Quality standards are put in place by companies for many varying reasons. They wish to maintain the level of service or the quality of the product that they release to their customers. Implementing a regimented system such as ISO 9001 is one such way of taking the necessary steps and precautionary measures to ensure that the standards are met, if not exceeded.
Of course, simply putting the policies in place is not enough, regular audits need to be carried out to ensure that the system is being utilised correctly and to the maximum benefit of the customer, as well as the company. The bottom line of any business is affected by the products they produce and the service which they provide at the end of the day.
Internal audits are most commonly used to keep an eye on how a certain policy is being carried out, and whether or not it is effective in producing the desired results. Each company will have designated a team responsible for the implementation of the ISO 9001 system and the responsibility will lie with these individuals to ensure that correct measures and actions are taken according to the policy in place. They will be responsible for ensuring that each employee is aware of the system, how it functions, the goal of the system and their place in the whole scheme of things. In order to ensure that what they have relayed to the staff has been correctly received and that they are being correctly followed, an internal audit should be regularly carried out.
An internal audit will be an official investigation into each and every area of the policy, each persons role in the implementation of the policy, as well as the administrative work involved in recording the results.
Professional Audit By An Outside Company
There are instances where companies will make use of external auditing companies. This is one way of obtaining a completely objective results based on the finding on site at the time of the auditing process. This team of professionals is trained in the ISO 9001 policy and are up to date on changes and requirements at all times.
Although an external audit is not a prerequisite for ISO 9001, many companies make use of such an audit to safeguard themselves and to ensure that their standards are being kept to the absolute highest levels for their customers.
The Customer and Audits
It is the view of a number of companies that the customer is the one who should have the final say as to whether the product or service standards are at a respectable level. Allowing the customer to audit the ISO 9001 process and offer feedback on whether or not it is effective or offer suggestions on how they feel the procedure could be adjusted is a sure way of gaining the confidence, respect and support of your client base.
It is after all the customer who is on the receiving end of the final result or finished products.
Audits are an extremely important part of implementing any procedure and process whether it be ISO 9001 or any other. Systems need to be in place to ensure quality is held and maintained. Putting policies in place needs to be dealt with systematically and clearly so each person involved is aware of exactly what is expected of them during the process. Audits ensure that each individual understands their part and carries their duties out as part of the team.
A huge part of any policy or procedure is of course the paperwork. There are rules and guidelines put in place by any policy governing how matters need to be recorded, whether they be general daily checks, incidents, or feedback of any sort. This paperwork needs to be kept updated and correctly stored for future use. These records are really the companies way of visually checking whether or not the policy or procedure is reaching the desired results and whether or not guidelines are being followed correctly and fully understood.
When a particular policy works to the greatest advantage of both the company and the customer, it is deemed successful. A successful policy not only ensures the standards of products or services but in doing so assists in maintaining health and safety, morale of the workforce and general well-being within the company. High standards and quality products or services will generate the revenue that every company is looking for.
Tips To Successful ISO 9001
- Policies should be written clearly and in a manner that can be understood by all.
- Policies need to be explained meticulously to each member involved to ensure that everyone knows their place within the team and their duties.
- The goals of the policy need to be clearly defined.
- Regular audits, whether internal, external or client audits, must be carried out regularly.
- Any policy, in order to be successful, must navigate the company towards change, advancement and improvement.
For any company to gain the success they are seeking within their chosen industry they need to have a firm grip on what goes on within the confines of their company. ISO 9001 certification allows this to take place if it is correctly implemented and regularly monitored. Structure, guidelines and rules leave little room for error, ensuring that below standard products and services do not make it to the feet of the customer. Build your brand today, ensure quality, and grow within your industry.
A workforce acting as a team towards a common goal is a force to be reckoned with and what that is likely to reach the top. It is important to let your staff members know that each of their input is valuable in the pursuit of achieving the results required.