With continual management involvement, a cornerstone of the ISO 9001 requirements, you will get to a stage in your business where you need answers to the following questions:
Are we doing it right?
Can we keep on doing it right?
Are we doing it the best way?
Is it the right thing to do?
*The organization shall determine what it needs to do to satisfy its customers, establish a system to accomplish its objectives and measure, review and continually improve its performance.
The main clauses, with their requirements, are not based on wishlist/ theoretical applications, but reflect sound business principles that are often already addressed to a degree in any successful organization.
If the requirements of ISO 9001 were summarized into five requirements, they would be:
Determine the needs and expectations of customers and other interested parties.
Establish policies, objectives and a work environment necessary to motivate the organisation to satisfy these needs.
Design, resource and manage a system of interconnected processes necessary to implement the policy and attain the objectives.
Measure and analyse the adequacy, efficiency and effectiveness of each process in fulfilling its purpose and objectives.
Pursue the continual improvement of the system from an objective evaluation of its performance.
* David Hoyle ISO 9000 Quality Management Systems Handbook
Implementing ISO 9001 is not just about addressing all the ISO clauses but a well-managed system which will significantly contribute to:
Consistent service/product delivery
The reduction of rework, deviations and customer complaints
The control of work processes
Improved customer satisfaction
Improved record keeping
Continual improvement becomes measurable
Registration provides credibility and international recognition
Enabling knowledge retention within the organization
Contributing to business continuity
The QMS aids in managing operational risks
There are numerous reasons why the ISO 9001 quality management principles are implemented in more than 170 countries worldwide and why clients often require an organization to be certified as meeting the ISO 9001 requirements. It is not a one size fits all solution.
ISO 9001 does not prescribe how specific tasks must be performed (affording each organization the opportunity to establish their own ideal operating conditions) but states principles and criteria that must be addressed in order to provide a consistent service or product. ISO 9001 consist of seven main clauses with several sub clauses.
The organization must define their scope of business; identify interested parties and issues impacting the business. Then establish the core business processes and operational risks that must be managed.
Document the controls and steps that must be followed by the organization’s staff to ensure consistent product/service delivery.
The documented QMS must be implemented in the work place and internal audits performed to confirm that the QMS is effectively implemented and entrenched.
Demonstrate to an accredited independent external certification body that your QMS is entrenched, functioning effectively and meeting the ISO 9001 requirements.
Maintain and improve your QMS on an ongoing basis.
In short, it represents our commitment to quality, in the way we approach our clients and the work that we do. An internal commitment, not only to the international ISO standard, but also to that which we have defined for ourselves, to ensure continued focus on Customer Service, Consistency and Quality of service delivered. It embodies our pride in being measured and monitored to motivate continued improvement, both internally and for our clients.
You, as the client, will have the assurance that we are prepared to practice what we preach, and place client satisfaction and internal efficiencies as our goal.