Tags Posts tagged with "QMS"

QMS

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Documented Information for ISO 9001:2015

With the relatively recent release of ISO 9001:2015, many companies are still asking themselves what documentation is required. Back with the 2008 release, most companies were comfortable with the six mandatory procedures that were expected of them as well as the need for a quality policy and manual. The update to 2015 has however removed the requirement for a quality manual and blurred the distinction between procedures and records.

With the new release, both documents and records are termed “documented information” and must be controlled and maintained. This is what will form the evidence required to show that you are conforming to the requirements of your quality management system.

Clause 4.4 of ISO 9001 requires your organization to maintain the documented information that is required to support the operation of your processes and to retain that information to be able to have confidence that those processes are being completed as planned.

So what is required by the standard?

The following is a clause-by-clause breakdown of what is required by the standard. However, some of these clauses can be excluded if the company does not perform the relevant processes:

Mandatory records:

  • 7.1.5.1 – Monitoring and measuring equipment calibration records
  • 7.2 – Records of training, skills, experience and qualifications
  • 8.2.3.2 – Product/service requirements review records
  • 8.3.2 – Record about design and development outputs review
  • 8.3.3 – Records about design and development inputs
  • 8.3.4 – Records of design and development controls
  • 8.3.5 – Records of design and development outputs
  • 8.3.6 – Design and development changes records
  • 8.5.1 – Characteristics of product to be produced and service to be provided
  • 8.5.3 – Records about customer property
  • 8.5.6 – Production/service provision change control records
  • 8.6 – Record of conformity of product/service with acceptance criteria
  • 8.7.2 – Record of nonconforming outputs
  • 9.1.1 – Monitoring and measurement results
  • 9.2 – Internal audit program
  • 9.2 – Results of internal audits
  • 9.3 – Results of the management review
  • 10.1 – Results of corrective actions

Other Mandatory Documents:

  • 4.3 – Scope of the QMS
  • 5.2 – Quality policy
  • 6.2 – Quality objectives
  • 8.4.1 – Criteria for evaluation and selection of suppliers

So what does this mean?

You should still tailor your quality management system to meet the requirements of your own business and all of the interested stakeholders. This can be done in any way that your organization sees fit; although a quality manual is still one of the easiest methods. As long as these processes and associated records can be shown to meet the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 effectively then that is fine. If not then the relevant action should be taken to ensure that all of the required clauses are covered.

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Lean System

Introduction to the Lean System

As with anything in life, you will get out as much from your ISO 9001 management system as you put into it. If you treat it as a documentation requirement and burden on your business just to get certification then you are unlikely to see any real benefits; in fact, you may even stifle your own growth.

The aim of any ISO 9001 QMS is to enhance your businesses product or service quality by standardizing and continually improving all of your business processes. This in turn will help you to increase productivity and drive out waste of all forms within your business.

Why Use Lean System with ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 outlines what is required for a certifiable QMS. However if you read ISO 9004 you will see that it suggests a huge amount more than 9001 requires as a minimum. Merely aiming for what the standard requires so that you achieve certification is not going to help you actually improve your business in a way that is going to help you grow it.

A QMS should always consider the customer first, not the standard. It should also be put in place to continually improve the business and its output. Something that is also provided through implementing a Lean system.

Lean Manufacturing has grown out of what is known as the Toyota Production System (TPS), and is why Toyota managed to dominate the world automotive market in such a short space of time. Lean is in its simplest form just another QMS; when you implement Lean you put in place the controls and systems to provide the customer exactly what they want, where they want it, when they want it, in the right quantity, without any waste or delays.

Lean provides you with a host of tools such as 5S, which helps you to set up a highly visual, organized and efficient working space, through to continuous improvement techniques such as Kaizen. Lean fits perfectly within any ISO 9001 QMS and can only help you to further improve and grow your business using proven tools and techniques.

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Quality

Have you ever stood staring at a range of products in a supermarket trying to make up your mind which one to buy?  They all look quite similar, but one stands out and you buy it.  Why?  It’s got a sign on the shelf and a logo on the product to tell you that it’s won an award for quality.

So you’ve just based your purchase on Quality – Your customers are making the same decision every day!

Quality is more than just finished product, it’s the processes, systems and people that are behind the product.   Quality is everybody’s responsibility.

