Standardization and quality management
A BSI case study

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Page 4: Standardization of quality management in the supply chain

In the developed countries of the modern world the emphasis is on some form of quality management. The implementation of business excellence models, total quality management or ISO 9001 quality management systems is almost taken for granted and has long since improved on the original idea of quality control, which involved inspectors checking finished goods and rejecting those that did not meet the required standard.

Modern quality management systems encourage everyone in the workplace to think about quality in everything they do. Every employee is encouraged to think in terms of final consumers and place them at the heart of the production process.

When a firm is certified to International Standard ISO 9001, the certificate indicates to potential customers that the organization has continual improvement processes in place for the specific purpose of enhancing customer satisfaction. From this, consumers can reasonably infer that such businesses are able to deliver the promised quality product or service consistently.

Continual improvement of the quality management system involves:

managing by systems and operating through processes

  • identifying current and future customer requirements and meeting them
  • continually improving management systems: measuring, monitoring, analyzing and improving.

BSI supports the application of quality management systems and standardization throughout the supply chain. This can be achieved by designing and implementing a single quality management system that can apply to product or service standards for all activities within a business. The single management system can also incorporate other management systems standards that contribute to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility.

Management systems can be applied to quality, environment, risk, information security, and health and safety. For example, the Environmental Management System standard, ISO 14001, helps organizations to manage their environmental impact, such as the control of waste and pollution activities, at every stage of production.

The management systems can be used in any combination as one system, or can stand alone. The audit system, leading to certification, can be applied to a combined system, or to one. Each standard has a common structure based on: plan, do, check, act.

BSI | Standardization and quality management