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It's your QMS - look after it! Part 1 - what exactly is a QMS?

This is the first in a short series providing some top tips for looking after your Quality Management System (QMS).

This first blog explores what is meant by a QMS, its benefits and things to look out for in the period from establishing the QMS and during early implementation. The next instalment looks at how to maintain your QMS and why this is so important. Finally, we have a look at ways of improving your QMS.

Now that you have spent much time, effort and resource setting up your QMS you now need to look after it the make sure it continues to be suitable and effective, otherwise all the effort will have been wasted and you might have to repeat your efforts!

But what is a QMS?

TTS has always liked the following definition based on Feigenbaum (1961): ‘’…a system of administrative and technical information and procedures required to produce and deliver a product or service of specified quality standards''. We’ve added “information” and “service” so that the definition better aligns with current thinking such as ISO 9001:2015.

ISO 9000:2015 - Quality management systems Fundamentals and vocabulary - describes a QMS as comprising activities by which organizations identify objectives, processes and resources needed to achieve desired results. It continues by adding that a QMS helps top management plan resources for enabling the provision of goods and services as well as understanding the needs of interested parties.

What can they look like? Almost anything goes from fully paper based, fully electronic (e.g., proprietary software), cloud based, or a mixture of these. The content is up to you as well such as a system using written procedures, visual tools such as flowcharts, or, again, a mixture.


Pros and Cons

Advantages for employing a systematic approach to your business include:

  • Improved competitiveness will lead to winning new business from existing customers and helping find new ones - such as with tenders

  • better control of QMS will lead to efficiencies

  • improved reputation/credibility

  • fewer recurring problems hence list waste/costs of poor quality

  • provides a better understanding of risks and opportunities

  • establishing and improving supplier relationships

  • improved employee satisfaction

Sounds good doesn't it? But all this needs effort and other possible issues such as:

  • costs, especially setting up/initial reviews and planning

  • it takes time and needs commitment and effort

  • it may not be the “day job” of the colleagues setting it up

  • it can be relatively expensive for small businesses

  • it will require continuous support and resource

  • and you will to look after information needed or generated from activities


Tootell Technical Services can provide all the support you need to et your QMS set up.

Let us help you enhance your operations. Contact us today to schedule a consultation vis this website or email us at

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