Quality management generally includes all organizational tasks that serve to improve or achieve process and product quality. In other words, quality management, or QM for short, is a core task of management.
Table of content
In some industries, QM systems are required by law, such as in aviation, aerospace, automotive, medicine, pharmaceuticals and food manufacturing. But many other industries also use QM systems as part of the continuous improvement process in their operations.
What is understood by QM system?
QM can be described as an organizational system that ensures the quality of goods, services and processes, which are then compared to the requirements of the customer. QM can be divided into 4 major areas: Planning, Steering, Control/Audit & Improvement/ Optimization. For the execution of the individual tasks QM methods & tools have been established which are presented in the following.
This are the goals of QM.
A QM system does not have the goal of constantly improving the quality, e.g. of manufactured products. Thus, even a manufacturer of cheap products may well have a good QMS, which monitors compliance with the specifications by the customer. The goal is not to achieve the best possible quality, but to achieve the predefined quality target. It is important to understand that it is not the products themselves that are used for certification (ISO 9000), but the (business) processes that are necessary for the creation of the products.
Quality planning – planning is half the battle.
Product planning is the preparation of the future quality required by a product or service and thus an essential part of quality management. Within the framework of planning, all technical and organizational measures are recorded which prepare, accompany and check the creation and maintenance of a previously defined quality standard.
The quality management standard EN ISO 9000:2015 describes quality planning as part of quality management, which is focused on defining the quality goals and the necessary execution processes as well as the associated resources to meet the quality goals.
An essential task in this phase is the recording of the quality requirements of customers and suppliers.
A variety of quality planning tools are available to management for quality planning:
• APQP – Advanced Product Quality Planing
• FMEA – Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
• QFD – Quality Function Deployment-Methode
• Conjoint Analyse
• GAP Analyse
• Inspection control plan and inspection plan.
The declared goal of quality planning is the implementation of the customer’s requirements or quality characteristics.
Quality steering – prevention, monitoring and correction
The quality control, also called quality regulation / quality control, is the “part of the quality management which is directed to the fulfillment of the quality requirement” (DIN EN ISO 9000:2000-12). The quality planning is aimed at monitoring processes as well as improving and optimizing unsatisfactory results through its work & activity. The measures derived from these results of the quality planning, can refer to the product, the manufacturing process or the personnel used for the production.
Quality control is divided into indirect and direct quality control. Direct quality control affects the activities and means of the unit during its realization. Indirect quality management improves the quality capability of individuals and means used for the implementation of the unit, and can therefore only have an effect during the future implementation.
The two best-known components of quality control are complaints management and document control.
Quality-control/-testing – determination of quality characteristics
Quality-control/-testing is the specific determination of whether certain conditions are met for products or services and is thus an essential part of quality management. Quality-control /-testing therefore serves to operationally determine the extent to which a product or service meets the quality requirements. Depending on the area of application, the inspection can be carried out on the basis of hard or soft factors.
With digital tools for quality control, data can be recorded and analyzed on a mobile device. Especially in the industrial environment, so-called CAQ systems are used, which partially digitally record and evaluate measurement data. Objective tests are mainly found in production: These measure & record e.g. physical properties (length, width, weight, density, speed) and are evaluated in the quality control chart. In addition, processes for the creation of products are also increasingly being tested. Efficient data collection and preparation of data in dashboards for monitoring defined KPIs forms the basis for success.
As already explained, there are different quality inspection options for each area, industry and department. The best known options are:
• Self-evaluation / self-monitoring
• Sorting test
• 100% final inspection / classification inspection
• Sampling systems / Statistical quality control
• Outgoing goods inspection (manufacturer) / Incoming goods inspection (customer)
• External inspection bodies – test laboratories, measuring rooms, test institutions
Digital WebApps already support digital collaboration across company boundaries, where the entire value chain of products can then be mapped on a single database.
The quality improvement – analyze information and findings
Quality improvement characterizes the most important activities of quality management today. The aim of quality improvement is to constantly ensure that the quality capability within the company is increased through suitable measures and thus to be able to react more flexible to the requirements of the market or the customers. The most important part of this is the establishment of appropriate structures to raise quality awareness amongst all employees, for example by means of an operational improvement system (OIP) or a continuous improvement process (CIP), in order to achieve product and process improvements, as these make a significant contribution to quality improvement..
DIN EN ISO 8402 (1995-08) describes quality improvement as follows: “Measures taken throughout the organization to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of activities and processes in order to achieve additional benefits for both the organization and its customers.” In practice, quality improvement is achieved through internal audits and the corrective actions obtained from them, as well as through corrections after errors, external complaints and statistical findings. Preventive actions are performed before defaults occur, often on the basis of risk analysis.
Methods for quality improvements in the company
• Kaizen / CIP (KVP)
• PDCA cycle
• Six Sigma
• Total Quality Management
• Quality cycle
• Business Process Reengineering
• Performance-related wage systems
• Company suggestion scheme
Quality management means using a management system to ensure that the expected and defined requirements for the quality of the company’s performance (products & services) are met efficiently and effectively. This requires coordinated activities to manage and control a company or organizational unit with regard to the quality of operational processes and conditions. They usually include the definition of quality policy and objectives, quality planning, quality control, quality assurance and quality improvement.
Therefore, quality management is the totality of all measures to improve processes, products and services.
Do you want to control your quality processes and make quality measurable? Contact us!