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Quality Standards ISO 9001:2000

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Quality Standards ISO 9001:2000

Quality Standards were developed to assist companies control quality and maintain a high standard of customer satisfaction.  Quality has become a lot more than that, quality standards can assist your company with good management practices, reduce risk and increase profit margins.

A good quality system should not be written just to satisfy the accreditation process, but should be written with the company's business practices in mind and to enhance procedures and policies to ensure sound operation.

The principles of the ISO Quality System can be applied to every company, regardless of its size, type or industry.  Having a good quality system in place will ensure that your products, services are of the highest standards, your customers are happy and the future of your organisation is heading in the right direction.

What is ISO?
ISO is the International Organization for Standardization, based in Switzerland it was established in 1947 to develop common international standards.  It has members from over 140 countries worldwide, comprising of .

ISO published its first standards in 1987 and revised in 1994. ISO 9000 refers to the set of quality management standards. The 1994 standards are known as ISO9001.  A new set of standards were released in November 2001, these are known as ISO 9001:2000.  The transition from an existing ISO9001 standard to a ISO 2000 standard can be achieved relatively easily.  If you are starting a new Quality Management System, it would be best to use the new ISO 2000 standards.

What is the difference between ISO 9000 and ISO 14000?
ISO 9000 is primarily concerned with quality management.  In plain English this means anything that affects a product or service required by a customer and what that organisation does to ensure that a certain standard of quality is achieved and maintained.

ISO 14000 is primarily concerned with the environment.  In plain English, what an organisation does to manage the impact of its activities on the environment.

What are ISO 9001, 9004 and other standards?
All these standards and many others are part of the same ISO 9000 standards. Each one is a guideline or standard that is used to measure certain parts of the business.  For example 9004 are Guidelines for Performance Improvements, where as ISO 10006:1997 is the Guidelines to Quality in Project Management.  There are also industry specific guidelines like ISO/TS 16949:1999 which is specific to the automotive industry.

How do I use the standards in my company?
Each company has different requirements and each has it's own reasons for following the Quality System, however no matter what type of company you have, the goal should be the same.... to improve quality, reduce risk, measure effectiveness, increase productivity and increase profit margins.

RISK- A quality system can assist your company in determining its risk areas and implementing measures to reduce and control risk. By assessing the critical areas of your business, documenting the processes and measuring against the standards, you will be able to put in place contingency plans. 

IMPROVE QUALITY- By measuring and controlling your companies output, you can identify quality issues and implement appropriate measures to increase quality standards of your product.  Customer satisfaction is the main objective, an increase in product quality will ensure continual customer support.

MEASUREMENT - This refers to the measurement of effectiveness throughout your organisation.  It is amazing how many companies do not have in place ways of measuring the effectiveness of their processes.  It is also important to measure your company against the opposition, the industry and most importantly your customer's satisfaction.

PRODUCTIVITY - An increase in productivity can only be achieved by identifying deficiencies and implementing measures to improve these.  It is essential to continually identify improvement opportunities and react to these promptly.

PROFIT - An increase in productivity, quality, effectiveness and customer satisfaction will increase your bottom line.  Your organisation will grow in market share and gain a reputation for quality, this means growth and profits.

How do I implement a Quality Management System?
Implementing a Quality Management System (QMS) is not that difficult, the key is planning and commitment.  How complex or simple the QMS is depends entirely on your organisation and what your objectives are.  It can be simply a guide to your company's policies and procedures or it can document every task and procedure.  It really depends on how much risk is involved and how much control is required.  

We have prepared a guide to assist you in implementing a QMS in your organisation, this is a guide that should be used in conjunction with the ISO 9000:2000 standards.  It is essential that you obtain a set of standards before you implement a QMS in your organisation.  

The Quality Management System Implementation Guide.

For further information see our Standards Directory.







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