PurposeQuality 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.Design/methodology/approachThe 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.FindingsA 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.Originality/valueAlthough 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.
International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 24, 2020
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