Quality is the pursuit of excellence, striving to be the best we can and getting ahead of our competitors.  It is meeting the needs and expectations of all stakeholders – our customers, our suppliers, our staff and the community at large.

How can we ensure that we are exploiting all avenues to be the very best?  A recognized standard such as ISO 9001 certification promotes the use of quality tools in business.   The ASQ (American society for quality) estimates that for every €1 spent on a quality management system, such as ISO 9001, returns €6 in revenue, €16 in cost reduction and €3 in profit – that’s €25 for every €1 spent!

93% of organisations agree that the implementation of a quality management system such as ISO9001 was a significant driver of success and most would agree that without it they could not justify their pricing to customers.

If you are looking at ways to improve your ROI by improving your quality then consider ISO certification.   Using an expert to help you implement a quality management system will ensure ISO 9001:2015 accreditation which will in turn help you make significant improvements and lead to significant growth.

 

This post has been a guest posting from Joann O’Brian over at our friends at CG Business Consulting Ireland .

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No matter how many audits someone has gone through, knowing that someone will come and check your work always generates some tension and anxiety. Here are some recommendations to get rid of the fear and prepare for a successful ISO 9001 audit.

Prepare employees.

  • Refresh the quality policy and make sure everyone understands it. There is no need for workers to memorize it, but they should have a clear understanding of what the organization has committed to in terms of quality.
  • Refresh quality objectives. Workers should know what the organization’s quality objectives are and how they contribute in achieving them. They should know and be able to explain how their day to day activities can influence these objectives.
  • Ensure that everyone has been properly trained to perform their tasks.
  • Make sure everyone knows where to find procedures, work instructions and forms relevant to perform and record correctly a specific activity or process.
  • Let everyone know the scope of the audit, what will auditors be checking in their areas and when they will be audited.
  • Workers should have the confidence to answer what they know, and have the same confidence to say ‘’I don’t know” when they are not sure what they are going to answer.

Check all documented information.

  • Make sure document and record list has been updated.
  • Check that all documents have been reviewed, approved, communicated and followed by everyone involved in the process or activity.
  • Make sure no one is using obsolete documents.
  • Verify that all records are being used and that they are being filled out correctly.

Ensure all processes are being performed correctly.

  • Make sure that all the procedures (whether they are documented or not) are being followed.
  • Ensure that critical processes are being performed in the same way (correct way) by everyone.

Review the corrective and preventive action process.

  • Review the findings from previous audits and make sure they have been attended.
  • All nonconformities must be properly recorded, investigated and actions need to be in place or concluded by the time of the audit.
  • Corrective actions that have been executed and closed need to have a proper verification of its effectiveness.

Organize the workplace.

  • It is very hard for quality control and assurance to happen in a messy, dirty and unorganized workplace, and auditors know that. So, take time to organize the workplace (offices, desks, warehouses, workshop floor, etc.).
  • Make sure records, forms, procedures and any relevant documents are at hand and easy to find.

Prepare to have a nice and professional audit.

  • Make a good first impression. Treat auditors professionally and with respect from day 1.
  • Do not be predisposed. Auditors are not enemies, they will come to help the organization uncover their defects and weaknesses in order to take the necessary actions to improve.

Do not wait for the last minute to prepare for the audit.

  • Preparing for an audit takes time and effort. The sooner the organizations begins to prepare for their audit, the more successful it will be. So start soon!

 

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ISO 9001 System

Here are some of the most common mistakes made by organizations when managing an ISO 9001 system:

Mistake 1. Top management is not committed to the ISO 9001 system.  If top management is not involved in quality, if they don’t provide the resources and mechanism to plan, control and improve their products, services and processes, ISO 9001 can not be sustained over time. It’s essential for top management to take decisions that demonstrate that quality, improvement and customer satisfaction are an important issue.

 

Mistake 2. Not training key personnel in ISO 9001. Not knowing what ISO 9001 is all about can be a big mistake. It is important for organizations to train key personnel (someone who has a decision-making role) in ISO 9001, in order to understand what ISO 9001 really is and what it requires. Not knowing nor understanding ISO 9001 can take organizations through a path of disappointment and despair.

 

Mistake 3. Not training all personnel. Everyone must receive training on the important quality aspects of the activities and processes they work in. Everyone must understand the importance of quality and how they can achieve it. The training must be consonant with their responsibilities and the activities they perform.

