Today almost 1,000,000 organisations world-wide are assessed against the International Organisation for Standardisation ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS) each year, of which 20,000 are Australian organisations. An increasing number of certificates are being awarded to service base organisations, approximately 40% of certifications, verse manufacturing organisations.
ISO 9001 Quality Standards have been proven as an essential tool to identify and reduce waste and business risk whilst improving business performance through continuous improvement. The standard details what is required for a QMS that will provide consistent quality of services and/or products, the emphasis being placed on customer satisfaction and consistent quality.
What is ISO 9001?
Similar to other Standards, it consists of a set of requirements, which are grouped into five broad categories:
- General requirement for the company QMS to document all processes and procedures and the company to adhere to all processes and procedures through document control and records, demonstrating control of processes
- Senior management requirements
- Resource management requirements
- Requirement to ‘realise’ services and/or products through design, develop and manufacture
- Requirement to improve the company QMS through Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA)
Due to the generic nature of 9001 it can be applied to any organisation, of any size and in any field.
- Competitive Edge over other non certified organisations, perspective customers will consider, as part of the tendering process, if your organisation is certified to ISO 9001. This provides reassurance to a perspective customer that your organisation demonstrates certain characteristics in the way it conducts itself in business.
- Reducing Costs, ISO 9001 QMS can reduce waste, the 7 wastes, and associated cost by tracking and measuring outputs and identifying non value adding activities, which can then be reduced and, ideally, eliminated
- Contracts & Tenders may require ISO 9001 certification as a pre-requisite, or order qualifier, to tender on projects, especially in government, mining and marine.
- Export into a Global Market, customers may require an organisation to hold certification of an internationally recognised standard
- Staff can follow documented processes and procedures, therefore freeing up management time to work on the business and not work in the business
- Product and/or Service Quality and Consistency Improvement, your customers know that the quality of your organisations product and/or service is consistent, they can rely on you
- Best Practice is embedded within the organisation using ISO 9001 as a benchmark
Review and Documents Issues and Potential Issues allows trends, positive or negative, to be identified, learnt from and acted upon to continually improve the business