As simple as this may sound in theory, unfortunately it is not straightforward in practice. Due to external influences and the increasing complexity of value creation, quality management today is a complex task that companies should not neglect.
In addition to statutory and official rules and customer requirements, international QM standards in particular have a strong influence on quality management. The best known of these is ISO 9001, a catalog of standards that summarizes the minimum requirements for the QM system of companies of all types and sizes. Beyond this, there are numerous industry-specific QM standards, such as IATF 16949 (automotive industry) and the European standard EN 9100 (aerospace and defense industry) – both of which contain rules that have a strong impact on quality management. Companies cannot ignore these rules, as to do so would cause them to run the risk of suffering serious financial disadvantages.
Most companies today use an integrated management system with all the necessary methods and tools to meet requirements in a variety of areas (e.g. environmental protection and occupational safety). Integrating quality management into this system is no easy task.
- On the one hand, complex issues such as risk management, supplier management, and IT security (take, for example, ISO 27001 or TISAX) are becoming more and more important in QM standards. QM managers therefore need to look beyond the internal perspective and ensure that all requirements are met throughout the supply chain.
- On the other hand, it is difficult without experience to define robust company processes that not only exist on paper, but can also be lived out in practice by all employees.