 

Mistake 4. Making the system complex. If the organization is working to keep the system alive, it is a sign that it is too complex and all the work of filling out forms and documenting procedures is not adding value to the organization. The system must be kept simple and practical, and it should focus on results and improvements, and not on documents.

 

Mistake 5. Not using the corrective action process properly. Organizations need to take the time to investigate their problems and involve the right people in the investigation process. Most problems are recurrent, so using the corrective action process correctly will reduce or eliminate their recurrence.

 

Mistake 6. Not knowing what customers want. One of the objectives of ISO 9001 is to improve or increase customer satisfaction, and if organizations do not take the time to listen to their customers, they will not be able to reach this goal. A long and complicated survey is not necessary nor recommended, just by asking a few key questions will give organizations enough information to determine and plan for changes that will aim to fulfill this goal.

 

Mistake 7. Rushing into the implementation process. To build a solid ISO 9001 management system takes work and time.Trying to implement the system in a short time will be counterproductive. Organizations need to take the necessary time to plan, do, check and act in order to implement a system that will improve their products, services and processes.

 

Mistake 8. Not having a trained and experienced internal auditor. In many cases, internal auditors lack the necessary training and experience to distinguish small details from big issues in the QMS. Auditors need to focus on the issues that will help organizations improve their processes and the system itself.

 

Mistake 9. Believing that what works for one organization will work for their own. Every organization is different and what may work for one, may not work for another. Organizations need to focus on their specific context in order to build and develop their management system around it.

 

Mistake 10. Leaving the responsibility of the QMS to one person. ISO 9001 needs to be the work of an entire organization. If people do not take ownership of the QMS, it will not work out. People need to incorporate quality in their work and activities and an outsider will not achieve that. Guidance and training is needed, but if quality is not done on a daily basis in every process then the system will never add value to the organization.

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Top 5 Tips for Effective Procedures

The ISO 9001 quality management system requires for organizations to write different procedures to prevent non-conformances and to guaranty that specific jobs and processes are carried out correctly.

When writing these effective procedures it is essential to take the following into account:

1. Identify what type of procedure or document needs to be developed.

 

Different documents are essential in the QMS and each type of procedure or document has a specific role and objective. Some of the most commonly used documents in an ISO 9001 QMS are:

  • Manuals: define the general aspects of business management (Quality Management Manual).
  • Operating Procedures: Explain how an activity or process unfolds. Usually the most common documents.
  • Technical notes and instructions: further develop the content of an activity. They are mainly focused on fieldwork.
  • Guides: These are similar to the procedures and technical notes, but with the proviso that they are not binding guidance.

2. Know in detail the structure of a procedure or document.

Organizations need to define a structure and a standard way to write these effective procedures in order to guaranty that they are written in a consistent manner. Knowing the structure will facilitate the process of gathering the essential information necessary to write an effective procedure.

The structure may vary from organization to organization; however, a structure that many organizations use is provided below:

  • Home: the first page of the procedure usually includes the title, code, date of writing, version number (or revision), table of contents, total number of pages, name and signatures of the persons who have prepared, reviewed and approved it.
  • Purpose and Scope: Describes a summary of the purpose and content of the procedure.
  • References: documents that have influenced the development of the procedure are listed.
  • Definitions: technical words that are used in the content of the procedure.
  • Responsibilities: list of individuals or departments responsible for carrying out the activities described in the procedure.
  • Development (or description): describe in detail the activity performed.
  • Annexes: everything that is considered important but that takes up too much space to include it in the description section (tables, drawings, diagrams).

3. Review the document with the people that will use it.

In order for a procedure or any document to be effective, it must be understood by the people who will ultimately use it. That’s why it is important for these people to review the document at different stages of its development. Effective procedures have been reviewed directly by the people who will be using it the most.

4. Consider different people’s views and perspectives.

A procedure should not be developed with the view or information of just one person. Most processes or activities that need to be document could be complex and having different perspectives can enrich the procedure. Effective procedures will multiple views into account.

 

5. Make it simple.

Procedures should not be difficult to read. On the contrary, they must be clear and concise. Sentences must be as short as possible to make sure that it is comprehensive and easy to read. If procedures are never read or understood by the intended audience, they are not likely to serve as an effective tool in any process. Effective procedures need to be readable by everyone involved in the process.

