What is a QMS?

Quality Management Systems (QMS)

A QMS is defined as a formalized system that documents processes, procedures, and responsibilities for achieving an organization's quality policies and objectives. A QMS helps direct an organization’s activities to meet customer and regulatory requirements and improve its effectiveness and efficiency on a continuous basis.

Standards such as ISO 9001:2015 and API Q1 9th Edition are international standard that specifies requirements for quality management systems, with ISO 9001:2015 being the most prominent approach to a QMS.

All QMS systems, no matter the standard, follow the following seven quality management principles:

  • QMP 1 – Customer Focus
    Meet and exceed customer expectations

  • QMP 2 – Leadership
    Provide purpose, direction and engagement.

  • QMP 3 – Engagement of People
    Recognition, empowerment and enhancement of skills and knowledge.

  • QMP 4 – Process Approach
    Understand processes to optimize performance.

  • QMP 5 – Improvement
    To maintain current performance and to create new opportunities.

  • QMP 6 – Evidence-based Decision Making
    Facts, evidence and data analysis for decision making.

  • QMP 7 – Relationship Management
    Manage relationships with interested parties to optimize performance.

Benefits of a QMS

Implementing a quality management system affects the entirety of an organization's performance. Benefits of a documented quality management system include:

  • Meeting the customer’s requirements, which works to instill confidence in the organization, which in turn leading to more customers and more repeat business

  • Meeting the organization's requirements, which ensures compliance with regulations and products and services requirements in the most cost- and resource-efficient manner, creating room for expansion and growth

These benefits offer additional advantages, including:

  • Defining, improving, and controlling processes

  • Reducing waste and costs

  • Preventing mistakes

  • Lowering costs related to rework and warranty

  • Facilitating and identifying training opportunities

  • Engaging staff

  • Setting organization-wide direction

  • Communicating a readiness to produce consistent results for all products and services