Blurb: Organisations looking to develop a stronger, more efficient, supply chain relationship should consider implementing a certified Quality Management System (QMS) across their operations. It has many benefits, including effective risk management strategies, and upholding process integrity. This article discusses four significant ways a Quality Management System helps business’ achieve their operational goals.
“A Quality Management System can reduce waste and decrease costs… It leads to improvements in the quality of product or service to customers, customer satisfaction, supplier management, and on-time delivery.” – Anita Patturajan, director of Anitech.
Companies operating in manufacturing or distribution need stable, efficient supply chain relationships. This extends beyond developing a working system of manufacturing and distribution, as it considers factors such as selecting appropriate parties to develop working relationships with, maximising productivity, and ensuring a clear risk management process is in place. This article will discuss how these goals can be achieved through the implementation of a certified QMS, particularly four ways it benefits supply chains.
What is a Quality Management System?
The ISO 9001 Quality Management System Standards are useful when it comes to supply chain management, as they work at “protecting data and the integrity of products [which] is one reason why implementing ISO standards can help protect manufacturers.” It includes specific clauses for helping business’ develop an effective, efficient supply chain, and also helps with risk management, as a QMS “is a program that introduces controls for various risks within a business. These can include business risks, manufacturing process risks, supplier, sub-contractor or… customer risks.”
- Upholds process integrity.
A key requirement is that organisations shall “ensure that externally provided processes, products and services conform to requirements.” This means that companies must develop and then apply a method for evaluation and re-evaluation of external providers performance, based on their capacity to provide products or services. This is to manage supplier risk to the end customer.
So, QMS-certified organisations are not only required to ensure the scope of their operations complies with the requirements, but also that external providers comprising the larger supply chain also comply, throughout their dealings with the business.
Certifying to these standards is a mark of quality for your operations, demonstrating that any external agents the business works with across its supply chain have consistent processes in place. This helps organisations develop a more effective, customer focused operations.
- Risk management.
Organisations providing a product or service must demonstrate that their existing practices are safe and effective and will remain that way, even if they undergo substantial operational changes. This means developing routine checking processes to identify potential risks and work at swiftly rectifying them, so that the business continues to meet customer demands and expectations.
This is where the Standards come into effect, which is another way this QMS ensures business’ develop compliant supply chain processes. It states that organisations “shall ensure that externally provided products and services do not adversely affect” the ability of companies to “consistently deliver conforming products and services.” This means that business’ must develop effective strategies for ensuring that any external parties they work with adhere to quality management practices, thus minimising potential risks to the business.
Anita Patturajan, director of Anitech, says that a QMS is an effective risk management tool, because “the primary reason it is valuable to business is that they can manage these risks internally. As part of the supply chain, they reduce the risk to their customers”, meaning that through implementation, business’ are minimising risks and passing the benefits onto customers, because “when you reduce your risks to your end customer, that makes you attractive… you’re inwardly and outwardly focused.”
- Develops clear communication processes.
Another way in which QMS certification benefits business’ is by helping organisations develop clear and open communication across their supply chain. These points are covered in the Standards, which discusses information for external providers, including ensuring that communication between parties, regarding expectations and responsibilities, is discussed in a clear, open manner. Other relevant key points include:
- The business’ obligation to clearly communicate to its external providers its requirements for all processes, products and services that are to be provided.
- Approval processes for working with external providers, regarding products, services, and service delivery, and how relevant information needs to be imparted in a clear, accessible manner.
- Ensures open and compliant processes.
A QMS helps organisations develop clear, compliant processes which can be applied at both internal and external parties. Through implementation, organisations demonstrate a commitment to efficient processes and a high level of customer satisfaction, as “you’ve got a product or service that delivers to your customers. The primary purpose of the quality management system is to support customers.”
It offers simplicity, structure, and a straightforward approach to manage business risks and through implementation business’ are improving their entire supply chain and enhancing the customer experience.
If you would like to know more about how a QMS could be tailored across your operations to help simplify its processes, develop open, clear communication processes, and ensure all its procedures are Standards compliance, then please contact Anitech’s specialist consultants today on 1300 802 163 or email at email@example.com
By discussing your operational needs with Anitech’s Quality Management Systems specialists, they will be able to explain how these standards could help your business achieve its operational goals of strengthening its supply chain, whilst effectively managing risks.
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Please click here to read more about the benefits of implementing a QMS across your operations.