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You don’t need a full QMS: Leverage your development partner and contract manufacturer



In today’s competitive and fast-paced market, efficiency and lean operations are essential. For startups and small businesses, setting up a full-fledged Quality Management System (QMS) can be an overwhelming endeavor in terms of cost, time, and resources. However, the good news is that you don’t always need to. By leveraging your development partner and contract manufacturer, you can streamline quality without the overhead of a full QMS. Let’s delve into how.

Understanding the QMS Landscape

At its core, a QMS is an organized framework that outlines the processes, procedures, and responsibilities needed to achieve and uphold a company’s quality goals. It’s designed to synergize a company’s operations to not only meet customer and regulatory requirements but also to drive ongoing improvements in quality and efficiency. While traditional approaches to a QMS might paint a picture of a comprehensive, intricate system, the modern landscape is evolving. With the rise of partnerships and collaborative business models, companies now have more flexible options. They can integrate established systems from experienced partners rather than constructing an entire infrastructure from the ground up.

The Power of Partnership 

Startups and smaller enterprises can sidestep the complexities of a full QMS by forging strong partnerships with the right development partners and contract manufacturers.  Here’s why:

  • Share Resources and Knowledge: Established development partners and contract manufacturers often already have a robust QMS in place and commonly their QMS is certified to meet applicable standards and requirements.  By collaborating with them, startups can tap into these resources, avoiding the redundancy of creating a system from scratch.
  • Compliance and Standards: Regulatory compliance can be a maze. By leveraging a partner with expertise in regulatory standards, businesses can ensure their products meet required guidelines without the need to invest in internal training and infrastructure.
  • Continuous Improvement: Seasoned development partners and contract manufacturers bring with them years of experience and iterative improvements. This allows startups to benefit from best practices and process optimizations right from the start.

Selecting the Right Partner

Of course, the efficiency of this approach hinges on choosing the right partner. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Reputation and References: Ensure that the chosen partner has a solid reputation in the industry and positive feedback from previous collaborations. 
  • Alignment of Values: Both parties should share a common vision and values, especially concerning quality, communication, and customer satisfaction.
  • Flexibility: As needs change, it’s essential to have a partner willing to adapt and adjust to support evolving business requirements.

Maintaining a Hybrid Approach

For some businesses, a blend of internal processes with the resources of an external partner can be the best approach. This hybrid strategy is gaining traction because it allows companies to maintain some autonomy by retaining elements of a QMS in-house, while relying on the expertise and infrastructure of a development partner for more complex components. This can be especially pertinent for unique processes or trade secrets that differentiate a business in the market. Additionally, the experience and proven methodologies of a development partner can significantly accelerate implementation of refined processes. Moreover, this symbiotic relationship often leads to the cross-pollination of best practices, fostering innovation and continuous improvement, a key component of a successful quality management system. 


While having a comprehensive QMS can be a hallmark of mature businesses, it’s not always the best or most efficient route for all, especially for small startups and smaller enterprises.  Leveraging strengths and resources of development partners and contact manufacturers can be a strategic move. It offers the dual benefit of maintaining high quality without the daunting investment. As with all business decisions, the key lies in selecting the right partners and continuously monitoring and refining the collaborative approach to quality management. 

For tailored advice and expertise on quality management solutions, contact Bold Type and benefit from our wealth of experience to integrate quality processes into your business model.