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You have done it, the ISO9001:2015 certificate is on the wall and all that hard work of building a Quality Management System that really delivers for your organisation is behind you, so why are we talking about a journey?
Firstly, it is important to stop for a moment and celebrate what you and the team have achieved. It says a lot about an organisation that they are willing to put in the work as a team to obtain an ISO9001:2015 accreditation. It's not a quick and easy task and it's not something that is possible to do on your own, especially with the changes to the standard from 2008. So, celebrate as a team, shout a company lunch or at the very least some cake!
It's easy to relax and rest a bit, the risk here however is that you slip back into old habits and some of your new processed start to erode through lack of use and care. In many ways this is worse than never having started the original journey as people know the effort that they all put into gaining the certification and the thought of it slipping is not a good one.
Run your non-conformance sessions to ensure that the organisation is getting the value and learning from the issues that have come up. Gather your customer feedback and share that with your teams. Ensure that the calibrations are being maintained and that the internal audit program you designed is being followed and those higher risk areas are getting the attention they deserve. In short, make sure the wheels on your system continue to go around.
Most importantly ensure that you keep educating people on your quality system, what they should be doing and make certain that your management reviews keep going and that they keep generating the improvements to the Quality Management System you expect from them.
When you think about the hours of effort you and your team put into building your systems and turn that into actual dollars then the number generally isn't a small one, and others are going to say this either directly or indirectly when they find they have to follow a system that wasn't there before.
Something that makes sense then is to ensure you track the value that your Quality Management System is generating, essentially how much money can you track to the bottom-line because of it. Some ideas of area's you could track could be the number of returns or complaints that the company gets. If your quality systems are working these should be reducing over time and so should the costs. What about the improvement in your internal quality, this again should result in lower manufacturing costs through reduction in rework but also increased throughput. That's right if your quality system is working correctly you should see an increase in the speed that things go through your business.
Another measure you should consider is what jobs you now win that you couldn't get access to before since you didn't have the ISO9000 certification. These are new sales and so new contributions to the profit lines you would not have got if you didn't have that certificate so you should track it.
Over time all of those things add up to a pretty large payback.
Don't forget that a key part of your quality management system, think clause 10, is continuous improvement. That also includes your QMS system. You need to continuously test your system to ensure that it's adding value to your organisation, that the processes and procedures you have implemented still make sense. If they don't then change them, simplify them, remove things you don't want or need. Every time you do this you reduce the cost to maintain your system and it becomes leaner in the right places and just as importantly it will build confidence in your system. As you tune and change your system people in the organisation see that the system isn't fixed but fluid, it adapts to the organisations needs and focuses on providing value, they appreciate this and tend to get on board with it.
Getting your ISO9001:2015 certificate on the wall is a great achievement but it's only the start. You need to ensure that you follow through on keeping the system running and continually look for improvement in the systems removing what adds no value to your organisation. You need to measure the value that your system is giving to the business obviously in terms of improved quality systems but also in terms of dollars saved and dollars added to the business because you have the certificate.
If you need any support in developing or improving your ISO or Quality Systems we'd love to hear from you, just click here to make an appointment and find out how we can help you Make Things, Better
You can also call John on 0211649739 to set up a meeting
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