23 Oct Quality management issues: how to identify problems & find their solutions
Implementing a reliable quality management system is a positive step for businesses of all kinds. A quality management system can boost the value of your product or service, make all team members accountable for their work and engage more actively in the business, and improve your business’ reputation in your industry.
However, quality management systems aren’t bulletproof. The process needs to be reviewed on a regular basis and issues need to be identified before overall quality starts to drop.
But how do you know when your quality management system is starting to fail?
In this article, we explore the potential signs of quality management issues and share some workable solutions to get your business back on track. Read on.
Signs your quality management system is no longer working
There are a few telltale signs when a quality management system starts to fail or needs urgent improvement.
- You’re not ready for an audit
According to a recent industry survey, around 15% of business owners are confident they’d fail a surprise audit while 47% aren’t sure if their business would be ISO compliant. Even medical professionals aren’t confident about compliance – only 38% believe their practice would pass an audit.
Take a look at your current quality management system and related processes. If a compliance officer appeared at your door today, do you think your business would pass? If the answer isn’t a confident “YES”, it might be time to review the system and make improvements.
- Quality control is one person’s responsibility
No matter what kind of business you’re running, quality should be the number one focus for each and every team member. Your team should work like a well-oiled machine; they should have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, along with how their performance contributes to the overall business goals.
Maintaining quality should not be one person’s job. It should be at the forefront of every team member’s mind all day, every day.
- Your processes aren’t readily available
The great thing about a quality management system is the processes and guidelines that come with it. Certain processes or “SOPs” are set out to ensure your team meets the high level of quality you wish to achieve. These SOPs should be available to all team members – on-site and off.
However, the average employee spends 2.5 hours every day searching for the information they need to do their job.
If your processes aren’t readily available to your team members, you could receive a warning for the “failure to follow a process”. Consider distributing copies of up-to-date processes, rules, and guidelines, and ensure these SOPs are available on-site to keep your team focused.
- The quality of your output is dropping and customer satisfaction is down
When the quality of your product or service starts to drop, so does customer satisfaction. Customers have certain expectations and demands – if your product or service isn’t up to scratch, they will look for the same product or service elsewhere.
In a competitive market, quality and continual improvement are key.
- You’re still using paper
Paper documents are prone to being lost or shredded without being reviewed. Compared to the quality management software such as Mango that we have today, the paper system is needlessly complicated and unreliable.
- Tenders are coming up short
If your business relies on a steady flow of government tenders, it can become a real problem when successful tenders start to drop off. When the quality of your service starts to decrease, your reputation can be damaged and tenders might become scarce as suppliers head to your competitors.
- You’re not ready for an audit
What to do when you’re experiencing quality management issues
If any of the quality management issues mentioned above are hitting too close to home, it’s time to make a change.
It’s crucial to identify problems within your business and solve them ahead of time to prevent customer complaints, a drop off in business, and even product recalls. To reduce the risk of business failure, we recommend having your quality management system assessed by a professional auditor.
At BusinessBasics, we’re committed to ensuring Australian businesses are compliant with ISO 9001 standards. Our team of compliance experts can review your quality management system in full, or we can even take a look at a few documents for you and provide a gap analysis based on the current set up.
We can even complete an internal audit and create an actionable strategy to ensure your business is compliant and the quality of your output is up to scratch. All you need to do is give us a call.
At BusinessBasics, we can help deal with quality management problems and provide workable solutions. Get in touch today.