Get back to the meaning of Quality with 9001: A Quality Odyssey

Think quality is boring? That can only be attributable to human error. 

Sure: bolt sizes, calibrations, documents, procedures, work instructions…yeah, there’s nothing particularly compelling about all that, on the surface, anyway. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll be surprised what you find. 

If you missed our exclusive webinar, 9001: A Quality Odyssey, check it out whenever you like by heading over to our on-demand webinar library. This decidedly un-boring special presentation will open the pod bay doors of your mind by getting back to the meaning of quality management and turning to the very roots of standardization.

Far from a boring history lesson, A Quality Odyssey will link the quality standards of today to the very need for standardization and measurement in the first place, and look at the evolution of quality systems throughout the ages and what they mean for businesses today. 

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Understanding the business benefits of consensus-based standards

Businesses seek ISO certification for a variety of reasons: attracting and retaining customers and clients, boosting brand image, and more.

Getting executive buy-in for ISO certification can sometimes be a challenge, and even leaders who have made the decision to seek standards certification – be it ISO 9001, ISO 14001, or any other widely used standards – often fail to consider the unsung rewards of certification.

Businesses that implement ISO standards often focus on the perceived burdens of adoption, such as expansive paper trails, demanding document management, and seemingly interminable audits. They forget that, when executed and implemented properly, certification can spell rich financial rewards.

Well, thanks to the folks at the World Standards Cooperative (WSC), an organization that promotes voluntary, consensus-based standards, business leaders have access to a variety of tools that illustrate the business benefits of adopting ISO standards. The WSC website contains links to dozens of such resources, including:

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Training and quality: peas in a pod

According to experts, though the connection can seem distant or indirect, proper training has a clear impact on quality, just as it has a clear impact on every aspect of business.

As business process design and ISO 9001 expert Chris Anderson noted in a blog post on the top ten root causes of business problems, poor training is the number one source of business issues. Two decades of business management led Anderson to place poor training ahead of poor methods, poor employee placement and poor engineering and design on the list.

“People don’t make mistakes,” Anderson insists in the post. “Systems make mistakes.”

And just as product and service quality issues arise from systemic deficiencies, employee performance — and its impact on quality — is correlative to the integrity of training management systems.

Training and quality are best thought of as peas in a pod — inseparable elements that should always be … Read more...

Intelex featured in Quality Magazine’s 2011 How-To Guide

Here on the Intelex Blog, we love to preach the benefits of ISO 9001 certification, and how the right software solutions help facilitate fast, stress-free conformance.

Those interested in learning more about how to achieve ISO 9001 certification are encouraged to check out the latest edition of Quality Magazine’s handy annual How To Guide.

Head over to Quality Magazine’s website to view the latest issue of Quality Magazine. Click on the “How To” tab on the right and – in addition to reading the rest of the valuable magazine and guide – go to page 19 to read “How to Ensure Effortless, Ongoing ISO 9001 Certification and Perpetual Audit Preparedness” to learn, well, just that!

The advantage of web-based supplier management

While a supplier management system can be implemented without software, the benefits of establishing a software-based system are numerous and significant. Depending on how comprehensive the solution is, a software-based system can be capable of providing real-time metrics that can be accessed instantly with the click of a button, thus rendering an entire supply chain and vendor base transparent. Some critical features of a comprehensive software-based supplier management system include:

Supplier management and evaluation

The system should be able to register and categorize suppliers by company name, supplier number and performance rating as well as other details in a centralized portal. The system should use this information to schedule, notify, and archive all supplier evaluation activities and results and develop a consistent supplier rating program with customizable surveys.

Risk management and continuous improvement

To avoid quality issues and ensure all elements of the supply chain run at peak performance, the supplier management … Read more...

Quality’s expanding role: from manufacturing to marketing

Given the broad scope of applicability quality management has adopted in the past two decades, it is understandable that some level of abstraction clouds its purpose.

Before ISO 9001 — indeed, before its 1971 precursor, BS 9000, a set of standards published by the British Standards Institution (BSI) to guide quality management in the electronics industry — and even before the popularity of statistician and quality management pioneer Edward Deming, the need for robust quality management was quite concrete, especially in a military context.

During World War II, the inadvertent detonation of munitions in a weapons factory as the result of sloppy handling or process oversight carried particularly disastrous results: the loss of life, raw materials, time, money, manpower and military advantage. It was this very context that spurred the consistent documentation of specific control processes and procedures; the methodical execution of activities that conformed to documented standards; and the ongoing … Read more...

Take a trip to Planet ISO

As a youth I remember passing large industrial buildings in my hometown featuring large signs emblazoned with one straightforward message: “ISO 9001 Certified.”

Though my father was a quality assurance manager at a large mining company, at the time I really had no idea what the statement meant. I figured ISO certification was a good thing, but couldn’t explain what it was. Now that I live in the world of environment, health, safety and quality, I have a pretty good grasp on what ISO standards are all about, but at the time, I really could have used a visit to Planet ISO.

Whether you’re new to the world of ISO standards or not, chances are you’ll find some value in the Planet ISO YouTube channel. The page contains a ton of useful videos on everything ISO, including:

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