TQM).

A Quality Management Plan implements the needed structure to make quality improvements and equally as important, sustain them!

A Quality Management System implements a set of coordinated activities to direct and control an organization in order to continually improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its performance.

In practical terms, a QMS is the set of processes and procedures necessary for planning, execution, and quality improvement in your business. A QMS joins together all the various quality assurance processes and creates a roadmap for consistent execution and continuous quality improvement.

Quality Management System Wedge


Think of your QMS as a “wedge” behind your business. As your business innovates and improves over time, the QMS “wedge” maintains the gains by standardizing processes in order to prevent you from slipping back.

Quality Management System Wedge

Quality Improvement Model

Make An Improvement - Put An SOP To Standardize The Process

What is ISO


The most popular QMS implemented world-wide today is ISO 9001 Quality management system – Requirements. Well over 1 million companies are now ISO registered.

The ISO 9000 series of standards relate to Quality Management Systems(QMS). They are used by companies to build an infrastructure for consistent performance and quality improvement. The standards are published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and they define the fundamental requirements.

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ISO Certificates by Country


Number Of ISO QMS Certifications By Country

Through the years many similar standards have been developed by different business sectors. The majority of these “sector tailored” standards incorporate the ISO 9001 requirements word-for-word.

Benefits of a QMS


  • Ensures that relevant information gets communicated
  • Provides evidence of conformance
  • Facilitates consistency through consistent knowledge transfer
  • Reduces Variation – Quality Improvement
  • Helps you meet customer requirements
  • Implements Standard Work
  • Implements Process Control
  • Gets Control of the Organization
  • Reduces Waste
  • Reduces Costs
  • Helps Increase Market Share
  • Consistent Knowledge Transfer
  • Establish a New Culture
  • Increases Employee Morale
  • Improved Customer-Supplier Relations
  • Qualify for More Work

Typical QMS Documentation Needs


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  • Documented Quality Policy
  • Documented Quality Objectives
  • Quality Manual – describes the company policies……
  • Twenty one records required by ISO 9001
  • Document Control Procedure
  • Control of Records Procedure
  • Management Review Procedure
  • Training and Awareness Procedure
  • Facilities Management Procedure
  • Product Realization Procedure
  • Contract Review Procedure
  • Design and Development Procedure
  • Purchasing Procedure
  • Process Control Procedure
  • Process Validation Procedure
  • Identification and Traceability Procedure
  • Control of Customer Property Procedure
  • Preservation of Product Procedure
  • Control of Monitoring and Measurement Equipment
  • Customer Satisfaction Procedure
  • Internal Audit Procedure
  • Inspection and Testing Procedure
  • Control of Nonconforming Material Procedure
  • Analysis of Data Procedure
  • Continual Improvement Procedure
  • Corrective Action Procedure
  • Preventive Action Procedure
  • Other documents required for effective planning, operation and control

From Quality Management to Free Six Sigma

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