Friday, November 18, 2016

QMS True North

When navigating by map and compass, it is important to be aware of magnetic declination. The
magnetic north is not located at the North Pole, so more than likely, your compass is not truly pointing north. You need to adjust your compass reading and account for the difference to find True North. Knowing where true north is can make a big difference in getting to where you want to be.

True North in Lean Manufacturing
In the world of Lean Manufacturing, True North is also important.  As you start out your lean journey, you will begin with a Value Stream Map of your current state. From the current state, you will decide what your desired state should be in order to achieve the future state. Getting to the future state is a journey, and you need to make sure you are moving in the right direction. With True North, you set up parameters and milestones to keep you moving towards your future state. You act tactically to achieve strategic goals. Performing a True North analysis will detect any deviation from your strategic goals.

True North in Quality Policy
ISO 9001:2015 requires strategic thinking. Your company’s quality policy and objectives must be aligned with your business strategic goals. Just like with Lean Manufacturing, you should have a future state in mind with your Quality Management System (QMS). Management reviews need to make sure QMS stays aligned with the strategic goals and objectives of your organization.  As with the lean True North analysis, your Management Review should contain the same analysis with parameters, milestones and metrics to ensure you are not veering away from True North.

To maximize efforts, both lean and quality initiatives should be integrated into your overall business plan. Your True North analysis should incorporate both the Lean and QMS aspects.
If you don’t have a defined future state in either lean or quality, there is no one better to contact for assistance than the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center. We can show you how to integrate both Lean and Quality in your Business Plan to propel your company towards a Future State of growth.

To learn more about lean and quality services at The Center, call 888.414.6682, click here, or visit

About the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center
Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at

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