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Why spend money on QMS?

The main reason for NOT developing a quality management system (QMS) that we can hear from our customers is high costs, both financial and timely, including emotional ones (on persuasion, overpersuation, motivation and so on).

Quite often an unheard counterargument for that is the following:

  • QMS was thought and defined by the approach developers as a useful tool for the manager. That is why the quality management system in ISO 9001 was widely disseminated and keeps on developing. If the system is seen by the manager as a burden and an “obstacle”, that means that the company does something wrong on their way to the quality management system implementation.
  • There is a great number of support instruments of quality management that did not become part of ISO 9001 requirements, but that can be integrated in the process of QMS development of the company. This can happen on condition that the system is being implemented not only for the aims of mere certification, but also in order to get some internal advantages.
  • The majority of the tools are aimed at the improvement of financial indices of the company, that is, cost savings

But it turns out to be the other way round: it is worth spending money on QMS so that the company continues to function in a cost-effective and easy manner. Investment in the system development should pay off. If the head of the company does not see the result of the investment, let us return to the first point (“the company did something wrong”) Due to the fact that the company cannot do without motivation and a leading role of the head of the company, it seems logical on the way of implementation and further maintenance of the management system (including further certification) to set as a goal reaching better results with MS implementation, despite of the fact that financial results are not considered directly even in ISO 9001:2015 version of the norm.

As confirmation, below you can see the results of a research on the effect of quality management system implementation, “Quality management in medical practice”, conducted in 2007 and based on 787 replies of doctors/dentists (it is expected that in 10 years time the 2017 survey result could be much better, also taking into consideration production companies, which undoubtedly have costs to cut down):

Criterion

Best applicable for  

Applicable for

Not applicable for  

QMS cuts significantly my working hours

4 %  

11 %  

23 %  

Improves the economy of the praxis

12 %  

31 %  

14 %  

Contributes to my satisfaction of work

14 %  

41 %  

14 %  

Contributes to the quality of the treatment

14 %  

36 %  

13 %  

Contributes to the patients´ loyalty

18 %  

35 %  

11 %  

Motivates the employees

20 %  

45 %  

8 %  

Organizes the processes in practice

30 %  

40 %  

6 %  

How to determine the service line in order to improve financial results?

The algorithm of proceeding is quite simple:

  • Determination of the source of the costs;
  • Data compilation, consideration of the source and causes of costs formation;
  • Determination of improvement measures, their implementation;
  • A repeat monitoring with the aim of collection of objective data in order to take improvement measures;
  • Gratitude and praise in the case of success or a repeat sequence of actions, if the improvement was not reached.

But still there are “pitfalls” in this algorithm hidden behind every step, such as unwillingness to uncover all the problems to the management board (because the “guilty” or the “indifferent” employee can be detected); difficulties in objective data compilation; inability to see the prime cause of the problem; lack of a “systematical” approach, understanding of the influence of changes and others.

For more information on the economy in the QMS you can find in our updated training:

  • Effectiveness of processes and management systems: methods of determination and optimization, October, 30-31, training center in Moscow.

Department of training and special projects.