Quality Management Systems were rarely heard of 25 years ago, except in multi-national megaliths. Today, virtual all manufacturing, and most mid to large sized companies have a QMS. There are several popular ones, each with a unique focus (Six Sigma, EFQM, Baldrige, ISO 9000). And they are not mutually exclusive.
ISO 14001 is the de facto standard for environmental quality control and reporting, and no matter which QMS you use, it can dovetail into place. The principles are straight-forward enough:
- Document what you do now;
- figure out what you want to do;
- map out an operational path & processes;
- execute this plan;
- document the results;
- take remedial action.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
The first key to success lays in training. First you want to introduce senior management to the concepts, process and benefits. This ensures buy-in. Then you’d like to introduce the program to all of your staff. Line managers need specific training once processes and documentation schemes have been established. Finally, you need to train your internal auditors to establish your self-sufficiency.
The second key to ISO 14001 success is in being stewarded through the implementation. Having a steward with experience design processes, means they can be bullet-proof. A steward tougher than standard auditors vetting your plans and execution leads to excellence.
And that’s what quality is all about.