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By Todd Kolmodin
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Testing Todd: Quality Management and the Hidden 'I' in Team
Today, businesses of all types are jumping on the quality bandwagon. The more critical the product, the more the consumer/customer wishes the highest possible quality in the goods or services requested. Customers send surveys with buzzwords like ISO, QMS, and AVL for their suppliers to complete so they have confidence that what they receive is of the highest quality.
But what does all of this mean? ISO certifications such as ISO9001 are standards whereby a quality management system (QMS) is created so that products and/or services are produced in a repetitive manner that is monitored for effectiveness and continually improved. Surveys from customers to suppliers mainly consist of queries about whether the supplier has a QMS or attributes therein to satisfy their requirements. This allows the supplier to be placed on their approved vendor list (AVL). So with that said, suppliers create processes, manuals, work instructions and monitoring criteria for key performance indicators (KPIs). The entire QMS is then audited for effectiveness and adherence to the standard.
The end result is that the supplier is certified. A lot of work you think? It can be. However, what often happens is a company gets so wrapped up in creating all the necessary documentation, processes and monitoring criteria that they overlook the fundamental variable that is the most important factor in whether a QMS succeeds or fails: the individuals (“I”) that actually work with the QMS system every day.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of the PCB Magazine.
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