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ISOtec and ISO 9000
ISO 9001:2000 - the new fully revised quality management system - ISOtec are ready to assist your needs - details here
Click here for ISO 9000 training for: introduction, transition, internal auditor, lead auditor, tutored audits and Guidance for Top Management
What is ISO 9000 – the Quality Management Standard?
ISO 9000 is emerging for many companies around the world including the United States as a standard to implement within their business. ISO 9000 is an internationally recognized standard that sets the requirements for establishing and maintaining an effective quality management system. It provides confidence to your customers of your organization's commitment to quality. It encourages a system of continuous improvement that provides quality time after time through the prevention of error so as to achieve total customer satisfaction. Surprisingly many companies still do not realize the full objectives and powerful benefits of implementing an ISO 9000 system. The following section helps to explain what the ISO 9000 standard is all about.
What is quality? When applied to a physical product, you can visually inspect, measure or test for quality e.g. the cut, clarity, carat and color of a diamond. When examining a management system, how can you inspect, measure or test the quality and effectiveness of the system? If you can’t measure or test for it, how can you consistently produce good quality first time and all the time? The answer is ISO 9001:2000
Why do you need quality? Customer satisfaction is often recognized as the most important factor in maintaining an organization’s competitiveness and for achieving business success. Customer requirements are often incorporated in "specifications". But having a quality product or service that meets the customer’s requirements is not enough if there are deficiencies in the management system that supply and support the product. It is no good having the best chef in town if your supplier has just given you rotten vegetables and you deliver the wrong meal on dirty plates after two hours’ delay. That example may be a bit extreme; but your business needs a quality management system to maintain your capability to meet or exceed your customers’ requirements every time - the assurance of total customer satisfaction through the prevention of error. Satisfied customers become repeat customers because they enjoy or even rely on the quality service you provide – and repeat business is money in the bank for years to come.
Why ISO 9000? ISO 9000 is an internationally recognized standard that sets out the requirements for establishing and maintaining an effective quality management system. The ISO 9000 standard describes features that a quality system should include - but does not tell you how your organization should implement them (A bit like playing football - anyone can read the rules but a winning team needs tactics and strategies from an experienced coach - which is where ISOtec can help you). How your organization documents and operates a quality system is dependent on your products, processes, objectives and practices. Proof of an effective ISO 9000 system provides confidence to your customers of your organization’s commitment to customer satisfaction. ISO 9000 encourages a system of continuous improvement within your process that provides quality time after time through the prevention of error so as to achieve total customer satisfaction. Although originally written in terms of a manufacturing process, the requirements of the standard are generic. ISO 9000 can be applied to all product categories in any industry or economic sector, large or small – from car manufacturers to medical services; from small job-shops to hotels; even public services such as the police department; or back offices (who are often treated as just part of a larger process rather than as a separate unit that also needs to meet targets so as to provide "customer satisfaction" to its Head Office).
What are the benefits? The benefits of using an internationally recognized
standard such as ISO 9000 are enormous. The quality certificate acts
as a badge of excellence that provides a distinct marketing tool and
competitive advantage over your rivals. Also, many customers now require
proof that your quality management system meets ISO 9000 requirements
before they will let you tender. Similarly, some banks require ISO 9000
as proof of your management ability before providing a loan. However,
ISO 9000 is more than just a badge or a key to access some customers.
The ISO 9000 management system is aimed at achieving customer satisfaction
by meeting or exceeding customer expectations through continuous improvement
and the prevention of error and non-conformities. This continuous improvement
is the starting point of building excellence into every activity of your
business – a concept known as total quality management or TQM.
Not only will you improve the satisfaction of your external customers
but you can target your "internal customers" as well. As the
saying goes "everyone has suppliers; everyone is a supplier; everyone
has customers; everyone is a customer". So now you have the foundations
for applying or demanding total customer satisfaction at every process
within your organization. But business
excellence and TQM are another
Implementing a good system takes time – typically six to twelve months but shorter time periods are feasible. And the process need not be expensive - in fact ISOtec provides a range of methods for you to choose from that can then be adapted to suit your exact circumstances and needs. Operating and improving your quality management system can become the essential life-blood of many businesses as you strive towards total customer satisfaction and business excellence; but the initial setting up and implementation of that system can have a negative influence by diverting your attention away from your core business. This is one reason why businesses bring in outside help such as ISOtec. ISOtec also brings enormous experience and expertise from successfully implementing management systems across many industries. ISOtec prides itself in ensuring that your written procedures are complete but flexible so that they compliment your process and not hinder it with unnecessary paperwork. Some training will also be required to a few personnel so that they can regularly audit your system to ensure its continued effectiveness and compliance. When our management systems are fully documented and implemented along with the proper training for your employees, then your business will produce consistently high levels of quality resulting in sustained customer satisfaction and towards the achievement of business excellence.
Below are some sample ways in which ISOtec might provide assistance to you:
The cost of training (which is virtually the whole cost of method 4 above) could be further reduced by attendance on our public open courses or our ISO 9000 consortium (regular training sessions at a local venue in "consortium" with representatives from other companies).
Please contact us to obtain more information and to arrange a free consultation. We will be happy to visit your offices to discuss how our processes can benefit you and the best method for achieving your goals.
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