Quality management ensures that an organization, product or service is consistent. It has four main components: quality planning, quality assurance, quality control and quality improvement. Quality management is focused not only on product and service quality, but also on the means to achieve it. Quality management, therefore, uses quality assurance and control of processes as well as products to achieve more consistent quality. What a customer wants and is willing to pay for it determines quality. It is a written or unwritten commitment to a known or unknown consumer in the market. Thus, quality can be defined as fitness for intended use or, in other words, how well the product performs its intended function.
ISO 9001 remains the world’s most well-known standard, which provides organizations with a structured approach for quality management and helps them consistently provide products and services that meet and, where possible, exceed customer requirements.
Why quality management (ISO 9001) is important?
ISO 9001 is a process based standard for a Quality Management System. It isn’t a standard for how products are made – which is why it is so versatile and can apply to pretty much any manufacturing industry. It is basically a standard that controls how you do your internal processes so that the product produced meets the quality targets.
This is so important because the standard is basically a methodology to root cause issues, document them and then improve the issues. And trust me, there are always issues in manufacturing! It’s a LENGTHY process to become ISO certified, sometimes up to 18 months, so a manufacturer doesn’t embark on this certification lightly.