What is a Quality Management System?

In discussing the direction of a business, leaders may use high impact words like “quality” and “improvement.”  These powerful terms inspire and impassion people to strive for a better tomorrow—undoubtedly, something everyone wants.  Wanting it is easy, and talking about it is almost as easy; but making it happen is a bit tougher. 
Everyday business processes are collections of thousands of micro events, most having some cause and effect role within the larger scheme.  Those micro events are stitched together and adapted into broad macro processes.  The results of those processes are end products of some sort, either material or abstract.  While quality and improvement efforts do have the end result in mind, the true focus is upon how we get there—i.e., the costs, time, waste, rework, redundancies, delays, and so forth.

Improvement doesn’t generally happen by chance.  If a process is left alone, the odds that it will improve itself, by itself, pale in comparison to applying a structured methodology of planned improvement.  By evaluating the inputs and outputs of a process, a business can exercise much more control over these factors.  System is the key word in the Quality Management System, or QMS—a set of checks and balances integrated into everyday work practices to maximize desirable outcomes and minimize unwanted losses.
Having a true QMS is like practicing a healthy lifestyle.  The method is pretty simple: the more awareness and knowledge you have of the foods you eat, the better choices you can make.  With some discipline, you’ll tend to make the choices that are ultimately good for your health overall.  To realize the benefits of a QMS, a business culture must be empowered to make small changes that are ultimately good for the whole.  Only when that holistic system is functioning within key business processes will there truly be “quality” and “improvement.”  
written by Samantha Morgan 

Samantha Morgan is the Quality Manager for the midwestern branches of Ace Industries. She has a vast understanding of Logistics and Supply Chain initiatives and continuously works to improve business operations at Ace
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