ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Process & Benefits:

As ISO 9001/2015 is a global guideline for your organization to achieve quality excellence and it is applicable to any type or size company, we are going to look at the core processes as required by this standard and their benefits to you.

The benefit of being ISO 9001 certified is that it becomes more and more a requirement by your customers for this gives them confidence that you have good processes in place to ensure consistent delivery of good quality products and services.

Remember The Standard Tells You What To Do To Achieve This But Not How To Do It:

1. Identify your core processes that will work together to ensure your customer consistently get good products or service from you. You need to also measure and monitor these processes.

Benefit: When you are clear what your processes are and how effective they are in achieving your quality objectives, you are in a better position to make management decisions on how to make them more effective. “If you don’t measure it, you cannot manage it”

2. Identify Quality Risks and opportunities:  This serves as preventive measures to manage risks and minimize the impact they can have on your company.

Benefit: When you know what risks and opportunities are a threat to the quality of your product or service or is an unexplored opportunity you will be prepared for most eventualities and will save money by pre-empting and addressing risks. You will also improve profitability and turnover by exploring internal and external opportunities. 

3. Non-conformance: You are required by the standard to log and investigate all non-conformances (Any time a requirement is not fulfilled). These must be investigated, causes established and the corrected in the short as well as the long term.
Benefit: As you correct deviations properly you improve your system continually and that saves money and time as you do not have correct the same things over and over and you waste less material, parts or equipment. 

4. Internal quality audits: A program of internal audits is scheduled and trained internal auditors cross audit each others’ departments and highlight deviations from desired practices as well as positive experiences where exemplary actions of colleagues are noted.

Benefit: You have an independent evaluation of your processes which assists in improving your management program as a whole. It also raises the awareness of quality throughout your organization. This way you can also manage bottlenecks and problem areas in your processes better. 

5. Customer surveys:  This is to be done regularly where you measure the perception your customer has of your company, services and products. Your customer is the ultimate quality inspector of your work, products or services.

This affords you the opportunity to find out what your customer thinks of your organization. You determine the method, format and frequency of these surveys.  

Benefits: Once you really know what your customer thinks of you, you can put measures in place to change his perception and to up your customers general level of satisfaction. This assists you in identifying focus areas for improvement instead of a shotgun approach.
6. Competence and awareness: This standard requires that all personnel performing work that affects quality are competent to do their work and are aware of the requirements of the quality management system and the repercussions if the individual does not perform his/her duties as required. Documented evidence of all this must be maintained.

Benefits:  To have the correct persons in the correct positions and them being aware of the importance of their roles in quality makes for a more efficient and confident workforce. This improves productivity as well as profitability. Mistakes are less likely to happen and personnel feel they are an important member of a winning team.

Remember that your personnel is your best asset.

7. Communication: This also a requirement of the standard to identify who you are going to communicate what and when with.

Benefit: With good avenues of communication you and you personnel, customers, suppliers and other interested parties will have good avenues of communication in order to understand their expectations and requirements. It eliminates errors. 
8. Documented evidence: You need to develop and maintain documented evidence of all your processes. The format and type of documentation is determined by you.
Benefit: This means you can prove compliance to requirements, the requirements as per your customer and your communication with suppliers and other interested parties.

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