5 Things to Consider When Implementing a Quality Management System at a Small Business

Quality Control

Quality management is a crucial aspect of delivering high-quality products or services to customers. Though the term “quality management” is rather subjective, it is still a phrase that carries both legal and branding weight. Customer satisfaction with any product depends on the quality of the product. Therefore, all small businesses must have a reliable and highly effective system in place to oversee product quality.  Implementing a quality control system in full force is a multi-step process. Startups and small businesses shouldn’t expect a fully-functional quality assurance system to be in place overnight. It a careful process that should be given time and due consideration. Here is a list of factors that smaller companies should consider when trying to implement a quality management system:

1.     Strategize with Goals in Mind

A quality management system in its most basic form is an organizational strategy. Like all organizational strategies, a quality management system should also have goals and objectives. There should be an ultimate goal for the project, which is typically ensuring the best quality of all products on offer. But short-term goals, such as adopting a native definition of quality management, should also be among the things under consideration. Quality management systems work best when the company leadership has a vision for the whole process. Use this core vision as a guiding light towards developing a world-class quality management system that demonstrably improves customer satisfaction.

2.     Staff Training Should be Well Thought Out

A quality management system largely depends on how well trained the personnel in the system are. Most small businesses do not have staff composed of experienced quality managers. Therefore, companies should devote considerable resources to training staff. Training doesn’t need to be unnecessarily expensive. There are affordable tools such as online manuals that can fast-track staff training. For example, use this link here to learn more about the ISO 9001 Quality Management Manual, which all staffers under quality assurance training must read. Expect staff training to be a process that continues into years that will always be in need of improvement.

3.     Focus on What the Customers Want

Quality assurance is largely conducted to keep the customers satisfied, in addition to perhaps satisfying a regulation or two. Therefore, the strategy from the start must have a strong customer focus. First, the company must determine, based on data evidence, what exactly the customer base is. Then, infer from the data what these customers might expect in terms of quality. The strategy will follow the customer intentions. Customer focus helps businesses identify core aspects of a successful quality management system. It can also guide the training of staff and customer service reps in the process.

4.     The System Must Have Strong Leadership

Don’t make the mistake of believing that the quality management strategy can be implemented and overseen by low-level managers. A process this complex requires strong leadership on its own. The system requires a senior manager or an executive to oversee the entire process. The supervisors on top will be responsible for planning ahead and setting policies that satisfy the core goal or vision. A quality management plan can easily go adrift without careful oversight and leadership from the top levelsof the company.

leadership

5.     Identify Factors by which to Measure Success

The most fundamental stage of implementing a quality control mechanism is designing assessment factors. What ultimately determined whether a product has been build according to quality standards? Additionally, the success of the overall quality control system should be assessed. Typically, success is determined by customer satisfaction levels, comparative quality of products, and financial performance for the product line. Managers refer to these points as “critical success factors.” The development of the assurance program must include a well-defined set of these critical success factors based on long-term goals of the program. These factors should be able to assess a product that can hold up to regulatory, customer expectation, and market standards.

The above considerations determine how effective a quality control mechanism at any business would be. The system is not complete until measurement trackers are included in the process. The managers should direct the system towards tracking progress and monitoring evaluations. Ultimately, the vision and goals of the strategy should be actualized. Small businesses will need to delegate resources and time towards designing a quality management system that can withstand scrutiny. While it may take effort and good leadership, the benefits in the end will be immense in terms of developing a truly market-ready product. The market is always in need of quality products, and if your small business can deliver, you will stay in business for decades to come.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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