Understand the ISO 9001 Quality Commitment you make for your business future when you go for ISO 9001 accreditation and certification
Do you know why our ISO 9001 Consultants do not use out-of-the-Box ISO 9001 Quality Management Solutions—because they cannot help you build the great business that you want.
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Many companies have become ISO9001 accredited and many more will do so. The vast majority don't understand what ISO9001 is really all about. They can't see the wonders that an ISO9001 quality management systems can do for their business success. They haven't got the correct idea of how to make the best use their ISO 9001 system right in their mind.
Such businesses want accreditation to ISO9001 for the wrong reasons. "Just get me ISO9001 accredited." they say. "Can't you copy what other companies have done and give it to us quickly and cheaply?", they ask. They want more money; not a successful, growing business with loyal customers that will be here for decades to come.
These companies want to sell their products into new markets; they want to get registered for future tenders from businesses that require ISO9001 certified suppliers; they see their competitors getting certified to ISO9001 and think they must get ISO9001 accredited too; or they see a big marketing opportunity with ISO9001 accreditation and want it fast. None of those reasons will help them become successful with ISO9001. They will just end-up with more paperwork to do that no one wants to do, and so its done poorly. All because no one told them what a ISO9001 quality management system is really all about.
Below is an extract of an email sent in response to an enquiry from a company that wanted to become ISO9001 certified fast and cheap. It was important that we made it clear to them where we stand on cheap, out-of-the-box ISO9001 certification.
I’ve attached two documents regarding ISO9001. One is a sample quality manual we developed in the past. It is the lead, or first, document in a quality management system (QMS). Look through it and see how we layout a ISO 9001 quality management system and the contents that go into it. The tables at the back detail what your QMS will consist of and how the documents link your business together.
The second document is a tabletop audit spreadsheet of all the ISO9001 clauses that your system has to comply with. Using this table we do a gap analysis and match all the clauses that we can by listing those documents currently available in your existing business system. Any gaps in the table at the end of that process are what need to be created to complete your QMS.
With a company that is well established like yours I would expect 70% to 80% of what is needed by ISO9001 is already present somewhere in your organisation. The first days of our consulting are spent getting existing documents together into one location and recording them in the table. As we go through that phase we also identify what documents are missing. Documents that often need to be created are typically those covering records management, internal auditing and the corrective/preventive improvement loops. With the help of you and your people we write them to best suit your business requirements.
We don’t use out-of-the-box pre-written quality management system documents because you and the people in your company need to know your own QMS. You need to know what is written in your own quality documents. You need to be able to explain to the Auditor why those documents are there and how they work in your business. If you use pre-written documents full of someone else’s’ ideas and methods you can be sure they are never right for your organization. It means that you have to change your practices, use forms and documents that are wrong for your business, and do additional training with your people on methods that are foreign to your company. By the time you do all that we have written quality system documents that are ideal for your operation.
We write any missing documents, and we must work with the relevant people in your business when we do that. We believe it is unethical to take work done for past clients and hand it over to new clients. Thus we create all new documents for your business. Of course we know what to include in the quality documents and what not to; so the whole process of quaulity system document creation is fast, simple and neat. It is actually a very good approach to take because your people get to see and understand what a quality system is all about.
At the end of the document development process your people know what was put in the new documents and why they need to follow them. It is also more convincing for the Certification Auditor when they note that your people actually know what is in their QMS documents and forms. By having your people write the documents along-side us, your people take on the ownership of them because they helped to create them. If you buy a ‘boxed ISO9001 solution’ no one in your operation cares about it because it’s obvious to everyone that it was brought just to get the ISO9001 certificate on the wall and not to create a better company. Your people see right through it and your business never improves because ISO9001 is just there to satisfy Auditors and customer tenders. Yet the real purpose of ISO9001 is to make your company and its people into the very best they can be. That is something impossible to buy out of a box.
Deciding to build a ISO 9001 quality management system properly, or short-cutting the business quality system creation process cheaply and shoddily, is a leadership decision that will define the future of your company. Your people will do exactly what you show them you value. ISO 9001 will either have a great chance of success, or it is doomed, by that one choice.
Jack, hardly anyone ‘gets’ what ISO9001 quality management is about. Quality is all about building business processes that prevent variation and risk. When variation and risk play together businesses tumble, production shuts-down, and people are injured. An ISO 9001 quality system makes you do things carefully, in a properly thought-out way, to set standards of acceptable performance. But you have to do the thinking for yourself. You can't use someone else's standards and someone else's ideas on how to run your business. You must put in the hard work up front. ISO 9001 is an investment in your company's future. The rewards come after; when the quality system turns your company into one of the best in your industry.
I’m happy to meet with you to discuss the details of helping you get ISO 9001 certification for your business. You now understand how we work and what our vision is for your business' future.
At that meeting you also need to have the Quality Manager present so I can meet them. He/she will work intimately together with our people during your QMS development. They must be able to show us to the right people who can give us current documents, and who can help us with the content when we write any new documents. The Quality Manager must be someone from your senior management level. This is a requirement of ISO9001, and it’s also smart business because in the future that person keeps all senior people ‘in-the-loop’ on quality related issues that affect the company.
Our rates are inclusive of all costs for metropolitan area work, such as travel, computer hire, meals, etc. I’d expect about two weeks of full-time work (8 hr/day) for a company of your size, but that depends on how many documents will need to be written. Our people would work from your offices, along-side your own people. If it is better to work from your regional office because all documents are there, we can do that too, but all accommodation, travel costs and other related expenses would be to your account.
You should also contact a ISO 9001 certifying organisation and get their input and a quote for the ISO 9001 certification audit and possibly even a pre-audit. We recommend that you allow about AUD$10K for certification and the ISO 9001 certificate for a small organisation less than 100 people. Each year you will need to pay annual fees, and the Certifying Body may also require that you have additional audits. Every 3 years they have to conduct a full compliance audit.
If you have any questions, please ask me.
My best regards to you,
Lifetime Reliability Solutions HQ