As the price of a product is not determined by the manufacturer or supplier,
you can only attempt to increase profits by reducing production costs. You should therefore look to direct extra attention to the quality of the running of the business.
In such cases, a customised quality management system would prove itself to be an excellent tool, as the ISO 9001 standard sets the overall guidelines.
A systematic mapping of all the elements of the operations of a given business will provide the basis for analysing the prospects of improvements. Once such an analysis has been carried out you can initiate the design of a quality management system and integrate it with any IT system previously put into service.
The New Quality Standard
The new quality standards offered by ISO 9001:2015 are an upgrade to previous versions.
Firstly, it focuses on several essential elements to any company - stipulating that:
- The company describes intented improvements to the system as conditions change with time and new ideas take shape
- The company shall always focus on the big picture and be process oriented
- The company must, at regular intervals, specify how it intends to measure customer satisfaction with its products and other services
Secondly, much of the language within the standard itself has been simplified. This allows it to more easily pertain to and correspond with newer,
more modern businesses and how they are run.
Does your business have a need for an environmental management system? Once a company has decided to introduce systematic quality management, consideration should be given to including environmental systems. In today's world there is a large focus on environmental consideration by businesses,
the public, and government bodies, particularly in connection with production, distribution, and business waste in general.
With trends pointing towards increased scrutiny of businesses, a demonstrated compliance with ISO 14001 principles could be a key advantage over the competition. Having an internationally recognized certification for implementing an environmental management system will improve any company's image.
It also demonstrates a commitment to following and exceeding statutory & regulatory requirements.
The environmental element can quite easily be integrated into a quality management system, as a cross reference facility has been designed between
the 9001 and 14001 standards.
What Do You Gain?
As more and more customers demand provable traceability throughout the entire supply chain, it is important that each company is able to account
for its own activities and provide relevant documentation. Document control, record keeping, and thorough supplier evaluation are core tenets of
an ISO 9001 quality management system.
Staff involvement and communication from senior management is also key to a quality management system. By implementing clear, concise,
and sound routines/procedures, the company can ensure their goals and standards are communicated to staff.
It can also ensure that proper training and clear instruction is given to both current and new staff, while keepng the lines of communication clear,
from top to bottom.
With the myriad of external requirements and responsibilities facing businesses today, the implementation of a quality management system,
in potential conjunction with an environmental management system, is vital. It is an investment into your own company.
For most companies, such an investment will see returns within a 1 to 2 year period.