Establishing a quality framework

For cutting-edge quality to be achieved in any kind of organisation, two parameters need to be met: quality objectives and quality policy.

Quality objectives are quantifiable goals that augment companies to boost customer satisfaction. However, those objectives need to conform to a quality policy established by the management.

Purpose of a quality policy

A quality policy is a meticulous baseline established by the management of an organisation. Its components would comprise the organisation’s purpose, strategic vision and direction, services delivered to the stakeholders, including the framework for establishing quality objectives.

Developing a quality policy

The quality policy brings to the fore the goals of the upper management and the quality management system. It also plays a key role in influencing the long and short-term decisions of the company. Ideally, it acts as a guiding force to channelize the entire company towards a common goal.

While a quality policy is circulated among the entire organisation, it also needs to be shared with the general clientele, thus boosting the customer’s confidence in the company’s commitment towards delivering quality goods and services.

Policy baseline:

  1. Evaluation of the original objective of the business
  2. Why does the company exist?
  3. The challenges that affect the company and the relevant stakeholders.
  4. A roadmap of the strategic direction for the company’s progress towards achieving the desired goal.

The policy would generally outline:

  1. Customer needs, preferences, and experiences.
  2. It would also outline the company’s commitment to delivering accurate products and services.
  3. The company’s commitment to employing the highest testing protocols and minimising waste.

Owing to its dynamic nature, the policy can be further enhanced based on customer feedback.

While companies may hire a quality system consultant to draft the quality policy, it is the prime duty of the management to ensure that the entire policy is carefully studied by every employee of the company, and implemented. Periodically, the management needs to re-visit the policy for review and maintenance purpose.

Establishing quality objectives

Quality objectives cannot be alien to the policy; hence they need to be realistic, specific and measurable, and consistent with the policy.

Below is an example of a specific quality objective for a medical instrument company:

We develop high-quality medical instruments, which are certified by a world-class independent testing laboratory. Besides the independent certification team, our highly qualified and trained in-house team of six medical engineers test our products to determine its durability and to identify any defects.

Our medical engineering team are constantly updating themselves with new testing procedures and attend specialised training programs to understand the latest technologies employed for testing medical instruments.

Other objectives include:

1) Ensuring timely delivery.
2) Increasing operation efficiency by improvising production environment.
3) Waste reduction as much as possible.

While objectives may be defined, it is critical for the management to ensure their implementation; hence companies need to commission a dedicated quality management system team, who would be responsible to communicate the quality policy and quality objectives, throughout the organisation, and periodically monitor the implementation to achieve the desired results.

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