One Year of ISO 9001 Certification
Quality Industries now celebrates a year of ISO 9001:2008 certification. And in our celebration, we can look back over the past year, and see the significant steps we have taken—as part of the ISO process—to fulfill our customers' quality requirements, enhance customer satisfaction, and move forward to improve our performance and capabilities.
“ISO 9001 is an industry standard for quality management, and it fully supports the drive for continuous improvement—something our QI team relentlessly strives to achieve,”says Warren Hayslip, President & CEO. “When we received the ISO certification a year ago, we made an ongoing commitment to ourselves and our customers to improve every aspect of our business. Our team now takes great pride in the way we’ve maintained that certification and the progress we have made since.”
Also, encouraged by the ISO 9001 requirements, we completed a detailed gap analysis of our operations, and identified ways to improve our process standardization. With this roadmap in place, we began to streamline the identification, development, and documentation of our operational processes. This movement toward process standardization, in turn, strengthened our drive to continuous improvement and helped us to identify optimal methods to complete critical work. Finally, bringing these processes to higher levels of visibility, as required by the ISO process, bolstered our abilities to deliver results. Read more about the results we’ve witnessed.
Document control is another key element of our ISO 9001 program. ISO requires that organizations have an adequate system in place to purge and remove any predecessor documents, so that only the most current documents are referenced for ongoing work. To comply with this ISO requirements, QI had to demonstrate effective control of our customer drawings and revision levels as part of current active jobs, and indicate how that transfer of information related to work instructions, specific revisions, building, and materials. Ultimately, this integrated effort had to create a system of checks and balances to ensure that customer requirements were updated and maintained through our entire document change—from requests for quotes, to operator instructions, and to preventative maintenance (in terms of records on a machine for a given punch). During our journey to ISO 9001 certification, we soon recognized some weaknesses in our old system of document control. And by making a few key adjustments, we were able to significantly upgrade our control system, and address the issues mentioned above.
Finally, gauge calibration is another area impacted by ISO 9001. Under the ISO certification process, companies are required to provide a system of gauge identification that allows gauges (whether employee- or company-owned) to be monitored and measured. This has an important, positive impact on product quality because it helps to ensure that all gauges measure correctly. While QI had already established a gauge calibration process, the ISO requirements pointed out some weaknesses—such as employees bringing in their own equipment. So, under the ISO 9001 guidelines, we established a new process that required our employees to present any measuring equipment that might be used on the job. And those gauges are now logged and periodically calibrated to verify their effectiveness—thus, to ensure we are consistently producing the highest-quality products.
Thanks to ISO 9001, QI has made considerable strides forward and has implemented significant quality improvements across our enterprise—progress that, of course, we want to celebrate. However, we realize that we cannot rest on past successes—because the future presents ever-increasing demands on our performance and capabilities. But in our relentless drive toward continuous improvement, we know that ISO has played an important foundational role.