It doesn’t matter if it is a free quality manual or a paid quality manual, this type of document makes dramatic improvements to any business. A Quality Manual System is the best way to improve business profit and performance for little to no outlay.
How can you improve your organization dramatically for little money? By delivering quality. Quality brings repeat work and builds trust with your customers.
However – it is not easy to deliver quality through other people. In fact, it is very difficult. In this post, we investigate quality manuals in detail and aim to help you understand the importance of a quality system in your business.
In addition to this we will try and assist you to find a suitable free quality manual that you can roll out straight away in your organization. So let’s take a look.
The History of Quality
Quality has been around for a long time. If you are trying to achieve certain standards in your organization, there are plenty of resources and history surrounding this. Here are some fast facts.
Quality way back in the 13th century
Craftsmen in medieval Europe had strict rules for product and service quality. Marking flawless goods with a special mark or symbol was proof of quality for customers.
If they did this way back in the 13th century, do you have any excuse to not focus on quality in your business?
The Industrial Revolution, Factories and Quality
The factory system with quality inspections started in Great Britain in the 1750s. Inspection departments were created to keep defective products from reaching customers.
You can see that quality has been a big part of production from a very long time ago. Therefore, taking into consideration the huge amount of history in regard to meeting quality requirements, it is good to know that you are on the right track.
Measuring quality in your business
Measuring quality in your business and responding to the results will help to create a more durable business that provides quality products or services. This will help to ensuring more repeat work from clients and customers which is essential for survival.
As you are already aware, produce poor quality products or services and it becomes very difficult to maintain a business. Customers expect more.
Quality Management Policy
A ‘quality management policy’ is a statement from your business that spells out the intention and direction regarding quality management.
This type of policy is like a summary of what your business stands for when it comes to quality. For example, it could be something as simple as below.
We pride ourselves on providing our Clients with quality, responsive and friendly customer service. We understand we work in a competitive environment and if we do not work hard to ensure our work is of a high quality – our Clients will use our competitors instead.
High quality and responsive service are two important reasons our Clients return to use our services again and all team members are requested to contribute and maintain a high standard of service.“
Combine a Quality Policy with a Quality Manual and you should be well on your way to defining quality expectations for your team to follow when completing their work.
Quality Control – Let’s Keep it Simple
OK, so if you have a small or even medium size business, you want to keep it simple but accurate. How to you deliver quality through your team?
“quality benchmark tool”
Likely the best way is to have a quality benchmark tool that your team need to meet. This could be quality checklists, a quality manual or simple instructions on things that need to be checked.
Then to catch any final errors, (and there will still be errors) you probably should have someone in your business that acts as the final quality control.
This is likely going to be the easiest and most flexible solution for small or medium business. The last thing you should be doing is rushing your production and sending out products or services that have errors. This immediately reflects on your business and will make it difficult to maintain customers.
Quick Example – Quality in a Coffee Shop
For instance, if you operate a coffee shop, no doubt you have busy periods and quiet periods. You need to ensure the coffee is perfect, the food is perfect and the place is always kept clean for the next customer amongst another million things that come your way. Then – on top of that you need to remember to smile at your customers!
So how can you ensure the coffee is delivered perfectly each time? Delivering the perfect cup to every customer is crucial. Your regular customers might forgive you once, however if they get too many bad coffees, they will go elsewhere pretty quick. (And give you a bad Google review).
A simple checklist posted near the coffee machine is a good idea. Will anyone ever read it? If you remind your team constantly they will. A reminder daily to your team that each and every coffee needs to meet the standards is also required.
Further to this, communicate the reasons why it needs to be consistent to your team. Their job and your business depend on it.
What is a Quality Manual?
A quality manual is a business tool that is extremely important for any business. It doesn’t matter if you make coffee or if you make gadgets, a quality manual is something you must have in your business.
If you don’t have one, your competitors very likely do. This is one reason they are putting pressure on you in your market. Quality manuals work.
A quality system is about documenting your business processes to ensure delivery of your product or service to a set benchmark.
These benchmarks could be low or high. The point is, you are aiming to meet the benchmark each and every time you deliver your product or service. Not just sometimes, not just on Wednesdays and not just in the morning. Every single time you deliver your product or service.
