Quality manager

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Quality manager is a manager who is responsible for maintenance of quality management system. The function has been described in ISO 9000 series standards.

Everyone in the company is responsible for the quality management system and quality, however the quality manager also has to do additional tasks related to maintenance. A misunderstanding around this issue was one of causes of change in ISO 9001:2015. The standard no longer requires quality manager. It, however, assumes that those functions are fulfilled by one of top managers.

Requrements of ISO 9001 (prior to 2015 issue)

ISO 9001 standard in section 5.5.2 contains the requirements for the role of the management representative in the quality management system.

Top management should designate person who, instead of other responsibilities, will be responsible for:

Management representative, usually called in the companies a quality manager, is the second person after the CEO on matters related to Quality management system. Its tasks are related to the implementation of the system and care for it, and its development. Quality manager responsibilities will vary, depending on the level of quality of management system implementation.

Qualifications and quality manager responsibilities

For the post of quality manager may be appointed a person from the top management. This means that the management representative must report directly to the CEO. Quality member doesn't have to be a board member, but his rank is comparable to a board member.

Requirements that the quality manager should meet:

  • Willingness to take positions and work on it,
  • Identification with the company and its objectives,
  • The ability to organize work to others,
  • Good cooperation with the board and the consultants (if there are any during QMS implementation),
  • At least several years of work experience,
  • Ability to manage large project, covering the whole company,
  • Knowledge of the areas of quality and continuous upgrading of skills,
  • Belief in the need to implement the system.

This set of features is rarely found in an employee. You can then hire an experienced person from outside or indicate employee that meets the most of requirements (especially the first five), and then send him to training. Quality Manager must be a person capable of making decisions. Undecided management representative means the failure of the project from the very beginning. This follows from the need to impose a number of staff changes that are necessary, and do not always meet with employees approval. Support of top management is also necessary.

Tasks during the implementation of QMS

The first stage of manager's job is usually to manage the implementation project. It causes many conflicts in the company because of the need to reconcile the different groups of workers' interests (see also: trade union). Quality Manager should be involved wherever possible in working groups. This will enable him to signal emerging problems, identify possible links between processes, motivate participants in working groups, or to limit over-interpretation and excessive bureaucracy. After developing the documentation manager's role is to examine the procedures and removal of errors and inconsistencies.

Quality manager usually is involved in training of quality auditors, and also represents the company during the certification audit.

Tasks after obtaining the certificate by quality manager

The scope of the tasks discussed above relates to the quality system during implementation time. After obtaining the certificate, the main tasks of the management representative are:

Examples of Quality manager

  • Quality Manager in Manufacturing: A Quality Manager in manufacturing is responsible for developing and implementing quality assurance processes for production. This includes developing and maintaining quality assurance plans, tracking product performance, conducting quality audits, and ensuring that the finished product meets customer requirements.
  • Quality Manager in Healthcare: A Quality Manager in healthcare is responsible for ensuring that healthcare services meet standards of quality. This includes ensuring that medical records are accurate, conducting quality improvement audits, and developing protocols for patient care.
  • Quality Manager in Construction: A Quality Manager in construction is responsible for ensuring that construction projects meet quality standards. This includes inspecting materials, supervising construction, testing finished projects, and conducting quality assurance reviews.
  • Quality Manager in Software Development: A Quality Manager in software development is responsible for ensuring that software applications are built to meet customer specifications. This includes developing and managing test plans, conducting code reviews, and ensuring compliance with software development standards.

Advantages of Quality manager

Having a Quality Manager on staff has many advantages. These include:

  • Improved customer satisfaction: Quality Managers ensure that products and services meet customer requirements and expectations, resulting in higher customer satisfaction.
  • Enhanced efficiency and productivity: Quality Managers are responsible for creating systems and processes that optimize production, helping to reduce waste, increase efficiency and save costs.
  • Increased employee morale: Quality Managers can help create a better working environment and can motivate employees to do their best work, resulting in improved morale.
  • Improved product and service quality: Quality Managers are responsible for ensuring that products and services are of high quality, leading to increased customer loyalty and repeat business.
  • Better risk management: Quality Managers can help identify and mitigate risks, preventing costly mistakes and errors.
  • Increased regulatory compliance: Quality Managers are responsible for making sure that products and services are in line with applicable regulations, protecting the organization from potential legal and financial penalties.

Limitations of Quality manager

Quality managers have a critical role to play in ensuring the quality of products and services, but this role does come with some limitations. The following are some of the main limitations of the quality manager:

  • Quality managers are limited in terms of the resources available to them. Quality managers must often work with limited budgets, staff and time to ensure the quality of products and services.
  • Quality managers may be limited in their capacity to identify and address potential quality issues in a timely manner. This can lead to inadequate resolution of quality issues, potentially leading to customer dissatisfaction.
  • Quality managers may have limited ability to influence decisions made by senior management and other stakeholders. This can limit their ability to make meaningful improvements to the quality of products and services.
  • Quality managers may be limited in their capacity to effectively monitor quality performance, as they may lack the appropriate tools to do so. This can lead to inadequate visibility into quality performance and risks.

Other approaches related to Quality manager

One approach for a Quality manager is to ensure that the company’s quality management system (QMS) meets the standards set by ISO 9000 series standards. Other approaches related to Quality manager include:

  • Ensuring that processes and products conform to customer and industry standards.
  • Identifying opportunities for improvement in the quality system and developing action plans to implement these changes.
  • Developing and implementing quality control procedures.
  • Carrying out regular audits and inspections to ensure compliance with quality standards.
  • Making sure that all employees understand and follow the company’s quality management system.
  • Developing customer satisfaction surveys to measure performance against customer expectations.
  • Collaborating with other departments to ensure that quality standards are met.

In conclusion, the role of a Quality Manager is to ensure that the company’s quality management system is up to standards by monitoring processes, products and customer satisfaction. They are also responsible for identifying opportunities for improvement and developing action plans to implement these changes.

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Author: Slawomir Wawak