Quality Management System

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ABSTRACT: This paper describes the Quality Management System (QMS) concept and its application in the construction industry. A misunderstanding among the construction players on the QMS concept has become the stumbling block for its successful implementation. QMS could be implemented either at the company level or at the project level. The researches on the company-based QMS in construction can be considered as comprehensive in view of the various aspects of implementation have been studied. While many studies have been done on the company-based QMS, study on the project-based QMS is lagging behind. Notwithstanding the claims that the construction organisations enjoyed the benefits and advantages of being an ISO 9000 certified are literally proven, the main objective of QMS implementation namely the achievement of customer satisfaction in the construction projects is still at large. At the project level, QMS requires Project Quality Plan (PQP) as part of the system. PQP is also not well understood by the industry players and consequently the implementation of PQP faces a lot of problems. The significant information to be considered in developing, implementing and maintaining the PQP are the project policy and objectives, the process, the process owners and the work procedures. PQP could be developed either individually for each party of the project or as an integrated documents for all parties of the project team. Keywords: Quality Management System, Project Quality Plan, Construction


INTRODUCTION For the past decade, the Malaysian construction sector has been going through a radical change driven by the (ISO) quality policy of the Malaysian government. Recently, the number of contractors obtaining certification of ISO 9000 Quality Management System (QMS) is ever increasing. However, this progress is seemed to be a drastic response to the constant pressure and reminder made by the Ministry of Works and quality awareness and Do It Yourself (DIY) programs organized by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB). However, with insufficient experience on ISO quality implementation within the Malaysian environment, the construction participants are staggered with several performance-related problems. The pressure also comes from the ongoing process of economic globalisation. Experiences learned from other countries such as United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong revealed that QMS implementation was very encouraging at the initial stage but over a time period became burdensome to all parties involved if the right approaches were not adopted (Giles R. 1997, Chong 1994, Kam and Tang 1997, Low and Goh 1994). In the United Kingdom, some of the construction industry clients made it compulsory that the contractors implement ISO quality system in their organizations to qualify for participating in the bids (Giles, 1997). As a result, a tremendous impact was observed with more and more contractors seeking for ISO certification. Consequently, marketing and customers’ insistence have become the key factors driving the ISO implementation, which are generally short-lived (Pateman 1994). The quality consultants might further worsen the situation as many of them are not from the construction background, hence do not understand the construction process (Giles, 1997). The organisations will normally trap in the vicious circle of compliance that creates lack of flexibility, emphasis on bureaucracy and paperwork and deficiency in quality improvement (Karapetrovic 1999). In addition, resistance to change in implementing the new system will create a chaotic situation (Al-Nakeeb and Mustapha 1994). As a result the implementation of the ISO system will not earn benefit to the company and neither will bring satisfaction to the customer.


OBJECTIVES This paper aims to explain the concept of QMS and PQP in the construction industry as follows: Quality Management System (QMS) in...
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