Quality is a term that covers many different perspectives on a company's ability to meet the expectations of its customers. There is the overall quality of a company's product in historical terms (their general reputation). There is internal awareness that making bad parts is not a good thing. There is wondering how to get started if you want to do better. There is the measurement of the actual level of defects produced by a process. And then there is a living, breathing quality system that uses in-line checks and feedback to ensure that each process produces good product. When fully implemented, a high performance quality system influences everything within a manufacturer, from the initial design concept to the final delivery to the customer.
There are several flavors of quality systems in use, and sometimes outside factors may push a company to adopt on one system over another. For instance, if your customer requires ISO 9001:2000 certification in order to be an acceptable supplier, you may need to pursue this certification to keep the business. However, you should also look at this as a great opportunity to turn a requirement into a useful tool for everyone within a facility. Too often, companies make the mistake of instituting a documentation system that complies, but miss the opportunity to thrive.
VMEC works with companies at all stages of quality system sophistication, from beginner to advanced. We also help companies understand which type of quality system best fits their needs, and how a quality system interfaces with other improvement methodologies such as Lean Manufacturing.