Building Quality Management System (QMS) consists of clearly written and routinely regulated guidelines and requirements that form the foundation for all procedures in an organization. A successful QMS outlines the key steps for processes and generates preventative measures in a timely way to ensure that the brand, organization processes and stakeholders’ interests are protected. 

A well managed QMS has many benefits: Helping achieve and keep track of organizational goals, reducing costly errors, improving customer satisfaction, effectively managing growth, improving documentation and compliance, consistently producing high quality products, and providing more effective internal communication are a few of many. The best way to guarantee organizational success is having a strong QMS, and management and employees who are familiar with how to manage it. 

Steps to building QMS:

1. Define and Clearly Outline the Process

It is crucial to create a process map to visualize and define processes as the first step of building your QMS. A process map will help define the interaction sequence of all processes and serve as the blueprint of the QMS

2. Define Quality Policy and Quality Objectives

An organization’s Quality Policy should clearly communicate its quality mission. Whether it’s focused on product quality, customer satisfaction, and/or continuous improvement, consider the commitment toward your stakeholders in defining your Quality Policy. 

Derived from Quality Policy, it is important to have clear objectives and effectively communicate their importance to employees so they can all understand and appreciate their influence on quality. These objectives might be in the form of Critical Success Factors (CSF) such as financial performance, process improvement, customer satisfaction, market share, employee satisfaction, and will help guide your organization’s QMS setup.

3. Develop Metrics to Track and Monitor Critical Success Factors Data (CSF)

Once policy and objectives have been determined, implement measurements and metrics to keep track of advancement through data reporting procedures and sharing this information with leaders. Each organizational objective requires a measurable metric to systemically keep track of activity and ensure consistent growth. 

4. Define Defects for Every Process & Determine Quality Process

While all business operations run smoothly in a perfect world, defects are a part of reality, however a well managed QMS can help your organization proactively prevent them and help efficiently manage them if or when they happen. As part of your QMS, determine operation volume, possible defects in product and process, and a process to record and report defects in specified formats to ensure expectations of each process is clear and there is a protocol for correcting any issues that might arise. 

Once defects are determined, define your quality processes and determine whether an internal audit, management review, and/or corrective and preventive action process is needed, as well as how to communicate these procedures.

5. Documents and Records

A popular saying in QMS is, if something isn’t recorded and/or written, it didn’t happen. Start with the base requirements (information and format), and create a list of mandatory document information as per business model, essential Quality policies, procedures, and forms for each defined process. 

6. Determine Training Needs

It is critical that every employee and member of leadership is constantly growing with the company. It is the organization’s responsibility to provide continuous support and training to adapt to new or improving procedures and potentially even new roles that might arise as a product of growth.

7. Measure, Monitor, and Implement Further Processes to Improve Performance

One of the main goals of using QMS is to collect operational data, track Quality objectives and its performance, and use this data to recognize trends, patterns, correlations, etc. to improve processes. Once this performance data is obtained, your organization can make policy and procedure changes, offer training opportunities, and implement other improvement efforts to ensure organizational success aligned with company goals.