Types of quality management systems

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Types of Quality Management Systems

Types of quality management systems that are put in place to help eliminate manufacturing errors.


There are many different ways a manufacturing company can help improve the quality of the products they produce.


Wiley Edwards

During the manufacturing process, Deming revolutionized quality control. His 14 principles of holistic management helped revolutionize not only the manufacturing sector but also made clear how to manage people well in general (Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008). In furthering his 14 principles on effective management, Deming claimed that in order to enhance the goods and services produced, a company needed to implement a system that brought about some consistency (Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008). He also stated that a complete transformation was necessary and it required the adoption of a new philosophical approach to management systems. The third point he raised was that it was necessary to have a paradigm shift from the manner of conducting things that relied on inspection as a means of meeting quality standards. The fourth point related to the customary mode of giving opportunities to suppliers based on price alone.

Deming's Principles

Deming suggested that costs could be minimized by having contractual relations with only a single individual (Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008). He further stated that businesses needed to pay much emphasis on knowledge sharing and management in order to train staff on the job and also to give room for the nurturing of leaders. Deming also emphasized on the need of having strategic planning which will eventually improve the productivity and service delivery (Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008). He highlighted the importance of driving out fear and removing the impediments between employee's areas. Deming stated that organizations needed to ensure that there were effective communications channels within its systems in order to do away with numerical quotas for the employees and numerical objectives for the management (Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008). He also suggested that there was a need to remove the impediments that provided for an annual rating system that led to the deterioration of the pride of employment. Finally, he stated that each individual in an organization needed to tailor their efforts to accommodate the transformation mechanisms that needed to be implemented (Kreitner & Cassidy, 2008).

What is a Quality Management System?

Quality management systems are defined as "a set of policies, processes, and procedures required for planning and execution in the core business area of an organization" (StandardsStore, n.d.). Quality management systems are also defined as a set of various systems that are put in place by an organization that is tailored to meet the customers' divergent needs and ever changing trends (Lam, 2011). They are structured in ways that ensure that the organization's vision, mission, and core values are embodied in the substance of the QMS. A model quality management system needs to elucidate an organization's objectives and policy considerations.

Types of Quality Systems

Over the years a number of quality management systems have been formulated depending on the various business activities that an organization is engaged in and the management framework that has been put in place (Lam, 2011). The different types of quality management structures that are present in the world today include:


"ISO 9000 is a set of international standards that are used for quality management and quality assurance within organizations. These standards effectively document the quality system elements to be implemented in order to maintain an efficient management system" (ASQ, n.d.). The ISO management system is enshrined in a number of principles that are often applied by some of the leaders within an organization in order to improve the productivity and overall performance of an organization.

Principles of ISO

Customer focused. Under the ISO management system, a leader needs to ensure that they are cognizant of the current and future customers' preferences. In order to do this, the management should structure their objectives to ensure that they meet the customers' preferences and expectations. The ISO system requires an organization's management to ensure that the products and services that are offered adequately satisfy the customers' divergent needs and enhance healthy relations between the organization and the customers. An organization's ISO system should not be content with merely meeting the customers' expectations but should also strive to supersede them (Lam, 2011).

Leadership. An ISO system requires an organization to have a leadership structure that complements its vision and mission. The leadership structure needs to formulate various targets that challenge the entire organization to reach its optimum potential. An ISO system requires a leader to enhance various values that can be adopted by junior members of an organization. Leadership should also foster employee interactions and provide for various ways to motivate the employees in order to improve their attitudes and performance levels.

Engagement of people. An ISO system relies on the interaction of people within an organization. It ensures that the diverse skills and expertise are channelled to enhance the performance of an organization. The ISO system increases accountability and is a fertile ground to enhance the performance of various employees in an organization (Lam, 2011). In order for an organization to fully implement an ISO system, it requires a framework that promotes knowledge management and sharing in order to effectively counter the challenges in an organization.

Process approach. An ISO system provides a framework for undertaking the activities of an organization. This involves ensuring that the various activities that are conducted by an organization are managed as processes. An ISO system also provides for the evaluation of the various activities that are conducted in an organization in order to highlight their performance. Finally, the approach enables the organizations classifies the various activities in an order of importance and provides for a mode of resource allocation (ASQ, n.d.).

Improvement. ISO management systems are tailored to improve the overall productivity and performance levels of an organization. The systems lay the necessary foundation to evaluate, appraise and empower the various members of an organization to improve their individual performance. Improvement of Individual performance has an effect on the overall productivity and profitability of an organization.

