Quality management | 5 steps | Quality thinking
Driving costs sacrifices quality. But pursue quality, and your costs will go down.

Quality management

Quality management is all about meeting and improving your organization’s quality standards for goods and services. Quality management also boosts your organization’s processes, systems, employees, managers, and the overall organizational knowledge. A good quality management system does this structurally: not for each separate aspect, but integrally. Approaching it piecemeal will still cause the following problems:

  • Many things happening outside of your process: the exceptions.
  • Customers leaving you because they can get better quality more easily elsewhere.
  • Departments and teams that seem to work against each other rather than with each other.

Do you see yourself in these issues? Our quality management specialists are eager to assist you in embedding quality management in your organizational DNA, so that your customer satisfaction and results can really take off.

Quality management is everyone’s job

Too often, quality management is seen as upper management’s job. The quality manager has to get it done by themselves. But does that work? Quality management is only successful when the entire organization has a mindset focused on quality, from A to Z. Everyone in the entire organization has to see continuous quality improvement as a priority in their daily activities. Quality management has to be embedded in the business processes to be effective. Then, and only then, will better financial results follow ‘automatically’.

Definition: what is quality?

Quality is a very well-known concept. We use the term in some way on a near-daily basis. Yet it can prove difficult to define quality. What does it mean to you, exactly? Is it about the longevity of your products? The warranty you offer consumers? Ease of use? Or speed and reliability of delivery?

Quality has many faces. You have to determine as an organization how to make quality (management) concrete and measurable to make it manageable and so that every employee understands it, can explain it, and act on it.

Definition of quality management

Managing a continuous improvement process to continuously improve quality and structurally improve the organization’s performance.

The well-known formula: E = Q x A

No matter how high the quality of a product or service, it won’t matter unless the customer accepts it and buys it. That’s Maier’s Law: effectiveness = quality x acceptance. In other words: perfection is the enemy of good enough. You have to find a healthy balance between investments made in quality improvements and the end results.

Quality management & improvement methods

There are multiple quality management systems: ISO 9000/9001, Kaizen, Lean Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, et cetera. These systems have something in common: they all use the well-known PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) methodology for continuous improvement. The model isn’t central, but the process is.

Quality management system

Image: A framework for continuous quality improvement, Plan Do Check Act. The bases under the pillars consist of a quality management system and a strong sense of awareness re: quality.

How do you put quality management on the agenda?

You have to help management become aware that quality management is the key to lasting better results. They have to realize that in the long term, it’s the only way to stay ahead of the competition. Or even to survive, especially during an economic downturn, when customers prefer good products and reliable partners.

Knowledge base: start improving quality now

Our years of experience in successfully implementing quality management and continuous improvement have led to us creating numerous products and training courses to help you do the same. Take a look at our products and services:

The cost/quality paradox

“Driving costs reduces the quality. Driving quality reduces the costs.”

mr. Willem van Oppen
Former KPN CPO

Quality management improves your competitive edge

The comprehensive quality management approach connects the essential elements of your organization to achieve better results, together. The customer processes are centralized, not the various departments. It’s this comprehensive, integral approach that makes your organization genuinely intelligent and strong. It’s what improves your competitive edge. Because the quality you’ll be able to deliver won’t be found anywhere else at a similar price.

Quality leap: iterative improvement

A well-known saying: quality is first time right. However, implementing a big quality improvement all at once is usually not doable. The reason for this is that leaps in quality often happen step by step. You can’t take the second step until you see the results of the first step.

“When you get to the second step you can see what the first step got you, and where the third step will take you,” according to Daan van Beek, author of the management book The Intelligent Organization. This is why quality management is an iterative process.

Work on quality

Work on continuous quality improvement in 5 steps:

  1. Create quality awareness: a little bit better every day.
  2. Use an appropriate quality management system.
  3. Start driving quality indicators.
  4. Secure this process using the PDCA cycle.
  5. Increase the organization’s change potential.

Number 5 means: flexible organization + IT and faster decision-making and change implementation.

Meet our quality improvement specialists

Our data-driven improvement specialists have years of experience in quality management, KPIs, and continuous improvement. Feel free to contact us to discuss how we can take your organization’s quality management to the next level.

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Become a customer with us now

Do you also want to become a customer of ours? We are happy to help you with quality management (5 steps) or other things that will make you smarter.

Leo Kerklaan, Senior advisor Quality Management


Senior advisor Quality Management

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