ISO standards are established to indicate to companies in various environments which procedures should be followed to offer quality service. This includes everything related to the manufacturing of products, the quality of materials used and the management that oversees these processes.
The main objective behind this standard is to put in place reference guides for organizations to ensure that they produce and sell quality products.
To give an additional credibility to its image, a company can decide to take steps to follow the ISO-9001 certification.
It is important to know that this certification is far from mandatory, but has proven very beneficial in terms of consumer confidence.
Before getting into the details of ISO-9001 certification, let’s briefly summarize the key criteria on which this standard is based.
What steps does the ISO 9001 process entail?
1. Customer orientation:
The goal is to meet the needs of the customers in order to satisfy them and retain them.
2. Management responsibility:
Management must absolutely involve the staff in all the steps they undertake, in addition to putting in place all the necessary elements to achieve the objectives.
3. Involvement of staff:
The staff must show professional skills, which deserve to be recognized by their superiors.
4. The process approach:
This means that the company sees all its operations as sub-activities that complement each other.
The company must always evolve. At this stage, it is necessary to determine which tools will allow the organization to perform better as a company and to improve the quality of the products and services offered.
6. Evidence-based decision making:
This involves cause and effect analysis to make informed choices.
7. Stakeholder relationship management:
This means that the company maintains a link with its suppliers or other people who influence its activities, to constantly have an idea of their expectations in order to always improve.
2015 Version: Risk management and ISO 9001
In 2015, the ISO 9001 standard put risk management at the center of its vision.
Risk management is defined as all procedures that link potential hazards to opportunities in an organization that can impact its success.
This risk management is broken down into 4 steps:
Identify the risks
Quantify the risks, i.e. estimate the chances of the risk occurring and the level of impact it could have on a company
Manage the risks through the measures put in place by a company
Monitor risks to measure the effectiveness of procedures
Of course, all of these steps must be constantly updated.
Since many companies want to increase their performance levels, they often consider a quality optimization process, without necessarily going through the ISO-9001 certification stage.
Here is a brief summary of the main steps to implement such a process:
Establish the organization’s mission: what does the company produce? Who are its Customers? What are its main goals? These are questions to be asked from the get go
Communicate the operational steps: define the steps of the development of the procedures to the whole company.
Define the objectives: according to the means available, what are the objectives that the organization wishes to achieve?
Determine the steps to follow: According to the objectives, it is necessary to define a set of interrelated activities to obtain better results.
Define the activities: define the set of steps for each activity according to the process and the established objectives
Assign responsibilities: determine who in the company will be responsible for applying the measures put in place
Leave a record: the implementation processes should be written down and documented to ensure consistency between managers and tasks
Monitor: follow up on the various procedures and ensure that an audit is carried out to validate the effectiveness of the actions implemented
Improve performance: provide feedback on actions and analyze results to identify areas for improvement
Repeat the previous steps: the goal is always to improve as a company, we must take what did not work to remedy.
How to go about getting ISO 9001 certification :
A company that has its ISO-9001 certification is a company whose quality management system has been inspected and meets international standards.
In order to obtain this certification, your company must prepare the necessary documents before receiving the visit of an internal audit.
At this time, you can consult an expert to help you define the things that need to be improved in your organization and to see which aspects correspond or not to the ISO-9001 standard.
The auditors will check your documents and if everything is compliant, they will inspect the services offered by the company and the relationship with the staff.
The auditing company will also produce a report that will indicate what needs to be changed to meet the standard.
This report will be used as a reference to determine if a company is certified or not.
The certification is valid for 3 years, but a control audit must be done to ensure that the standards are still being met each year.
Fortunately, there are several companies that can help you and follow you in the realization and obtaining of your ISO 9001 certification.
In Canada, the Quebec company SAGECOM offers consulting and training services to help companies in their efforts to obtain their certification.
The Canadian company BDO Canada can also help you from the definition of your needs, through the internal audit, to obtaining your certification.
There are even companies that offer online courses, such as SGS, to help you prepare.
Why would Hector be important in helping you achieve ISO 9001 certification?
Protect your business investments, increase your management performance and limit your time and material losses. Offer you a simple way of having access to important data in the system when you need it.