Evidence-based decision-making. An ISO system provides a framework that promotes accuracy of information that relates to the organization's undertaking. In order to do this, adequate research is promoted using the appropriate methods. After the research is conducted the various findings are evaluated in order to put in place appropriate methods for implementation.

Relationship management. In order to ensure that an organization adheres to the ISO quality management system, it is required to come up with internal structures for the identification of the suppliers in order to mitigate the operational costs and maximize on the resource allocation. An organization needs to come up with appropriate modalities that provide for the interaction with suppliers. This will promote effective knowledge management and knowledge sharing which are important facets of any organization and should be emphasized in order to improve the development activities within the organization.

Six Sigma

“Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects (driving towards six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit) in any process…” (ISixSigma, n.d.). The end result of implementing a six sigma it to lower the operational costs of an organization, it enhances the experiences that customers have while dealing with an organization and has the effect of promoting better leadership.

Six Sigma is a quantitative approach that seeks to evaluate the overall performance of various internal structures in an organization. Six sigma utilizes a distinct approach in evaluating the performance. This is usually done by highlighting the defects in the processes that are conducted by an organization. The general rule is that a process should not occasion more than 3.4 million defects per million opportunities (Psomas, 2013). Defects are defined as the things that do not conform to the specifications of a customer. An opportunity, on the contrary, is defined as the number of chances that a defect can be experienced in a single process (Psomas, 2013). A Six Sigma calculator is used to evaluate Process sigma (ISixSigma, n.d.). Six Sigma consists of two methodologies known as Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control abbreviated as DMAIC and Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify abbreviated as DMADV (Uluskan, 2016). DMAIC is often used for improving existing processes that are underperforming and DMADV used to improve new processes in order to live up to the set standards.

Lean Sigma

“Lean Sigma is a tool used by businesses to streamline manufacturing and production processes. It lays emphasis on the necessary steps that that adds value to the product and proposes doing away with wasteful procedures in the manufacturing process” (Bisk, n.d.). Members of an organization need to cooperate in order to identify the different aspects that are not of importance. It combines three management processes namely, the six sigma, the lean manufacturing process and the lean enterprise process. Those who utilize the lean process believe that waste comes from unnecessary steps in the production process that do not add value to the finished product (Bisk, n.d.). Lean sigma is almost similar to Six Sigma and it also utilizes the DMAIC method. The DMADV method is not applicable due to the fact that Lean Sigma deals with preexisting processes within the organization and not new ones. The various organizational processes that are highlighted by Lean sigma include the transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, over-processing, defects and skills (Bisk, n.d.).


There has been a need to come up with various management systems that ensure that there is a standardized mode of conducting operations in the manufacture of goods and services. The quality management systems that have been put in place ensure that organizations maintain high-performance standards and also improve the quality of products that are released to the market. These different quality management systems can be used to help reduce defects within the manufacturing process in order to improve the productivity and overall performance of an organization.


ASQ. (n.d.). What is the iso 9000 standards series? Retrieved on April 03, 2017from: http://asq.org/learn-about-quality/iso-9000/overview/overview.html

Bisk. (n.d.). Six sigma versus lean six sigma. Retrieved on April 03, 2017 from: https://www.villanovau.com/resources/six-sigma/six-sigma-vs-lean-six-sigma/#.WNUuH1XytQI

ISixSigma. (n.d.). What is six sigma? Retrieved on April 03, 2017from: https://www.isixsigma.com/new-to-six-sigma/getting-started/what-six-sigma/

Kreitner, R. & Cassidy, C. M. (2008). Management 12th edition. Mason, OH: Southwestern Cengage learning.

Lam, S. (2011). Quality systems management and overview quality management, 20 November 2011. ISBT Science Series, 6(2), 277-279. Retrieved on April 03, 2017from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1751-2824.2011.01500.x/abstract;jsessionid=CB272D897904360D6F31E546A592E123.f02t04

Psomas, E. (2013). The effectiveness of the ISO 9001 quality management system in service companies. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 24(7-8), 769-781. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14783363.2013.791099

StandardsStore. (n.d.). ISO 9001 quality management system. Retrieved on April 03, 2017from: http://the9000store.com/what-is-iso-9001-quality-management-system/

Uluskan, M. (2016). A comprehensive insight into the Six Sigma DMAIC toolbox. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 7(4), 406-429. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/ijlss-10-2015-0040

February 01, 2023




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