Read that point above again as it is important. Every single time you deliver.
The quality manual includes a massive amount of content that covers all parts of your business from accounting to production through to human resources.
Rules, directions, process, systems for every single person in your business. Sound like a lot of work? Yes – that is because it is. Let’s not beat around the bush. These manuals are detailed and can be complex.
Just think about all the things that happen in your business on a daily basis – and then write that all down….! It will take you a while.
Save time and DOWNLOAD A QUALITY MANUAL TEMPLATE.
Team Management and Quality
If you already have a small team of staff you will know that each person is different. They each have a different personality, different wants, needs, fears and concerns. If fact, people can be very complex.
This is why you need a quality manual and a system in your business. So that your team have guidelines to follow and your team don’t get distracted from the Vision, Direction and Process you have set for your organization.
Quality Manuals Bring Relief
A Quality Manual is the ‘silver bullet’ you have been looking for. Forget any business coach or development expert. Focus on your Quality Manual and watch your business improve – almost overnight. A quality manual template for small business will transform it very quickly.
How would we know? We know because we have proven this in our own business. As soon as the Quality Manual was rolled out – it was like chalk and cheese. Team members were talking about it. Staff were referring to it and discussion around the standards started immediately. It simply grew from there.
All of a sudden, standards were being developed and refined. People had the information they needed to get on with their job – accurately.
How does your quality manual look at the moment? Do you even have one? If you don’t, how does your team know what standards to meet? How do they know what to do correctly? Are they only getting 60%, 70% or even 85% of their tasks correct? Mistakes, errors and stuff-ups cost your business money and customers.
If you have guidelines in your business, this provides the tools your team need to meet benchmarks. I cannot encourage you enough to get your Quality Manual underway immediately.
There are plenty of places online to find quality manuals. However, finding the right quality manual template for your business is certainly going to take some work. It’s unlikely you will find a quality manual for your specific business.
However let’s take a look at what options you have. So let’s get into it!
What is the Purpose of Having a Quality Manual?
As mentioned above the purpose of having a quality manual is to ensure quality of output. However, it is more than that.
A quality manual helps to get your team on the same path. It helps to bind the business together and get it pointing and operating in the one direction.
All organizations need direction. Without direction it is like a ship at sea without a rudder. Floating aimlessly along and going wherever the current takes it. Sounds a bit random doesn’t it?
What Types of Organizations Need a Quality Manual?
I would say every organization requires one.
A quality manual or a quality management manual is essential for business survival. If you are not producing your product or service the same each and every time, your business is going to struggle to survive.
Most industries are highly competitive and becoming more competitive each day. You must keep up or close up.
It takes significant effort to deliver products and services consistently and trying this in any business without a quality manual is a recipe for failure.
Does my Business need a Quality Manual?
Yes, your business needs a quality manual. Why? Because if you don’t have a quality manual then it is highly likely your competitors already do.
You think you might be able to run your business without a quality manual, and sure you probably can. But what sort of business do you really have without a quality manual?
Not really a business. More like a management job. A quality manual helps you run your business and helps to guide your team to produce their work each and every day to a standard that is required.
If you don’t have a quality manual then get one as soon as possible. Use a quality manual template for small business. The rewards will be huge and your business will produce better quality work, be more profitable and you will have less stress.
Small, Medium or Large Business, Does it Matter?
Does it really matter if your business is small, medium or large? Not really. If you want to satisfy customers and ensure they come back for more, then producing quality is going to help you do this.
No amount of social media posts are going to help a business that already produces poor quality services or products. Focus on building your quality system first and then think about your social profile later.
A quality management system template for small business or a medium or large business is going to help build your system fast and sustain your business for the long term.
It could be difficult however, to find a free quality management system template for small business. Usually this is a full ‘quality system’ and typically you need to pay for these types of systems.
Can I use a generic Quality Manual Template to Create my Manual?
Yes you can. Finding and using a generic quality management manual template also known as a qms template for small business, will allow you to get the business basics activated quickly. You could find a quality manual sample online and try to copy it, however this is likely going to take significant effort.
