ISO 9001 certification is a must-have for most manufacturing and service companies. The certification is increasingly required in subcontracts, especially by European multinationals.
- Increased marketability
- Reduction of operational expenses
- Better management control
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Improved internal communication
- Improved customer service
- Reduction of product-liability risks
- Increased attractiveness to investors
To achieve ISO 9001 certification, a manufacturer must collect, update and share its large library of ISO documents with single point access to the latest documentation. This is a humongous task using paper-based documents and processes. Digitising the document processes would help simplify and streamline the certification process.
Some of the processes that must be standardized and documented in ISO 9001 include:
- Quality Manual – The quality manual defines how each requirement of the rather generic ISO 9001:2008 standard is applied at the company.
- Quality Procedures – The quality procedures are the essence of the ISO 9001 documentation. The ISO 9001 quality procedures explicitly describe how certain key processes within the company must be performed and who is responsible for them.
- Quality Policy – The quality policy is the company’s policy defining its stance towards quality and customer satisfaction.
- Quality Objectives – The quality objectives define measurable goals relative to the company’s quality management system.
- Process Flowchart – The process flowchart is a description of how the various processes of the ISO 9001 QMS interact with each other.
- Work Instructions – Work instructions are the most detailed and most company-specific of all ISO 9001 documents. Work instructions describe in detail how particular tasks must be performed. Work instructions are typically written by the people who perform the actual work.
- Records – Records are different from the above documents, all of which provide directions on how to conduct business. Records, on the other hand, are evidence of things done. ISO 9001:2008 contains numerous explicit requirements on records plus requirements for many more undefined records.
Most organizations are unaware that even if they previously went through the ISO 9001 certification process, things are changing. A new ISO 9001 standard has been published in September 2015. This means that the ISO 9001:2008 standard will become obsolete on September 14, 2018, and that all ISO 9001:2008 certifications issued in late 2015 and beyond bear an expiry date of September 14, 2018.
There has never been a better opportunity than now to examine the underlying document management practices associated with ISO 9001 certification. Certifying against the new standard provides an opportunity to view ISO 9001 not only as a paper documentation exercise, but as an opportunity for digitizing document processes – and in the process transforming the business. Leading organizations are increasingly realising that if approached strategically through a document management system, compliance-mandated digital documents can provide a foundation for more effective processes throughout the business and provide insights that are critical to digital transformation.
If you are considering the implementation of a document management system for your business, but you are still on the fence when it comes to selecting the right solution, please e-mail us on email@example.com and we will be glad to assist you.