Well, where do we start? It’s been an exciting journey and we’re so proud to announce we have gained ISO 9001 accreditation and we are now certified at ISO 9001 standard. Not only did we achieve accreditation but we did so with flying colours. We have always been proud of the excellent customer service and manufacturing processes we have in place and now this has been formally recognised with an award. ISO 9001 is the first step for us to continually improve the organisation with the necessary management tools and best workplace practises. To obtain the ISO certificate we had a 2 stage audit process by an external company (BM Trada). This involved a desk study to go through all the documentation and then an observational audit to show that everything we had documented had actually been put in to practise.
What is ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 is the international standard for a quality management system. It is a powerful framework that can be used to continually monitor, manage and improve the quality and performance of products and customer services. ISO was designed to help organisations meet the needs of stakeholders to ensure consistent quality. The framework is based upon quality management principals which strongly focus on customer satisfaction, staff motivation and continual improvement.
Why is ISO 9001 important?
ISO 9001 has helped us to increase the quality of our products and services as well as assisting us in achieving higher operating efficiency. We have found that that by making this commitment to consistent quality assurance it has helped our employees feel more involved within all the operations of our organisation. With a clear direction set out with our policies and procedures we have also been able to improve customer satisfaction as well as increasing staff motivation; areas which are extremely important to us.
What has been implemented?
We've learnt so much by becoming ISO 9001 accredited and have adapted and improved our practises in lots of different ways but to name a few...
Policies & Procedures – all our existing policies and procedures were reviewed and changes were identified where we felt necessary in order for us to achieve maximum quality control.
Communication – stronger communication throughout has increased staff motivation and engagement. Goals are clearly identified along with clear strategic direction on our updated policies and procedures. This has led to increased customer satisfaction and improved efficiency within the workplace.
Weekly audit meetings – one of the key changes is the introduction of weekly audit meetings allowing management and staff the opportunity to sit down and discuss any issues or suggestions for improvement. We have found this critical to the continued development of our processes as well as ensuring we maintain consistent.
Clear KPI’s – internal audit schemes have been implemented along with clear KPI’s set. This hands on approach is necessary to fully understand the quality management at all levels throughout our organisation. KPI’s are recorded monthly by our internal traffic light system helping to quickly identity any changes needed and maintain consistent quality.