Your company needs to document (at least in part), and use a quality system. Once you have that, you then need to continually improve it. Your company must:

  • Determine Inputs to the QMS
  • Identify (not necessarily document) key processes to meet customer
    requirements – this can be done in a number of ways
  • establish the order of these processes and how they fit together
    You need to map out your processes possibly in flowcharts or on web pages on your intranet
    – this is usually our first job when hired as consultants.
  • Establish how you will control the performance of these processes
    You must be measuring the performance of your key processes as a tool to continually improve them.
    This is an application of SPC first started in the automotive industry, but now it is anticipated that a similar technique will be applied to general business processes. Controls also means a series of checks and balances that you implement to ensure traceability. This should not be undertaken lightly and is one of the best reasons to use a consultant who has done this a lot – the reason being – if you design a system which is capable of checking a lot of data very quickly and easily you can spend less time checking and more time pushing more business through this “business bandwidth” you have created. 
  • Identify and make responsibilities and resources available to support these processes
    You need to make sure that everything that is needed is available, otherwise this commitment to a quality system is futile.
  • measure and evaluate these processes to not only ensure they do what you wanted but that you plan for them to improve.

Having a plan is not enough, you really need to carry it out. This is why companies have a three year transition period and why using an external consultancy to push these measures through is a wise idea.

Where your company chooses to outsource any of your process, you must ensure you retain control over them. These controls should be identified within your quality system. This may include how you control subcontract work, printing of material before delivery to client, installation of your goods to make sure that your customer is happy when they think the job is done. You need to mantain documentary evidence to support these processes.

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