Before launching any product or service, you likely spent a lot of time planning ahead. One concept that demands some of this planning is called a QMS, or quality management system. A QMS is a set of processes specifically designed and deployed to satisfy the needs of your customers.
With a QMS, everyone from upper management to hourly employees and suppliers work together to achieve one goal, making sure the customer is satisfied and taken care of. You can read more about the system itself and the ISO 9001:2015 standard at Core Solution.
Keep in mind, a quality team or quality control process may be part of a complete QMS, but they are not necessarily the same thing. You don’t need to have a quality control system in place to satisfy your customers, though it is a good idea.
Everything centres on a quality objective, which is bolstered by a customer focus, additional resources and necessary processes. These elements are called “drivers” of the QMS system. The next stage — “enablers,” as they are called — includes continual improvement of these systems, and data-based analytics to achieve said improvement. Finally, the result is that customers are and remain satisfied throughout the experience and relationship with your brand.
What does a QMS offer an organisation, however?
Paper trails are a necessary evil. They also tend to be difficult to maintain and organise, especially as they grow over time. One aspect of a QMS is to accurately document processes and reactions, making an unbiased approach possible. Obviously, without this unbiased approach, it’s much more difficult to satisfy a customer’s needs, especially when they don’t align with your current goals and procedures. The analytics portion of a QMS tracks, stores and records everything for later, but, more importantly, organises information if any auditing concerns arise.
In general, you want to keep your customers happy, and that means listening and reacting to their concerns and demands as soon as humanly possible. The problem, however, is that in an organisation — especially a large one — this doesn’t happen as quickly or as often as it should. A QMS effectively allows you to identify problems before they cost you a great deal of customers, and then fix or take action to resolve whatever it is. Considering a business only hears from 4 percent of its total dissatisfied customer base, the information and details that are flowing in as part of the organisation process can help any business improve processes.
Everything about your business, from the products to the revenue flowing in, is all tied to your customer base. If they are not happy, loyal and supportive of your brand, you’re going to run into some serious issues. Strengthening your customer base calls for a systemic approach to boosting happiness — which is possible, thanks to the customer feedback portion of a QMS. Your clientele gets the opportunity to share their experiences, and you can use this information to fine-tune your plan. Remember, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase, largely because they offer repeat business and free word-of-mouth recommendations.
A QMS may be all about the customers, but that’s not the only relationship that benefits from having this valuable system in place. It also helps improve your relationships and communication with vendors and suppliers. Naturally, when your business does well, your vendors and suppliers experience that success, too. But more importantly, the reliance on organisational measures and heavy documentation means you can follow what’s happening — sometimes in painstaking detail. This level of detail allows you to assess the current landscape faster and more efficiently, and take action when necessary.
Another natural part of implementing a QMS is involving your employees and general workforce more in the planning and development of these systems. They become both more engaged and more valued, boosting their happiness and efficiency.
It’s a domino effect of having a solid QMS in place. This is crucial, because disengaged employees can cost an organisation anywhere from $450 to $550 billion annually.