If speed is important for you then using a quality management template will allow you to create a quality system fast.
You can purchase a quality manual template for business that allows you to set up a system in an instant and customize it to suit your business.
Where can I find a Free Quality Manual Template?
Is it on your wish list? A quality manual template free? A Google search reveals quite a lot of results related to free quality manual templates. Over 320 million results all related to free quality manuals. However, are any of these any good? Check out the results below.
If you have a small business, you need not complicate things. Just keep it simple. So you may be able to find a free quality manual template that suits your business fairly easily.
However, a lot of paid versions are going to help you dramatically so it might be better in the long run to purchase a template depending on your budget.
Digital Documents Direct have a free quality manual template that you can download. This template is a basic template so if you need something more advanced then consider our paid versions. They are much more comprehensive and allow you to set up a system quickly and efficiently.
If you are looking for a free simple quality manual template, download our free version at the following link. Free Quality Manual Template.
OK, it’s not very comprehensive and you are better off purchasing our detailed version, however it will get you started if you are on a shoe-string budget.
100% free from Digital Documents Direct. We hope you find it useful.
OK, so I am in a Hurry. What are the best ways to create a Quality Manual fast for my Business?
Definitely the fastest and cheapest way to set up a quality system is to create a quality manual template in Word. MS Word (Microsoft Word) or a similar word processing software package.This allows you to get the content together as fast as possible and you can implement it instantly.
There are no license fees or software fees to pay (apart from having an MS Word license), just typically a one off purchase fee to buy a template and get underway instantly.
Use MS Word quality manual templates and save time and effort.
The benefits of creating your Quality Manual in MS Word
So creating a quality manual in Word is a great way to kick things off. You can build your quality manual instantly and deliver it to your team quickly.
It will allow you to also think about the layout and the structure before you go committing to any software or website based system before you even know where you are heading with this thing.
Here are 3 Cool benefits of using MS Word to start off your quality manual.
Benefit 1 – It’s very cost effective
It will save you money. Creating a QM in MS Word will allow you to create it quickly and cheaply. If you are starting it from scratch you want to not over commit at the beginning to see what works. So creating it in MS Word is going to achieve this for you.
Benefit 2 – Start Immediately
You can start right away. Immediately. Even after you have finished reading this post. Either purchase a MS Word template to get you started or start your own from scratch.
This is a great benefit because you need to remember this document is an ever changing document and something that needs to be updated daily.
Benefit 3 – Easy to Distribute
You can roll it out almost instantly. If your team are on desktops then it is easy to send them a link to where you have saved it.
If your team are roaming around, then a printed out version is going to help them.
Whatever the situation, creating a Quality Manual in MS Word is fast, easy, cheap and effective almost immediately. Using a paid template makes it even easier.
What Should be in a Quality Manual Anyway?
So you may be wondering what should be in a quality manual? Well it really depends on your business. However, if you can get as much information in it as possible, it is going to help your team every single day.
From checklists to procedures through to rules and guidelines. It doesn’t really matter what you call them. The important point is that you need to have detailed instructions for everything.
Processes to Follow
Part of a QMS is including process documents and guidelines for your team to follow.
See the graphic below. It gives you an idea of a step by step process. OK, there is no way you are going to do this for every task in your business – however you get the idea that the process needs to be explained for people to follow.
Just think about the last time you bought something you had to assemble? It is basically the same principle. Get the instructions into your Procedure Manual and Quality System and this will help your team every day to perform their role and job.
What about checklists? Are they part of a QMS system?
Yes, for sure. You should have checklists for everything. This will help new team members and even existing team members hit the quality control benchmark you expect for your business.
OK, here below is a very simple example. However, it doesn’t matter how small the job is.
The impression you give to your Clients is in the detail so you need your team to be aware of the standards required and checklists achieve this easily.
ISO Quality Management System – ISO 9001 Quality Assurance Certification
OK, so if your business is growing then you are likely to want to consider ISO 9001:2015. This is a standard for a Quality Management System also know as quality assurance. It is not just a quality assurance manual template. This ISO Standard is something you use to see if your QMS is meeting the benchmark.
