ISO 9001: Creating a Quality Management System

In this series of blog posts, I will be taking a look at the main sections of ISO 9001, what they are, why they are important ...

A Quality Management System, or QMS, is a set of inter-related processes that manage your business. You could, in fact, drop the name Quality and use Business Management System instead.

"A process is an input such as materials that use an action to turn it into an output such as your product!"

This applies equally to services as well. For instance, an input might be a phone call from a customer with a problem, that gets answered by someone and the output is appointment booked with the customer to resolve the issue.

Knowing your inputs, activities, and outputs throughout your business, across departments, products, and services helps you to streamline what you do and ensure that nothing falls between the gaps.

Documenting these in a QMS helps when you decide to make changes to see the potential impact of those changes could be.

So, how do we identify and document processes? It's simple really ... start from the beginning and work your way to the end. You can record what you identify on a wall with post-it notes until you have captured and agreed on everything.

Then document it using software such as PowerPoint, Visio or Lucid Chart (plus many other options out there; just Google' flow chart' or 'diagramming software'). Documenting your QMS does not have to be long, laborious and wordy. A picture paints a thousand words as I believe someone wise once said!

Many of the companies I have worked with have found it useful to have an independent person to facilitate the creation of the QMS and draw it up for them, so if you feel you need a hand please don't hesitate to contact me.

If you would like to know more about anything I've mentioned in this blog post, do give me a call on 01858 414226 or leave a comment below and let's see how I can help you.