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What Is QMS?

September 10, 2019

Creating a formalized system of business processes is one of the best ways to reduce waste, lower costs, and improve working conditions for your staff.

By having standardized documentation for a wide range of business practices, businesses are enabled to identify trends in production. You can also market more effectively and improve the performance of your employees. 

How do you effectively organize all important documentation in one place when it can be in any number of systems across your company? The answer lies in quality management systems (QMS).

What is QMS?

A quality management system is a collection of standardized business processes and procedures.

Implementing a QMS is one of the best ways to document all company processes, procedures, and responsibilities in one central location. Users should think of a QMS as a one-stop shop for these resources.

A quality management system (QMS) streamlines the supply chain by maintaining the four main components of quality management: quality planning, quality control, quality assurance, and quality improvement.

QMS or quality management systems workflow

1.) Quality planning:

Quality planning identifies what quality standards are and plans how to satisfy them. Take, for example, an automotive company that manufactures car parts. Throughout this process of manufacturing, the company must set standards for the material and outline the production process for the workers. All of this documentation can be stored in a quality management system.

In some instances, a new quality plan may arise in response to a customer request. Since every customer is different, it’s important to plan how you’ll satisfy those needs. By planning concrete steps, businesses ensure that all customer needs are met.

TIP: To learn more about quality planning check out our article on 3 Project Quality Management Concepts You Can’t Succeed Without

2.) Quality assurance and quality control:

Quality assurance and quality control are integral to implementing your plan. During this process, businesses must account for corrective and preventive actions (CAPAs). CAPAs occur when you need to change your production process in response to requests. A QMS helps manage and track CAPAs by automatically routing corrective and preventive actions to quality managers. They can then quickly identify the main cause of the issue. Over time, collected data can be analyzed to determine areas for process improvement, such as equipment or materials changes, process redesign, or safety initiatives.

3.) Quality improvement:

Quality improvement involves analyzing the data collected from QMS and identifying areas for improvement. This lets businesses identify roadblocks and provide solutions. A quality management system revolves around continuous improvement and change. It will always be changing to reflect new and improved procedures.

QMS by industry

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) sets the parameters for quality management systems across a wide range of industries. These quality management systems have been standardized to maintain both a high level of regulation as well as the integrity of goods and services. Below we will explore how different industries use quality management systems in their day-to-day operations.


An effective food QMS allows food and beverage companies to communicate to their customers that they supply a high quality product and maintain compliance. One way it does this is through supplier requirement documentation. Within a QMS, users can keep a document containing a full checklist of what to look for when assessing the risk of a new supplier. Having a step-by-step process for auditing a new supplier allows companies to avoid missing potential issues.

QMS also aids the food industry by helping inspect incoming materials. This allows companies to develop a record system of inspections and keep track of information such as date received and quantity of goods. Within the QMS, companies can track the quality of supplier goods. These reports help companies see how to improve their food safety.

Automotive industry

Warranty management and reducing car material waste are just a couple of the ways that a QMS can help the automotive industry. These demands are evolving as car manufacturers focus on corporate social responsibility and how their manufacturing practices are affecting the environment.

Beyond this, the most important customer demand from their automotive manufacturers is car safety. A QMS can help car manufacturers improve this by providing a standardized step-by-step process for safety testing. A QMS has built-in auditing features that allow users to schedule safety audits and alert the appropriate workers. It then stores these audit forms and creates reports to analyze the data. This ensures that proper safety testing was conducted, with documentation to prove it. This instills more trust in customers and results in better safety ratings and fewer fatal car accidents.

Health Care

ISO 13485 is the standardized QMS for medical devices. It demonstrates that all medical devices consistently meet customer and regulatory requirements. Being certified with ISO 13485 lets health care providers improve surgical operations and communicate a level of commitment to both their customers and regulators.


A 2010 study conducted by Harvard Business School revealed how quality management systems affect employees and employers. The results revealed that quality management adopters “subsequently had far lower organizational death rates than a matched control group of non-adopters.” Furthermore, quality management adopters had higher growth rates for sales, employment, payroll, and average annual earnings.

This research displays evidence of the benefits of implementing a QMS for your business.

Want to implement a QMS today? Check out our highest rated QMS systems 


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