A QMS is a documented system that outlines the processes and responsibilities for achieving an organization’s quality and continuous improvement objectives. A QMS should be internally developed and tailored to the organization and its customer’s needs. ISO recommends that an effective QMS should be designed to achieve the following seven quality management principles:
- Customer focus: meet and exceed customer needs
- Leadership: unified direction and purpose across management and employees
- Engagement of people: ensure competent and engaged staff. Employees should have sufficient training and support to do the job right
- Process approach: well understood internal processes to improve efficiency
- Improvement: proactive approach to driving improvement and adapting to changing conditions
- Evidence-based decision making: quality metrics are established, measured and acted upon to drive continuous improvement and ROI
- Relationship management: identify and effectively manage key stakeholder and supplier relationships.
A documented QMS does not have to be aligned or certified with ISO 9001 to achieve a company’s quality and improvement objectives. Each business should weigh the benefits and burden of going through an ISO 9001 certification process.