Quality management ISO 9001

Quality management and QM systems

Quality management and quality management systems (QMS or QM system) have been of great importance for the development of companies for many years – both in the production and service sectors.

Quality management focuses on the customer and their requirements for the quality of a product or service – with the aim of meeting and, in the best case, even exceeding customer expectations and requirements, i.e. customer orientation is one of the most important principles of quality management.

The establishment of quality management in companies has proven its worth because it is ultimately cheaper to avoid errors than to eliminate them at the end of the production process with a great deal of effort and expense. Quality management therefore includes all measures of an organizational nature, i.e. planning, control and optimization, which serve to improve processes on the basis of specified requirements.

The most widely used international standard, ISO 9001, has created a basis that defines the terms, principles and standards for an effective quality management system. This collection of requirements is intended to help companies to introduce such a QM system and maintain it in the long term. The principles described in ISO 9001 include

  1. Customer focus
  2. Management accountability
  3. Commitment of the people involved
  4. Process-oriented approach
  5. Continuous improvement process
  6. Fact-based decision-making
  7. Relationship management with suppliers

Why quality management is important

A good quality management system has a positive effect on the following aspects:

  • Quality assurance and improvement, thus increasing customer satisfaction
  • Increased sales and earnings through satisfied (regular) customers
  • Increasing competitiveness by expanding existing customers and acquiring new customers (through recommendations)
  • Intercepting changes in customer behavior (more demanding, more critical, more individualistic type of customer)
  • Improve and strengthen corporate image
  • Cost savings through optimized processes or fewer complaints
  • Minimize risk and increase legal certainty in the event of a claim
  • Marketing-effective use of ISO 9001 certification
  • Constructive error culture by avoiding errors and systematically eliminating the causes of errors
  • Increased quality awareness and thinking among employees
  • Secure transfer of know-how through documented and described workflows and processes

Our service for you

  • Support with the introduction of a quality management system in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001
  • As-is assessment
  • Preparation of recommendations for action
  • Examination of the legal regulations

Frequently asked questions

A quality management system according to ISO 9001 is a structured system that supports companies in improving the quality of their products or services. It is based on the principles of the ISO 9001 standard and includes the planning, implementation, monitoring and improvement of processes in order to meet and exceed customer expectations.

The introduction of a quality management system in accordance with ISO 9001 offers various advantages:

  • Increased customer satisfaction through improved product or service quality
  • Increased competitiveness through the acquisition and retention of customers
  • Optimization of processes and reduction of errors and complaints
  • Cost savings through more efficient processes and fewer rejects
  • Strengthening the corporate image and building trust with customers and business partners
  • Risk minimization and compliance with legal regulations
  • Promotion of a constructive error culture and continuous improvement within the company

A consulting company can support companies with the introduction of a quality management system in accordance with ISO 9001 by

  • Carrying out an assessment of the existing processes
  • Providing recommendations for improving and implementing quality management
  • Helping to create the necessary documentation and process descriptions
  • Offering training courses and workshops for employees
  • Accompanying the audit process and supporting certification in accordance with ISO 9001

ISO 9001 certification is not mandatory, but voluntary. Companies can decide to have their quality management system certified in accordance with ISO 9001 in order to demonstrate compliance with internationally recognized standards and to strengthen the trust of customers and business partners. Certification is carried out by an independent certification body, which checks the conformity of the quality management system with the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard.

The duration of the introduction of a quality management system in accordance with ISO 9001 can vary depending on the size of the company, the complexity of the processes and the resources available. It is a step-by-step process that requires time and commitment. The implementation can take several months to a year or longer, depending on the individual situation of the company.

The first steps towards introducing a quality management system in accordance with ISO 9001 can be as follows:

  • Analysis of existing processes and identification of potential for improvement
  • Definition of quality objectives and creation of an action plan
  • Training and sensitizing employees to the importance of quality management
  • Development of process documentation and descriptions
  • Implementation of measures for continuous improvement
  • Continuous review and adaptation of the quality management system
  • Monitoring and measuring process performance and target achievement
  • Preparation for internal and external auditing

These steps serve as the basis for the introduction of a quality management system in accordance with ISO 9001 and set the path for successful certification and continuous improvement. It can be helpful to enlist the support of an experienced consultancy firm to help make the process efficient and effective.

ISO 9001 certification is generally valid for three years. During this time, regular surveillance audits must be carried out in order to maintain compliance with the ISO 9001 requirements. At the end of the three years, recertification must take place, during which a comprehensive review of the quality management system takes place again.

Yes, a quality management system according to ISO 9001 can be integrated with other management systems, such as environmental management according to ISO 14001 or occupational health and safety management according to ISO 45001. This enables efficient and holistic control of company processes and synergetic use of resources. The integration of management systems offers the opportunity to use common structures, processes and methods to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire company management.