What is a Quality Management System?


What is a Quality Management System?

Organizations use quality management systems to control the quality of their products, services and organizational processes.

Quality Management System Defined (ASQ):

The organizational structure, processes, procedures and resources needed to implement, maintain and continually improve quality management.

Steps to develop a quality management system:

1. Identify the system that needs to be managed and develop a written plan (why).

2. Develop policies and procedures for users of the system (what, where, when, who).

3. Develop instructions on how to perform the work (how).

4. Create process for data collected to demonstrate work is being done according to policies and procedures (evidence).

Example of a Quality Management System:

Receptionist Positions for XYZ Company

Written Plan (why)

The receptionist position at XYZ company is a very valuable position as it is the first impression of the organization. Excellent customer service to all who interact with the receptionist is a priority to ensure positive relations with current and prospective customers.

Policies and Procedures (what, where, when, who)

The receptionist will have the following responsibilities:

  • arrive on time
  • maintain good customer service at all times
  • maintain can-do attitude
  • pay attention to customer needs and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • answer the telephone within two rings
  • always speak with a smile on their face

Instructions to Perform Job (how)

The receptionist will go through telephone customer service training and will shadow another employee for three weeks before working the switchboard alone.

Data Collection (evidence)

Data collected will come from two sources:

1. The telephone system will track number of dropped calls, number of rings before a line is answered and length of time on calls.

2. Customer satisfaction surveys will be sent to customers on a quarterly basis. Survey results will dictate additional training needs.

While this is a simplified quality management system, these key concepts can be used on a more global basis to incorporate a quality management system into an entire organization.

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