Quality Objectives must be established for your QMS and be measurable and reasonable for your company.
The use of quality objectives to drive improvement is not new to the ISO 9001:2015 requirements. Quality objectives, which are one of the best ways to focus the improvement activities within your company, have been included in the QMS since the ISO 9001 update that happened in 2000. These objectives are your way of identifying what aspects of quality management and customer satisfaction you have chosen as your main improvement aims, with reasonable and timely targets, so that you can make plans to make these improvements and move your company strategy forward.
Quality Objectives – Details
The quality objectives are the main method used by companies to focus the goal(s) from the Quality Policy into plans for improvement. The Quality Policy is created with the Customer Requirements in mind, then quality objectives are linked back to the Customer Requirements through the Quality Policy. Quality objectives take the goal(s) stated in the Quality Policy and turned these into statements for improvement against which plans can be made.
For example, if the Quality Policy of an aerospace manufacturer had identified a customer need for just-in-time delivery with no defects as the most important requirements, the goal from the Quality Policy might read: “To deliver whatchamacallits to our customers when they need them, with no defects, every time.” This company might then have two Quality Objectives: the first being to address improvement of on-time delivery, and the second to address defective parts shipped to the customer. The first objective might be: “to improve on-time delivery from 90% to 95% within the next year” and the second could be: “to reduce field escapes to the customer from 4% to 3% within the next year”. In doing so, the improvement derived from the Quality Objectives is directly linked to the needs of the customer.
These quality objectives would then be communicated to each level of the organization with corresponding quality objectives and plans at each level to help meet the overall planned goal. If your company uses a Balanced Scorecard, this is a good format to use for this communication of quality objectives.
The quality objectives need to be set for the different levels of the organization right down to objectives for the product (e.g. one objective for the whole QMS, then individual objectives for the product or process that supports the overall objective). These product or process objectives are often referred to as Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs). By utilizing the KPIs that the company has identified as the important indicators that the processes are functioning well the overall QMS quality objectives for improvement become much easier to measure.
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Our Exemplar Global Lead Auditor Consultants can help you with implementing a quality management system, which will include a risks and opportunities procedure. CVG Strategy has prepared, trained and implemented quality management systems for manufacturing companies in the past 10 years.
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