Quality management systems (QMSs) are well established in multinationals and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs). For establishing and improving these systems, a variety of guidelines have been established. Furthermore, there are software tools allowing a self-assessment of the current state of the implemented systems. However, these approaches are not appropriate for microenterprises and start-ups as their processes are rather informal or not yet specified. Moreover, these companies are often in a phase of strong growth and have only one person in charge; hence, they face the difficulty to decide if and how a QMS should be implemented. The purpose of this study is to report a first guideline for implementation of a QMS for microenterprises and start-ups.
The first step comprises a definition of microenterprises and start-ups and an analysis of their specific characteristics. An overview of the DIN EN ISO 9001:2015 and its requirements is given below. Next, the relevant requirements that can be implemented in microenterprises and start-ups are analyzed. Accordingly, a guideline for decision-making is developed to examine if an application of the analyzed standard is useful or necessary for these companies. Moreover, the guideline illustrates how the requirements can be implemented.
A literature review, an analysis of the DIN EN ISO 9001:2015, and of microenterprises and start-ups have been carried out. Thus, the need to decide whether to implement a QMS and assistance for the implementation process has been revealed to be essential for the companies that were considered. The literature mostly deals with implementing a quality and/or project management system in multinationals and SMEs but not for very small companies. Furthermore, the practical examples have shown that microenterprises face difficulties when choosing and implementing a QMS; thus, a practical implementation guideline for these companies is lacking.
Although there is a lot of research dealing with quality management (QM) in SMEs, research about QM in microenterprises and start-ups is scarce. This paper offers a first approach for a guideline of implementing an appropriate QMS and possibly an additional or alternative project management system in microenterprises and start-ups. This should facilitate the process of deciding if and how to implement an adequate management system for such companies.
This paper forms part of a special section “QMOD-ICQSS Conference”.
Klute-Wenig, S. and Refflinghaus, R. (2020), "Quality management for microenterprises and start-ups: is the ISO 9001 suitable?", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 44-55. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQSS-01-2018-0006Download as .RIS
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