Implementation of Total Quality Management/Starting a Quality Department

The task of creating a quality department from the ground up (or Top Down right? lol) is a little intimidating. I have looked online and found some information but any suggestions on how and where to start would be great. I work for a business which specializes in injection molding (electrical connectors, smaller medical molded and over molded parts, etc.). I have a lot of reference material for lean Six Sigma, FMEA, MSA, PPAP, SPC, APQP, etc. and I was planning on starting by merging the inspection department with the new quality department which I am the only employee of both. We are growing and will be hiring people at all positions so I was hoping to have the foundation laid soon. Any ideas to simplify the implementation into smaller goals to be met would be awesome. Thanks in advance. (A little background on me; I have 5+ years design experience, 6+ years machining experience, drafting & design tech degree at 19 years old, back to college for double major in physics/mechanical engineering at 30 but couldn't afford to finish.)


Starting to get Involved
You may also want to consider integrating it with any other management systems that are in place (18001/14001) now. I've been asked to integrate all of our mature systems and it's very daunting since they're set up so differently. Just a thought.

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator

Already your chief exec is responsible for creating and maintaining an organization (aka system) that helps her or his employees to understand and fulfill customer requirements.

You’ve been asked to help.

Do this not by creating a department that makes the employees think that you are taking this responsibility away from them.

Instead work with top management to help everyone understand how your company interacts with customers and suppliers to fulfill customer needs. How it works as a system to convert customer needs into cash in the bank (or, less crudely, “fulfill its mission”).

In doing this you’ll determine the processes (cross functional work) that are essential to the success of your company. Each of those processes should be assigned by top management to the person who knows best how it actually works (including across departmental boundaries and how the process interacts with other processes) in the system.

I recommend that you become proficient in deployment flowcharting so you can readily show who does what to fulfill the mission of the system and, in more detail, the objectives of each process.

To capture (document) and develop this system well you also need to understand how process-based systems work and the requirements specified of such systems. Select top-notch accredited lead auditor training and you should then know what questions to ask and how best to ask them when capturing and developing your company’s management system (don’t call it a ISO System!) so it can be understood, used and improved by all your colleagues.

That’ll be a great way to help the chief exec. You may even be referred to as the System and Audit Manager but not the head of the quality department.

Good luck and please let us know how you do.


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