ISO 9001 Quality Management – What Can It Deliver To Your Business?
Jan 11,2022 / Haroon Juma / ISO Standards
What is iso 9001?
ISO 9001 Quality management system (QMS) is the most prevalent and recognised global ISO standard. At its core, the main goal is setting the organisational policies and procedures concerning an enterprises’ many different aspects governing quality management.
The emphasis is on the outcome of these processes to set the standards to manage the expectations and needs of its customers. Thus, ISO 9001 Certification enables the business in delivering predictable and reliable outcomes in meeting the customer requirements and to assure smoother business activities.
What are the benefits:
There are numerous benefits of an ISO 9001 implementation. They include:
- Leveraging ISO standards and policies to implement smoother operating processes.
- Consequently, this will reduce internal efficiencies to reduce costs and improve business performance.
- Improve customer satisfaction through quality improvements.
- Assess and improve the use of internal and external resources.
- Improve and create efficient management control.
- Enhance market differentiation and improve customer perception that secure standards are maintained.
- Create a foundation for more scalable operations to support business growth.
Often businesses grow organically with little time to assess whether they are reliably operating to the most predictable and efficient model. An ISO 9001 project can be a useful project to assure internal operations are setting efficient procedures to a best practice model whilst creating market differentiation.
How Can ISO 9001 Certification Benefits You?
ISO 9001 Quality management system standard (QMS) provides recognized management standards, theory, and practices as a comprehensive and structured set of best practices. This baseline is a foundation for any business to adapt to its policies with the clear aim to help the organization provide excellent products and services. Several key aspects are encoded into the standard including:
- Setting and meeting reliable and quality standards to your products and services
- Setting and meeting customer satisfaction goals
- Enshrining a continuous improvement philosophy in the organisation
- Meeting the required regulatory requirements.
- Increases the organisation’s understanding and awareness of quality
- Operate consistently to the standards.
- Focus on environmentally and socially responsible practices
What Are The Steps To Attain ISO 9001 Certification?
ISO 9001 certification requires 6 steps.
1. Application: The applicant should apply to the appropriate approved certification body in which all the company’s goals, objectives, and provisions under their application are made.
2. Documentation: Documentation detailing the company’s manuals and procedures should be reviewed. The appointed consultant or Quality Lead will review these to assess the actual performance against these documents. Thereafter, the consultant or Quality Lead will identify where and what is lacking to meet ISO standards.
3. Planning: After assessing gaps, the consultant or Quality Lead will review areas of attention with the company and devise the planning and tasks to meet the standards. The consultant support is advisable to provide additional expertise in minimising resource wastage and driving project efficiency.
4. Initial Certification Audit: this stage is divided into 2 phases. They are:
Phase 1: The ISO auditor will examine the changes made by the company. The auditor will seek to identify the necessary changes require in the organization’s process or system to comply with the designed quality management system. These changes are categorised into major and minor and accordingly the auditor will go through the processes and state the modifications wherever required.
Phase 2: The company will implement the necessary changes as identified by the auditor and schedule the final audit meeting. During this meeting, the auditor will thoroughly assess the documentation and procedures go through them thoroughly to judge the quality of the system and eligibility to submit the report to the certification body.
6. ISO certification: After addressing the final gaps or non-conformities, the conclusion of the ISO report is made and the certification is granted.
7. Surveillance Audits: Annual reviews are undertaken to assure the process is maintained up to the documented standards or not.
What Investment Is Required?
There are various elements to consider such as the size and structure of the scope and how complex the system is. These will differ from organization to organization, however some common items to consider include:
- Providing education and training sessions.
- Any external assistance.
- Cost of technology upgrades or acquisition.
- Internal resourcing costs
- Certification costs.
The Quality Management System- What is the purpose?
To effectively manage the standard, the QMS is implemented to make the organization work effectively and efficiently by maintaining policies and procedures in one system to monitor the proper flow of all activities production, marketing, designing, sales, etc.
Making the process simple and easy to understand, manage and control is a target goal under ISO 9001. Therefore the QMS should be integrated as a single management system. By using an integrated system, the aim is to embed ISO 9001 into all operations that affect quality, growth, productivity, environmental sustainability, health and safety, energy-saving, security, etc. QMS can be integrated with many other systems of management.
The value of an integrated system is well proven. Any designed system will evolve through operational and market functions. Therefore to ensure the QMS operates to meet the business’s goals, it must also grow through constant feedback. By doing so, the business can achieve superior efficiency and growth through continuously improving gaps or loopholes in the system.
The QMS developed for any organization must interact with all the processes and activities but, it should also note that it should also be flexible to quickly adapt to any possible changes if required.
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