The cornerstone of a quality organisation is an effective quality management system and although many small businesses may not have large resources available to put into quality management, it can still be done effectively. Effective QMS’ are rigorous processes, which are able to continually increase the economic and quality value of products and services. They work to enhance the experience of your customers, which, for a small business, is essential when it comes to ensuring customer retention.
What is a QMS?
A quality management system (QMS) is a formal process used to review the operations, products and services of a business – with the objective being to identify areas that may require quality improvement. Quality management systems are required in all areas of business activity, regardless of the size of the institution. A good quality management system will:
- Reduce wastage
- Improve process control
- Increase market share
- Lower costs
- Facilitate training
- Meet customers’ expectations
- Raise Morale
Keeping up with the Competition – even if it’s bigger than you are!
Any small business must do all that it can to keep up with its larger competitors. Small businesses must be oriented towards good business results in the broadest sense to have any advantage. In general, when businesses think about business results, they tend to focus solely on financial results, e.g. solvency, liquidity, revenues and profits. However, in order to achieve more sustainable financial results the business should not forget the fact that the quality of services or products they sell to their clients are what actually yields results. This is why a business must concentrate its attention, not only on financial results, but also on the quality of what they deliver, to ensure that they go on to deliver quality products and services to clients, retaining them for a longer period of time.
Quality management systems provide a structure for doing things properly, efficiently and effectively. They aid both short and long term strategies to help a business run smoothly, whatever the size of the business.
The Main Benefits of a Quality Management System
Businesses who go through the ISO 9001 QMS certification process have the aim to maximise the efficiency and quality of their processes. As part of the process, guidelines will be put in place for all employees to follow. This means that when dealing with trouble-shooting issues, transactions or training it will be a much smoother process and less draining in terms of time or financial outlay.
Better Employee Morale
Members of staff need to be motivated and satisfied to perform well. Clear, defined roles, accountability of management, established training systems as well as a clear understanding of how their roles affect the quality and the success of the business are all part of fostering an effective employer/staff relationship. It makes good business sense to retain good staff rather than go through the process of re-hiring and re-training and it boils down to the fact that great employees are not replaceable.
ISO is a worldwide mark of quality management, making a business appear reliable and trustworthy. It is the goal of many businesses to export internationally, and ISO accreditation will go a long way to establishing credence in the international business arena.
Improvement of Processes
You can learn what improvements are needed by the facts that you find through a system of documentation and analysis. This is a carefully planned and implemented procedure, which will guarantee that you make the correct choices for your business and eliminate the risks of any costly mistakes.
In short, if it comes to a decision between a larger business with no quality management system, and a small business with ISO certification, small businesses will certainly be likely to outshine their larger rivals, with ISO as a selling tool, and it will work to ensure that once any contract is won, it will likely be on a long term basis, as the steps necessary to provide a robust customer experience are already in place.