Everyone in your business should be responsible for delivering quality.  A total quality management system can help you to do this and ensure that quality is delivered every time.

Implementing a total quality management system should:

  • Vastly improve the quality of the final product or service
  • Significantly decrease the waste of resources
  • Increase productivity through staff efficiency
  • Improve your competitive advantage
  • A better motivated workplace as everyone’s potential is realised

Below are thirteen steps in which you can follow to help you implement your own quality management system.

Step 1.  Establish Your Quality Management Team

Your team will be responsible for designing, assessing, and implementing your quality management system.

Step 2.  Assess Your Current Position

Take an overall look at the business and decide; your current competitive position, your key customers, what your key customers expect and want from you, how do others view the quality of your product or service.  Never assume that you are portraying or providing the right quality image.  Do your research and continue the process even after your quality management system has been implemented.  You will always need to find ways to improve in your business.

Step 3.  Your Vision

You may already have this in a business plan, marketing plan or as your business motto.  You need to define your vision so that it is realistic, attainable, measurable, and slightly challenging if it hasn’t already been done.  From this you will need to define the principles and values that emphasize your vision.

Step 4.  Your Service/Product

Define the standard of product or service you want to give and maintain for your customers.  Consider what your customers, suppliers, employees, and other business relationships expect to receive from your business.

Step 5.  Review The Gap

There will usually be a large gap between customer expectations and the reality.  Review their needs and then determine where the inefficiencies and constraints are being made.  For instance, are your suppliers letting you down or have you got weak links/areas within the business.

Step 6.  Assess Your Waste

Assess and audit your wastage levels.  Collect all types of data from as many places as possible.  Review the data, cost it out and present your results to management in charge.

Step 7.  Cost Your Waste

Assess how much is being spent on rectifying internal and external failure.  You should consider the reworking of below quality products or services, customer complaints, etc.  Access the time, costs, and money.

Step 8.  Quality Management Certification

You will need to determine if it is relevant for you to have a third-party quality management certification.  This will be a quality assurance to your customers, suppliers, etc.

Step 9.  Decide Your Quality Strategy

Your waste audit should be used to determine your quality strategy.  Your strategy will need to include, the goals of the strategy including the revised mission, the systems and tools needed to change the processes, the changes needed in business culture to create the right environment for quality, the details of the resources that can be applied and the time frames.  Senior management will need to review and approve the plan.

Step 10.  Restructure The Culture

You will need to restructure the culture of the business to support the implementation and success of the quality management plan.  If your culture continues in the same manner, failure is likely to occur, and quality will lack in improving.

Step 11.  Training

Your employees will need to be trained so that they all take responsibility in playing an active role in ensuring total quality.  By having team participation and trained employees it will ensure increased productivity and improvement in your business.  External training is almost essential when implementing a quality management system into your business, especially in the very early stages.

Step 12.  Opportunities and Priorities

Identify which processes from your total quality management system are going to demonstrate quick returns for your business performance.  Choose no more than three for implementation at a time.

Step 13.  Goals and Targets

Set long term and short-term goals for success.  You may wish to outline a criteria that will monitor and assess your performance.

A quality management system is ultimately a time-consuming procedure and demands full time management.  This will only help your business if you already heading in the right direction and may need a third party assessor to assist you in design and implementation of this system.

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