Ensuring quality is not just a matter of consistently implementing and applying a quality management system. There must also be a developed quality strategy. This strategy looks at the quality objective in the longer term. Where are we now and where should we be in the future? It is essential to align the quality strategy with the overall business strategy.
Companies with healthy growth ambitions work according to a business strategy drawn up by the management. It clearly states where the company wants to be within a few years and how this ambition should be achieved.
This business strategy is then translated into various sub-strategies, including a quality strategy. The quality strategy is therefore part of the overall business strategy. In order to ensure a sustainable future for the company, the intended growth must never be at the expense of quality.
Doing better tomorrow than today
Continuous quality improvement can be summarised as ‘doing better tomorrow than today’. If you don’t improve, but keep a status quo, you’ll inevitably do worse in the end. In order to achieve the desired progress, it is necessary to set goals in which you look ahead and anticipate the future. Your quality strategy gives the right direction to progress.
Setting quality targets
Developing a quality strategy also means setting quantifiable quality targets. These must, of course, be realistic. No consumer complaint is utopian in this respect. However, it could be realistic that you do not want consumer complaints in the area of food safety and an acceptable level of other complaints.` One possibility is to link the number of complaints to the volume of sales, aiming for an acceptable maximum ratio of complaints to volume of sales. The ambition of a certain certification can also be part of a quality strategy.
Step-by-step plan with improvement actions
For each quality ambition it is necessary to develop a step-by-step plan with improvement actions and interim measuring points in order to achieve the final objective. If you want a quality strategy to succeed, the entire organisation must essentially assume some responsibility. Quality is not the exclusive property of the quality department. It is important that every department and every employee feels fully involved in the pursuit of the predefined quality strategy.
Would you like to know more about developing and implementing a quality strategy? Contact Quontinuim.