 

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ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 are standards that complement each other and their implementation aims to ensure quality success and reach improved performance in any organization. Both these standards can be implemented independently or simultaneously; however, the most common scenario is for organizations to implement ISO 9001 and later use ISO 9004 to improve their processes and to obtain long term benefit from a more broad-based Quality Management System.

These standards are both similar in terms of structure and terminology used to allow easy integration. They are also based on the same quality management principles, therefore, when an organization has successfully implemented ISO 9001, it is relatively simple to integrate ISO 9004 and achieve an improved performance.

The best way to integrate these complementary standards is by doing the following:

Organizations need to identify and rank their quality needs, where the most basic needs are at the bottom and address ISO 9001 requirements and at the top are the needs to achieve improved performance. After identifying and ranking these needs, organizations must work up from ISO 9001 to ISO 9004 one step at a time.

Effectiveness

One of the basic needs that should be addressed is the effectiveness of the quality management system, that include areas such as

  1. meeting customer requirements;
  2. prevention of customer dissatisfaction;
  3. recalls and defects; and
  4. the production of safe products.

Efficiency

After meeting the effectiveness of the system, the efficiency should be then addressed. Here the focus should be

  1. the efficient use of resources;
  2. the reduction of material costs;
  3. the decrease of cycle times; and
  4. the increase of the organizations productivity.

Competitive Advantage

Achieving competitive advantage should be the last need to address; here it is essential to focus on ensuring delighted customers, increasing market share and increasing profitability.

This process is continuous, because an organization may never relegate it’s basic needs to address its top ones. It must constantly work in meeting all of them and ISO 9004 gives guidance on how to achieve this continuous improved performance.

Before attempting to integrate ISO 9001 and ISO 9004, it is essential to fully understand them both; even though they complement each other, they have different roles and different approaches. They each have a role to play in providing value to any organization that decides to embrace them both to improve their quality management system and achieve long term success.

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ISO 20000

Every organization is different and even though an ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS) is directed to achieve and increase customer satisfaction, its design and implementation is influenced by the different needs and objectives of an organization.

In order to meet and improve customer satisfaction it’s essential to monitor and measure performance by using different indicators. Performance indicators are tools used for determining how and to what degree an organization is meeting guidelines, policies, objectives, requirements and targets set in their ISO 9001 QMS.

These performance indicators are set by the organization and they vary from one organization to another. Each organization must decide which performance indicators are more suitable to the nature of their industry sector and their objectives.

What should be considered is that these indicators must be measurable and achievable. They must refer to the system’s critical processes, they must accurately represent the target to be measured, and they should be quantifiable, cost-effective, reliable and allow management to know the information in real time.

Below, the critical areas to be measured and some examples of indicators are mentioned.

Cost Indicators

These are performance indicators that evaluate the activities that consume economic resources in different processes.

  • Percentage costs spent on energy consumption.
  • Percentage return on investment.
  • Percentage cost of carrying out reworking or correcting errors.

Time Indicators

These performance indicators measure the time consumed in an activity or process and considers the time from the beginning to the end of the selected process or activity. For example:

  • Percentage number of products or services delivered on time.
  • Percentage number of products or services delivered late.

Productivity Indicators

These performance indicators measure the efficiency of resources in the operation. Some of these could be:

  • Percentage machine/equipment utilization.
  • Percentage of downtime.

Quality Indicators

These performance indicators calculate the effectiveness in the development of activities or processes, delivering results based on the number of errors, number of perfect and flawless deliveries. An example is:

  • Percentage number of products or services needing rework.
  • Percentage of customers ‘very satisfied’.

As mentioned above, these indicators may vary; the important thing to keep in mind is that they should serve as a tool for improving the quality of decisions regarding the processes and the ISO 9001 QMS itself.

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Quality Control and Quality Assurance
Quality Control and Quality Assurance are both players of the same team and it is not possible to guarantee customer satisfaction if either one is missing.

Quality Control and Quality Assurance are both aspects of an organization’s quality management system (QMS), and even though they are closely related concepts, they are different in many ways. Understanding their differences is fundamental for any organization to effectively manage its resources and processes in order to deliver quality products and services.

