Quality Management Systems (QMS) by Industry
A quality management system (QMS) is a formalized system that documents processes, procedures, and responsibilities to help organizations achieve specific goals and maintain certain quality standards. Quality standards can vary based on industry, which means a QMS can be used differently between industries to adhere to these unique customer quality requirements and regulations. In this article, we’ll look at how a QMS is used in food & beverage, aerospace manufacturing, IT, and other demanding industries. We’ll also look at the most common types of QMS used in these industries.
Food & Beverage
Quality management is particularly important in the food and beverage industry due to end-user consumption of products and the multiple supply chains involved in the processing of these products. Overlooking quality could cause harm to consumers' health and damage an organization's reputation. The common management system used in food and beverage is ISO 22000. This standard maps out what an organization needs to do to demonstrate the ability to ensure food and beverages are safe for consumers.
Here’s an overview of the benefits that an end-to-end quality management and food safety software can provide:
- Improved Business Processes: QMS improves the efficiency of business processes to mitigate quality issues and reduce waste. It also allows organizations to maintain consistency and align their internal processes with business objectives.
- Improved Customer Satisfaction: A QMS ensures best practices and standards are followed, delivering consumers high-quality service and products. This increases customer satisfaction and increases the likelihood of positive reviews and brand reputation.
- Better Decision-Making: QMS creates a platform to store, manage, and share important company data and information. Team members and management can all access this data and use it to make more informed business decisions.
- Culture of Continuous Improvement: QMS can be used to track, monitor, and analyze ongoing processes and their results. This allows businesses to foster an environment of continuous improvement because they can look at the results of their current processes and use the data to improve them.
- Increased Employee Engagement: QMS helps employees recognize the role they play in servicing the business. It also identifies a need for additional training to help employees become more competent in the tasks and responsibilities assigned to them.
- Better Relationships with Suppliers: A QMS helps you communicate your expectations with suppliers clearly and be open about your plans to help them understand your requirements.
Quality management systems are used in aerospace manufacturing to help meet strict regulatory, compliance, and customer quality requirements. In an industry where health and safety are of paramount importance, quality management is essential. The most common type of QMS used in aerospace is AS9100D, the international standard that specifies requirements for a QMS when an organization:
- Needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
- Aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory regulatory requirements.
A QMS in aerospace can be used for providing full visibility into the product life cycle and also improve the use of company resources by making sure that every part produced by an organization and its supplier meets strict compliance requirements. QMS can also be used to diminish material shortages, provide industry requirements in an electronic format, and provide a range of other benefits.
Quality management systems are used in the automotive industry to ensure the consistency of products delivered to the end consumer. It also guarantees that products comply with industry-specific regulations and quality standards. This is important because substandard vehicle parts could lead to injuries, property damage, and even loss of life. The most common management system used in the automotive industry is IATF 16949, which emphasizes the development of a process-oriented quality management system that provides for continual improvement, defect prevention, and reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain.
The benefits of implementing a QMS in the automotive industry include:
- Product Consistency: QMS ensures that products in the manufacturing line are fully functional and are aligned to the needs of the end-user. The technology provides metrics that inform decisions and problem resolutions, helping to solve product issues before parts leave the manufacturing line.
- Compliance to Standards: The standards set by ISO ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of the products manufactured, reduces waste, and enhances performance and productivity.
- Process Efficiency: QMS ensures that products can be delivered to the end-user in a shorter time span by mitigating issues that can slow down certain processes. This will increase customer satisfaction and boost sales.
- Effective Use of Resources: QMS allows for the effective use of resources in terms of time and manpower. Poor quality leads to waste, downtime, and product recalls – which all contribute to extra manufacturing costs.
Quality management systems are used to create a system of procedures and processes covering all aspects of medical device production. This includes design, manufacturing, supplier management, risk management, complaint handling, clinical data, storage, distribution, product labeling, and more.
QMS supports the medical device industry in the following areas:
- Process and Production Control: Control over customer requirements, traceability and supplier quality.
- Design Control: Risk management, verifies and validates products.
- Change Management: Includes design change management, QMS change management and risk reviews.
- Corrective and Preventive Action: Eliminates nonconformities, QMS improvement and verifies device effectiveness.
- Management Responsibility: Management review, inspection readiness and internal audits.
- Resources: Includes personnel competency, infrastructure and work environment.
- Product Surveillance: Includes complaint handling, risk monitoring and vigilance
The common management system used in the medical device industry is ISO 13485, which requires organizations to demonstrate an ability to provide medical devices and related services that consistently meet applicable regulatory requirements.
Quality management systems in IT help businesses create software products and services that deliver the best possible quality to the end-user. This includes items such as system software, application software, computer hardware, networks, and databases. The objectives for a QMS in the IT industry are to:
- Provide discipline to address quality improvements
- Define goals and measure progress
- Drive consistent quality measures
- Identify and prioritize IT quality issues
- Assign issues to owners for resolution, drive root cause analysis, and track results
- Promote knowledge sharing of best practices relative to quality management in IT
- Drive preventive defect activities so that quality never becomes an afterthought
The common management system for IT is ISO 27001, which refers to information security management. Following this standard enables organizations to manage the security of assets such as financial information, intellectual property, employee details, or any information trusted to third-party providers.
The intent of quality management systems in the services industry is to provide a system for developing and improving processes through a structured approach, effective deployment, and better control. It does this by documenting important processes and internal operations. This supports businesses in the following ways:
- Processes are optimized
- Processes do not become person-dependent
- Key activities run smoothly when responsibility is clearly assigned
- Defects are easier to identify and eliminate at an early stage
- Corrective action can be taken as soon as defects occur
- Progress is easier to measure due to consistent process
- Compliance in service delivery is improved through clearer processes
ISO 200000 is the most common management system used in the services industry. It specifies the requirements for an organization to establish, implement, maintain, and continually improve a service management system (SMS).
Quality assurance in metal fabrication has the potential to control costs, prevent defects and ensure customer satisfaction. Quality management systems are used throughout metal fabrication companies at all levels and affect all processes and units. Metal fabricators do not adhere to a specific quality standard, such as ISO 9001, they decide for themselves whether to pursue formal certifications as part of their quality management efforts.
QMS provides the following capabilities in the metal fabrication industry:
- Centralized Documentation: A QMS can replace paper-based systems that are susceptible to misplaced, outdated documentation, excessive administrative minutia, and increased risk of human error. Companies in the metal fabrication industry associate compliance burdens with document management, often leading to the implementation of a QMS.
- Process Automation: Process automation is used to streamline internal quality and business operations. Workflows are formalized within a QMS so they can be tracked and completed easily. Workflows provide high levels of visibility and accountability because they prevent loose paper from being lost, send notifications on next steps, and record data related to internal processes that can be reported on. QMS also allows for stronger communication between departments and improves collaboration throughout the organization.
- Testing and Training: A QMS also provides testing and training functions. Employee competency in technical skills can be documented and used to identify areas for improvement and training. This is particularly important in an industry that must consider risk mitigation and works with potentially dangerous equipment.
We have covered how implementing a quality management system can benefit different manufacturing and service industries. This should help you identify a need for this software if you work in any of the above sectors. If you would like to learn more about QMS – you can find our comprehensive guide that covers why it’s important, the benefits, and its implementation here. You can also learn more about what software is best for your business in our types of quality management system guide.