Quality management refers to ensuring that a service, product, or organization meets customer requirements and remains consistent. In order to achieve this goal, four factors are evaluated: quality planning, quality assurance, quality control, and quality improvement. It’s important to remember that achieving this in your business requires a step back to analyze not just service quality and product quality, but the means to maximize each of these. When implemented, quality management can be essential in generating consistency, profit and customer loyalty.
Although quality management is relatively recent as a phenomenon in the business and organizational world, it has gotten a lot of traction because of its systematic approach to customer satisfaction. As a business owner, you are probably concerned with meeting day to day demands but also wondering how you can improve your business to better hit your targets in the long run. Taking this reflexive approach to quality management is one way to keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening inside your company with an eye towards improving it and getting the most out of your systems.
As a manager or owner, you can play an important role in looking at the big picture in your business using quality metrics. You can’t get where you need to go without knowing where you have been, and implementing quality management tactics based on quality metrics allows you to reap all the benefits of a streamlined system.
Before engaging in any process, you must have a system in place to measure improvement within your business. This is known as setting your quality metrics (kpi’s), and doing so can be especially helpful when you’re evaluating your company and determining the next steps forward. As the old saying goes “what gets measured is what gets done” and this leads to the six different aspects of quality metrics: productivity/competency, training, through-put/quality costs, quality adherence, safety, and customer satisfaction.
Your people are typically what make up the backbone of your business. Understanding their role in your company and what you can do to capitalize on their strengths is very valuable as a business owner. Some primary quality metrics that can be used to evaluate people are turnover rate, rate of unplanned absenteeism, training success rates, rework/scrap, competency testing.
With regard to turnover rate, you’ll need to measure both involuntary and voluntary turnover. This is usually annualized by looking at the number of terminations within your company divided by the average period employment.
Unplanned absenteeism refers to the employees who were absent from work without having pre-approval to be gone. Pre-approval might include personal time, vacation, holidays, or long term medical leave. This is calculated based on the number of employees absent divided by the total number of employees working in your Lawton business. Using quality metrics can help you track future improvement.
There are many possible benefits of certification to ISO 9001 for your business. Perhaps you are looking into the process because you upgrade your current certification or maybe you are looking for a standardized way to improve your service to your customers. Either way, there are four key benefits to implementing the programs associated with ISO 9001: increased customers satisfaction, increased profits, the opportunity to win more business regularly, and reduced costs.
Every business is unique and may be at a different stage in the ISO 9001 process. That’s why you might need advice from an outside professional who can counsel you based on the stage of the process your company is currently in. Solutions customized to your company can help identify the right mix of services that your business needs to be on the pathway to quality management.
Bear in mind that even in the best case scenario, you may encounter challenges as you try to adapt your business to ISO 9001 standards. Getting advice from an outside professional who can counsel you through each stage of the process so that you don’t feel overwhelmed or confused is not only wise but cost effective as well. A talented consultant can help identify the business processes you already have in place that align well with ISO 9001 and assist you in tweaks that can be made to other existing processes to get the most out of your quality management.