Written by Ana Canteli on 11 March 2022
The interest in quality management can be found in the middle ages with the birth of the manufacturing sector in trade associations. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, the first quality management plans were born, which were created to control the production processes and their results systematically. Because the greater the number of people involved in the production of expected results and the greater the number of resulting products and services, the development of good practices became necessary to guarantee qualitative minimums.
Quality management became crucial during World War II when war artifacts created in different factories had to be assembled or used together, without any errors, such as weapons and ammunition.
The importance given to quality management systems did not stop growing after the war. The one who benefited the most was Japan, which incorporated into its industry the improvements implemented in the quality systems of the US, focusing not so much on inspection, but on the advancement of production processes, in collaboration with the people involved in them.
In response to this qualitative leap, the concept of total quality management - The Total Quality Management system (TQM) - emerged. The most important thing is the metrics and any approach that improves the entire organization in your set. But, we are getting ahead of ourselves. The ideal would be to define the Quality Management System QMS is today.
A quality management system plans, controls, and improves the components of an organization related to customer satisfaction and the achievement of the entity’s objectives.
The quality system arises when the production context is repetitive, measurable, and susceptible to continuous improvement. And it is specified in the documentation that defines the processes, procedures, and responsibilities to achieve the quality policies and the goals they pursue.
There are many definitions of quality systems; however, we will follow the guidelines set forth by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in this article. The family of quality standards is the most widely accepted in many sectors, and some of the criteria are more applicable to specific industries.
The most notable are:
In the same way that quality management has a long history, document management and its role in quality management systems can be said.
Documenting the best practices to control production and improve production processes created the standards of quality management systems. Therefore, to the extent possible, it is recommended to keep the information documented to support the operation of the processes. The definition of documentation in a quality-oriented organization is extensive: communications, metrics, forms of compliance with quality standards, shared knowledge, etc. This may not include all the documents required for comprehensive quality control. In that case, we would have to include:
For an organization to successfully implement a quality system, it needs document management software that contains all the evidence necessary to demonstrate the performance of the QMS objectively.
The effective maintenance of documentation is vital to the success of the quality system. During the design phase of the quality management system QMS, the organization should detail the types and series of documents and the creation, retention, and document editing policies. Quality management standards do not usually prescribe a method for document management. However, the ability to capture and retain all supporting evidence helps to implement the company’s quality management system successfully.
Implementation is best executed in a granular manner by breaking each process into threads and educating staff on documentation, training, tools, and metrics.
The OpenKM document management system has been successfully implemented in organizations that have obtained the certification of their quality management system.
The document and electronic records management software includes access to online training courses available at OpenKM Academy. This OpenKM e-learning platform seeks to facilitate the training, acceptance, and use of the quality system chosen by the company.
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