Improved QMS Return

To improve the return on your management system, Calin Moldovean at Intertek suggests these five steps.

1. Strengthen Leadership
Management systems are no longer just “ISO” systems. They should be the tools most used by senior management, not just by quality and environmental experts. Therefore, give your senior management team feedback that speaks their language and addresses their needs. Provide the framework to ensure action plans are developed and monitored, and corrective action is initiated when targets and business objectives are not being met.

2. Improve Efficiencies
Analyze your management system’s design and assess its effectiveness to meet current and future challenges, not past “ISO” requirements. In doing so, you give senior management the tools to see where there is overcapacity, and provide them with the insight they need to make the right adjustments relative to your organization’s needs.

To accomplish this, consider the following actions:

  • Review process metrics against business objectives and the current economic environment.
  • Use process assessments to focus less on compliance, and more on process improvements.
  • Incorporate applicable improvement tools, such as Six Sigma or Lean, into the overall system.
  • Integrate your quality, environmental, and health & safety management systems into a single integrated management system.
  • Extend your learning to the entire supply chain and your business partners.

3. Mitigate Business Risk
When you conduct internal and external system assessments, highlight the impact on business risk. Ensure that your management system is inclusive of all processes, including legal compliance, finance, environmental programs, and especially health and safety. Periodically review the responsibilities and competence of personnel.

4. Exceed Customer Requirements
Use your quality management system to integrate Customer Requirements into every aspect of the business. Plan-Do-Check-Act and problem solving techniques can help you to gather, analyze, and act on customer needs and perceptions – not just their complaints. Share your best practices with your customers, and request the same from them.

5. Quantify and Improve the Return on Audits
When you transition from compliance to risk-based auditing, you can “do more with less”: spend more time on fewer processes by focusing on high-risk, bottom-line, and customer-facing activities. By understanding what the “internal customer” and the Process Owner needs, you can ask the right questions at the beginning of the audit. The audit results should include quantifiable improvements and actionable recommendations, including an evaluation of resources.

The Future of Management Systems
According to Mr. Moldovean, management systems are the tools senior management should always rely on to minimize risks and help achieve company goals and objectives. Effective and continuously improving management systems programs are the key to minimizing risk, managing growth, and supporting business strategies. And, ultimately, they are your organization’s secret to emerging leaner, stronger, and faster from the economic storms.

To read the full article, go to this web page at the Intertek web site.