To start, one of their main differences is that Quality Assurance is a prevention strategy oriented to prevent defects and Quality Control is a detection strategy oriented to detect defects. Here, an explanation of some of their differences is presented.

Focus of Quality Control and Quality Assurance:

  • Quality Assurance aims to prevent defects with a focus on the process that produces the product or service; thus it is process oriented.
  • Quality Control aims to detect (and correct) defects in the finished product, which makes it product oriented.

Goal of Quality Control and Quality Assurance:

  • The goal of Quality Assurance is to develop processes and procedures that will ensure that quality products and services are produced.
  • The goal of Quality Control is to check the products and services for defects that may have arisen during their development in order to deliver defect-free products or services to customers.

How Quality Control and Quality Assurance are Conducted:

  • Quality Assurance is conducted by establishing and defining standards and methodologies that must be followed during a process to ensure products and services meet customer requirements.
  • Quality Control is carried out by conducting tests and inspections to detect errors and flaws in products or services.

When Quality Control and Quality Assurance are Conducted:

  • Quality Assurance is a proactive process that takes place before the product or service is produced or delivered.
  • Quality Control is a reactive process that is performed during the manufacturing process and after the products are produced.

Despite their differences, Quality Assurance and Quality Control are both players of the same team and it is not possible to guarantee customer satisfaction if either one is missing. Achieving success requires both; if only Quality Assurance is applied, there will be no way of knowing if the procedures and processes are producing the expected outcomes. On the other hand, if only Quality Control is conducted an organization will not have a way of making repeatable and reliable results.

Quality is ensured by an organization performing the right tasks in the right way and by making sure that their efforts have produced the expected results. Quality Assurance and Quality Control complement each other and both these processes provide the necessary information for the continuous improvement of a QMS that meets the requirements of an organization’s customers.

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Effective Internal Audits

ISO 9001 and 9004 are both part of the ISO 9000 family of standards. These standards, even though they’re both about quality management systems (QMS), they have some important aspects that differentiate them. Many organizations, when seeking to establish or improve a QMS, tend to get confused about which standard to use or if they should use both. In exploring ISO 9001 vs 9004, the main differences between them will be highlighted.

Purpose.

  • ISO 9001 provides a framework for a systematic approach to managing an organization’s processes so that their products or services are consistent and meet client expectations. It also ensures the organization meets applicable laws, regulations and other requirements.
  • The ISO 9004 standard is intended to help organizations extend the benefits of their QMS to stakeholders and all other interested parties, helping to give sustained success.
Exploring ISO 9001 vs 9004
Exploring ISO 9001 vs 9004: These standards complement each other, so they can be used simultaneously by an organization, and they can also be used independently.

Certification.

  • ISO 9001 is a requirements document. It is the only ISO 9000 family standard which an organization can be certified against in order to demonstrate conformance to its requirements.
  • On the other hand, ISO 9004 is a guidance document on how to achieve continuous improvement to get excellence for the organization. It is not intended for certification.

Focus.

  • ISO 9001 standard’s main focus is on customer requirements. This standard focuses on assuring conformance to defined customer requirements and ensure effective response to customer feedback.
  • ISO 9004 focuses mainly on meeting the requirements of customers and all other interested parties. It aims at balancing the needs of all stakeholders in order to achieve sustained success.

Continual Improvement.

  • In ISO 9001 continual improvement of the QMS is achieved mainly by performing management reviews, internal/external audits and corrective/preventive actions.
  • ISO 9004 promotes self-assessment in order for organizations to identify areas of strength or weakness and opportunities for either improvements or innovations, or both. It guides organizations on setting realistic and challenging improvement goals for their processes.

There are many other differences between both these standards; however, what is important to understand is that:

  • They are both intended to be used by any organization, regardless of their size and nature, to establish and improve their QMS;
  • ISO 9001 is intended for certification and ISO 9004 is not and;
  • ISO 9001 is focused mainly on customer satisfaction and ISO 9004 has a broader focus that include all stakeholders in order to achieve sustained success.

Many people believe that ISO 9004 is a guideline for the implementation of ISO 9001, however, this is not true. These standards complement each other, so they can be used simultaneously by an organization, and they can also be used independently. Some organizations decide to use ISO 9001 to establish and improve their QMS and then move on to ISO 9004 as a guide to obtain long term benefit from a more broad-based QMS.