What is a QMS?
Are we talking about ISO 9001 or QS-9000 (now IATF 16949) or what, here?
To start out, let’s discuss what you are planning to do. Throughout this document you will see ISO 9001 and QS-9000 (now IATF 16949) cited. We are, at the bottom level, talking a System. With respect to ISO 9001 (and QS-9000 (now IATF 16949) and TS 16949 for that matter) it is called a Quality Management System. With the ISO 9001 release, page vi defines it in a diagram. Below is the version from the DIS. ISO 14001 requires an Environmental Management System.
The DIS Model
The process is one of implementing what they are calling a Quality Management System. Whether it’s ISO9K of ISO14K or QS - it’s the same thing. You have to have a defined system to address a number of issues. With ISO 9K the focus is on customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.
Thoughts On Continuous Improvement
As a small business owner this may seem a bit much for a 10 person company. Some comments company owners have had: “Continuous improvement? We make a type of soap. We’ve been making it for 30 years. Same formula. Same soap. And that’s what we want!” and I heard “Look what happened when management tried to improve Coke! We got Coke Classic.”
There are other aspects a company has to consider. Delivery might be one. Process yield may be another. Auditors will want evidence that you are using numbers (read statistics) to evaluate something for improvement.
Take a step back and ask yourself: What DO you improve upon? What do other companies in your industry do?
Think of Continuous Improvement in a broad sense.