What are the 7 Principles of Quality Management?

January 19, 2021

“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.”

– John Ruskin

Every successful business has a keen focus on quality. But if you want consistent quality, you need an intelligent strategy.

What you need is a quality management system (QMS). A QMS is a system of processes that enable your business to meet your customer’s requirements and exceed their expectations.

A QMS provides you with a roadmap to superior product and service quality. Businesses that neglect to use a QMS often lack direction, focus, and consistent product quality.

The seven quality management principles we cover below are from the ISO 9000 series. They are a set of international standards on quality management and are essential elements for any quality program.

Learn what the seven principles of quality management are and how they can help you reach success:

#1 — Customer Focus

When you put your customers first and constantly deliver what they want, you’ll grow customer value, satisfaction, and loyalty.

The biggest and best companies on earth all focus on customer satisfaction. They don’t just build products and sell them. They speak to their customers and engage them in co-creation. They listen to their feedback and then act on it.

By learning about your customers, you can better forecast their future needs and adapt your business accordingly. Should you track customer satisfaction, you’ll have access to some of the most important data your business will ever need.

#2 — Leadership

Great leaders will help your team work towards the same quality goals, improving the overall level of quality in your organization.

If you’ve worked with bad leaders, you know the damage they can cause. Low morale, poor productivity, and a high staff turnover are just some of the outcomes.

To be a great leader, you must establish unity of purpose and direction within your organization. You must communicate your shared purpose throughout your company. And you must build and sustain values while ensuring other leaders within your business abide by an ethical model.

#3 — People Engagement

Having engaged and motivated employees and supply chain partners is key to execute on your quality objectives and create value.

Although keeping people engaged and motivated is a full-time job, it’s worth the effort.

To start with, you need to set achievable goals. You then need to reward your staff when they reach or exceed them and be open to their suggestions.

When it comes to empowering your suppliers and factories, you can proactively share information about your quality standards with them and make them accountable for the quality of the products they deliver.

#4 — Process Approach

Streamlining your processes and ensuring everyone is on the same page about what needs to get done helps your business provide customers with consistent quality.

But first, you need to understand how your business creates results, and how each process fits into a larger system. To do this, you must measure the effectiveness of each process, including its time, cost, and results.

Then, you need to analyze your processes and use the results to better deploy your resources.

Digital platforms can help with this process by measuring and analyzing the efficiency of your processes. You can then optimize your processes and create better quality products.

#5 — Continuous Improvement

Successful businesses are consistently innovating and improving.

Innovating is a balancing act. You have to find a balance between learning from your mistakes and recognizing your achievements.

Rewarding staff and suppliers for their hard work and offering them ways to learn and improve themselves is vital to continuous improvement.

However, tracking the performance of your processes and employees can be a tiresome process. You might benefit from using a digital platform to stay on top of your company’s continuous improvement.

#6 — Evidence-Based Decision Making

You need to gather and analyze useful data. You then need to use data-driven insights to make better informed decisions.

If you want your business to compete on the global stage, failing to perform regular data analysis won’t cut it.

Relying on gut instinct alone to make mission-critical decisions is a mistake. You can’t be objective, nor can you accurately assess your previous decisions.

There are three key benefits to a data-driven approach.

First, you take a lot of the guesswork out of the decision-making process. Second, you can be more confident in your decisions. And third, you can review and analyze your past decisions objectively.

#7 — Relationship Management

Maintaining a strong supply chain requires nurturing your relationships with your suppliers. Over time, this will generate a strong spirit of collaboration from one end of your supply chain to the other.

Every business, including yours, sits in a chain of relationships between suppliers and customers.

Rewarding your suppliers for areas in which they succeed will foster even stronger relationships.

Next steps

These trusted seven principles are a solid foundation for building a QMS into your business. In time, they will help you build better products and grow your profits.

Inspectorio is a digital platform that helps you more easily deploy these quality management principles.

We standardize and digitize quality and compliance programs so it’s easier for you to connect your supply chain, gather and share data, and implement continuous improvement initiatives.

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