The Beginner’s Guide to Quality Management Software By Dominic Tramontana
Chapter 1 – What is a Quality Management Software and Why Does it Matter? • In the simplest of terms, a quality management software is a collection of business processes and functions aimed at continuous improvement of quality to ensure customer expectations and requirements are met or exceeded. • Expressed as a framework of organized structures, methods, techniques, policies, procedures, processes, and resources, quality management softwares are also methods by which companies can ensure responsibilities, schedules, relationships, contracts, and agreements are on par with environmental, food, and product safety standards. • Need a better understanding of the QMS? Check out these resources: • The Federal Aviation Administration explains the difference between Quality management softwares and Safety Management Systems • QualityManagementSystem.com defines quality management elements as interacting activities that cannot (and should not) be isolated.
Chapter 2 – History of the Quality management software: Why it Started and the Most Important Discoveries • Though the quality movement can be traced back to the late 13th century, true quality management software were originally developed by an American and implemented in Japan in the 1950s. Aimed at communicating to managers how quality could be increased within an organization, the original fourteen points focused on two important concepts: • Common, systemic causes of errors (caused or shared by numerous personnel, machines, or products), such as poor product or service design, unsuitable materials, poor physical conditions, improper bills of lading, etc.; • And special causes of errors (caused by individual employees, products or equipment), such as lack of proper skill or training, poor lot of materials, out of order equipment, etc. • Other influential individuals, like Joseph M. Juran, who defined quality as “fitness for use” also began to work with Japanese organizations. He was responsible for the development of a comprehensive approach that focused on the quality of a product for its entire life cycle, all the way from design to the end consumer. He believed that, by dissecting each part and process of quality, companies could create a product that consumers could rely on one hundred percent of the time. • By placing so much focus on quality and the satisfaction of their consumers, the Japanese market began to dominate the manufacturing industry. By the 1980s, American companies had started to realize they would need to make substantial changes in order to survive against their foreign competitors. Ford Motor Company was the first to jump in. They called on Deming to help them transform their organization into a quality-oriented business.
Chapter 4 – The Different Methods to Managing Quality • Every business has its own unique set of products, goals, values, and beliefs. Quality management softwares should embrace and reflect those differences. To make this possible, there are many different types of quality management softwares, each with their own set of advantages, disadvantages, and abilities. The following are the most commonly used. • Standardized Systems: • Standardized systems are any quality management software that follow a set of federal codes and regulations. These include ISO certifications, such as ISO 9000/9001, ISO 13485, ISO 14000/14001, ISO 14971, ISO 17025, ISO 22000, HACCP, TS 16949; TL 9000; AS9100; cGxP, 21 CFR Part 11, QSR Title 21 Part 820, A2LA, or OHSAS 18001. Organizations that attempt to follow these standards must meet all criteria and pass detailed audits. In some industries, it is a requirement. In others, it may provide specific benefits that appeal to the company’s goals and overall objectives. • Total Quality Management (TQM): • TQM is a management approach in which quality is emphasized throughout every aspect of a business. The objectives focus on the long-term development of quality products and service by breaking down each individual process and activity to determine if it contributes or detracts from the company’s productivity and quality goals. Deviant processes and functions are aligned with the company’s goals, values, and beliefs through the development of flexible strategies. • Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI): • CQI is a quality system that is never satisfied. Its focus of continual and constant improvement focuses less on the processes and functions and places more emphasis on the role that teams and individuals play in the road to quality. Rewards are an integral part of this quality management software. Its “Plan, Do, Check, Act” approach has been adapted to fit many industries and companies, including those that may not use CQI as their sole or primary quality management software. • Six Sigma: • Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology that aims for perfection in quality. It focuses on the process of improvement and reduction of deviation through the application of specifically outlined processes: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. Used by multimillion dollar companies such as Motorola and General Electric, aspiring Six Sigma businesses typically undergo intensive and specialized training processes to learn how this QMS works.