So, you need to purchase the standard and then have your business rated.
Really, if you have a small business then it is unlikely to be worth your time or expense. You could likely build a more relevant quality system yourself instead. It is really for businesses that want to grow significantly and need to control the growth.
As stated on their website:
“aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.”
Watch this video: HOW TO BEGIN ISO 9001:2015 in 5 STEPS – Quality Management System Basics (09 mins 09 secs)
Here is some quality information off YouTube on how to create your quality manual. Check out the video below.
Small Business Quality Manual
ISO 9001 Quality Assurance Certification is likely to be too much for your small business unless you have big growth plans. A small business quality manual is not likely to be that complex. In fact, depending on the business, it could just be a range of checklists.
Post checklists everywhere and point to them with your team. Ask if checklists have been completed. Ensure they are easily accessible and easy to use and follow. Make sure you the business owner uses them as well. You will see impressive results if you do this consistently and on a regular basis.
Aim for the top and see what your team can achieve. The key here is not to be a dictator but to provide a tool for people to follow.
Short Quality Manual
Creating a short quality manual is going to be best for a small business or maybe just a section of a larger business.
Defining the quality is the first step. Compare your quality with your competitors as well as any feedback you have already received from customers and note these things down. Create your quality system around meeting a higher standard.
Create a checklist that raises the bar of those standards and pretty quickly you have created a quality system for your team to follow. This would be the shortest quality manual ever and will work really well in communicating your expectations to your team.
If they choose to ignore it you have grounds for letting them go.
Quality Manual Template for Small Business
So the options above a simple ways to create a quality manual for any small business. If your business process is simple, this will make it easy to create.
However, obviously if your business is complex and requires complex tasks, all of a sudden your quality manual turns into a significant effort and takes a lot of time to create.
Free Simple Quality Manual Template
You could try and find a simple free quality manual template online to start your system off. However, it might be difficult to find anything relevant to your organization.
Sometimes it is faster to just start with MS Word and get your points down in a file for your team to review, contribute to and work on as they complete their roles.
Quality Management System Template for Small Business
If you need a quality management system then things are going to get a bit more complex. If your organization is larger and has more team members, then your system no doubt needs to have broad principles as well as the nitty gritty detail that team members can follow.
Quality Manual Sample
If you are looking for a Quality Manual sample then take a look online and see what you can find. There are plenty of samples available online, however trying to get something specific for your business will be difficult.
Not all businesses are the same so finding a ready made quality manual could take a big effort.
MS Word Quality Manual Template
MS Word has to be the fastest and cheapest way to kick off a quality manual. Simply open it up and start adding tasks and checklists that your team can follow. Before you know it, your team will have a significant resource they can use to meet benchmarks in your business.
Once it starts getting larger it may become harder to manage and harder to track updates. Then you can think about appropriate software to take it to the next step or simply manage the MS Word file better.
A Very Easy Quality Manual Template
If you are looking for a more detailed quality manual template then read more about Digital Documents Directs template on our website at this link below or click the image.
Quality Manual FAQ
How do you write a Quality Manual?
You can start writing a quality manual either by using a quality manual template or starting from scratch. Think about your customers first and what they expect from your business. Then document all the processes in your business and the steps to achieve the quality you are aiming for.
What is in a Quality Manual?
It will depend on your type of business. However it should have everything from policies through to step by step instructions on how to complete tasks. You will need this for each department of your business.
What is the purpose of Quality Manual?
A quality manual is a communication tool. It communicates to your team how they should complete their role, position and job and to meet specific quality benchmarks for your product or service.
How much does a Quality Manual Template cost?
Quality manual templates can range from a few dollars to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It really depends on whether or not you require a turn-key solution or are prepared to put some effort in to building a specific quality management system for your business.
Where can I find a FREE Quality Manual Template?
Digital Documents Direct provide a free quality manual template. Check this post. Also, you can consider our paid version which has a lot more detail in it.
What About You?
What is your experience with Quality Manuals in your business? Does your team even refer to it? Do they use it as a coffee stand instead?
Share your thoughts below in the comments section. We would love to hear how you implement quality in your business.