In today’s competitive marketplace, companies are under enormous pressure to provide high-quality products and services at cost-competitive prices. With increasing globalization, quality management has become an important tool to meet these challenges. Procurement and quality management should work hand in hand. Procurement plays a crucial role in ensuring that the products or services purchased by a company are of first-class quality, which ultimately affects the company’s reputation and success.
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a comprehensive approach to quality management used by many companies to achieve higher customer satisfaction, continuous improvement, and operational excellence. TQM is based on the principle that everyone in the company is responsible for quality, not just quality control. Key aspects of TQM are
- The ongoing improvement of products, services, and processes through the use of data and feedback from customers, employees and suppliers.
- a process-oriented approach that focuses on identifying and eliminating the root causes of quality problems rather than just addressing the symptoms.
- cross-departmental collaboration, which helps identify potential quality concerns at an early stage
- the involvement and training of employees in the quality management process. They are encouraged to identify problems and opportunities for improvement and to participate in problem-solving as well as decision-making processes
- understanding customer needs and expectations to deliver products and services that meet or exceed their expectations.
Purchasing departments have a decisive responsibility in ensuring the quality of products and services in companies. They are responsible for selecting suppliers, negotiating contracts, and managing the supply chain to ensure the timely delivery of high-quality materials and components. Effective procurement processes ensure that a company purchases the right products at competitive prices from reliable suppliers. These processes also help to mitigate the risks associated with quality issues and supply chain disruptions.
In addition, the procurement department ensures that all purchased products and services meet established quality standards by conducting regular supplier assessments. They monitor performance metrics such as delivery times, defect rates, and regulatory compliance.
To achieve this, purchasing managers must work closely with other departments such as production, sales, marketing, and finance to understand their specific needs.
Together with quality management, QM systems can be put in place to ensure that there are quality standards and metrics that must be achieved. These standards can be, for example, stress test results, delivery times or technical standards such as DIN EN ISO 9001:2015-11, VDA 6.1 (automotive industry), EN 9100 (aviation) or ISO 13485 (medical technology). This requires a strong focus on measurement and analysis to monitor progress and identify opportunities for improvement.
The benefits of close collaboration between purchasing and QM are obvious: it increases efficiency, improves the quality of products or services, supports strategic decisions, increases transparency, and leads to satisfied customers.
We would be happy to support you in developing a strategy for your quality management and implementing it in your company.