Up until recently ISO 9001:2008 was the standard for quality management and companies made good use of it. It offered a range of proven best practices and guidelines for businesses and organisations. Along with the changing landscape in business came the new revision, ISO 9001:2015, launched late last year.
Obtaining an ISO 9001 certification provides significant benefits for Australian businesses and with the new standard, it has become an even more crucial element for successful businesses. If you have the old certification you do need to ensure you transition to the current standard, which really does look to change the way we think about quality management. It delivers a more streamlined process for critical tasks and how information flows within the organisation.
3 key reasons to seek Quality Management certification are:
Enhanced Quality Management
While the goal of the ISO 9001 standard – to improve the overall performance of organisations – has not changed, the regulating body modified the basic principles and concepts of quality management. The latest ISO 9001 aims to better define and align quality management with overall business management. The idea is that the standard assists organisations to have a consistent delivery of products and services so that customers know what to expect and organisations are able to conform to those parameters.
The change in procedures is helpful because it ultimately determines the organisational achievements in terms of reputation and profitability – rather than a set of requirements that may not fit all circumstances. This means that organisations have greater flexibility in how to implement ISO 9001:2015, whilst still reaping the benefits of parameters for quality management success.
In addition, the new standard now looks at all levels of the organisation, changing their language from management commitment to leadership and commitment. The organisational chart is more clearly defined, starting from the top levels of the management down to its broader sectors. This means that the top levels of management must be involved and cannot just delegate the responsibility. With this improvement, it’s now much easier to accurately measure the effectiveness and quality of management. In other words, people in the organisation will have a clearer idea about their roles and duties, and how their performance will be measured and related back to quality management.
The latest version of ISO 9001 has also seen a shift to a broader-scoped risk management, which highlights the significance of putting the process at the centre of management. Risk-based thinking is about encouraging organisations to be proactive, as well as helping them to make decisions by providing a structure to manage the risk.
More Data Visibility
ISO 9001:2015 requires companies to inject more visibility over diverse, shared documents and data. Managers need to implement information management foundations that give them solid control and reporting. This then provides a much more accurate outlook of the business as it now and how it may look in the future.
The new standard is less prescriptive in terms of data management, as it recognises the unique requirements of individual organisations. However, it does help organisations create a single view that encompasses all digital information assets and data. The focus is that it is the output that matters – ensuring that organisations have access to data that helps them to make decisions and understand how quality management is implemented across the entire organisation.
The idea of quality management is that it is the driving force behind customer satisfaction, so having a clear line of sight of data is a vitally important element of quality management. Access to data can help organisations to quickly identify any issues and act on them, to understand what is working well (and why) and to help make decisions about new or altered product lines or service offerings.
In a very clear shift in direction ISO 9001:2015 is about the performance of the organisation, looking at what they are setting out to achieve, rather than how to achieve it, with a focus on information-centric processes throughout the business. The result is that effective quality management can then further boost productivity, improve control, automate workflow management and better integrate previously disparate business systems. This return on investment (ROI) can be more easily implemented and tracked because the quality management is individual to the organisation.
In addition, the new version of the standard is much easier to integrate with other standards, reflecting the fact that many organisations seek certification to more than one ISO standard. This allows them to more easily reflect a ROI on their investment in certification.
If you want to know more how an ISO certification can benefit your company or organisation, you can read it here.
ISO has released its plans for the next certification by 2020 through its ISO Strategy 2016-2020. Click here to learn more about the future plans for ISO.
And if you would like to know more about ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management, please get in touch.
Thinking of improving your quality management? Find out if you’re certification ready with our helpful checklists. Download them free below or via our Resources page.