What is ISO?
The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) develops and publishes more than 18,000 international standards. ISO 9001 is a standard that sets out the requirements for a quality management system (QMS). It helps businesses and organisations to be more efficient and improve customer satisfaction. The latest version of the standard is ISO 9001:2015.
A standard is not a law, but an agreement or best practice that an organisation can apply voluntarily. A standard reflects a good level of professionalism. A quality management system is a tool with which an organisation can determine how it can meet the requirements of its customers and the other interested parties that are involved in its activities.
The adoption of a quality management system shows a commitment from a CNC machining service to continuously improve its overall performance.
What is ISO 9001:2015?
ISO 9001:2015 is the latest standard and specifies requirements for a QMS when an organisation:
a) needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, and
b) aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
The most recent ISO 9001:2015 standard is constructed around seven quality management principles that senior management can apply for organisational improvement. They are:
1. Customer focus
3. Engagement of people
4. Process approach
6. Evidence-based decision making, and
7. Relationship management.
ISO 9001:2015 describes the requirements all products, services and the organisation itself must meet in order to enjoy the above benefits. ISO 9001:2015 strives to give additional momentum to the continuous and systematic improvement of processes within organisations.
Crucially, certified CNC machining companies use ISO 9001:2015’s requirements as a foundation to build relationships with their customers. They will engage customers through formal feedback and demonstrate that they value that feedback by driving corrective action to address any concerns customers may have.
What are the benefits to customers of ISO 9001:2015 certification?
1. Better customer experience and management
ISO 9001:2015 deals with customer satisfaction directly. It states that the “organisation shall monitor customers’ perceptions of the degree to which their needs and expectations have been fulfilled.”
The standard goes on to list examples of how this information can be obtained, citing customer feedback and surveys, warranties, and dealer reports as examples. These can be effective ways of establishing whether the customer is satisfied with the organisation.
A critical part of ISO 9001:2015 deals with performance evaluation in general, with customer satisfaction specifically mentioned in one section. An organisation that continually evaluates, acts, and improves the QMS will always improve the manufacture and delivery of goods or services.
Such organisations have a code of conduct and a complaints procedure which ensures that you are always approached in a professional manner. The company must demonstrate its effectiveness in dealing with problems and complaints via a corrective action system.
Your CNC machining service will also endeavour to solicit customer feedback regularly and in a precise format. If you provide feedback, you will be shown evidence of action and closure to assure you that the feedback is read, valued, and most important, acted on.
There is a requirement that these processes must include, where relevant, communicating with customers in relation to the handling or treatment of customer property and specific requirements for contingency actions.
2. Quality Products and Services
Compared to the previous ISO 9001:2008 standard, there is more emphasis in ISO 9001:2015 on measuring and properly assessing the input and output of processes. According to ISO 9001:2015, organisations must closely monitor which articles, information and specifications are involved in the production process.
Such CNC machining companies must also clearly check whether high quality precision engineered components come out of the production process. In addition, they will provide consistent product and improved services through excellent operational planning and control of suppliers.
3. Improved efficiency and control
Improved efficiency and control always has been, and still is, key to satisfying customers. The ISO 9001:2015 standard covers the entire production process, from planning processes, controlling design and development, managing change, and tracking and managing external supplies.
The more effective a CNC machining company is at this process, the more it will satisfy its customers with a consistently excellent product.
4. Effective risk management
Risk-based thinking has a very important place in ISO 9001:2015. Organisations are encouraged as to use risk analysis to decide for which challenges they see in the management of the business processes. The new ISO 9001 standard now requires organisations to identify all issues both within and outside the organisation that are relevant to its context and that can help to achieve the intended outcomes of its management system.
Organisations must identify those risks and opportunities that have the potential to impact (negatively or positively) on the operation and performance of their QMS.
As a CNC machining service customer this means that this company undertakes regular operational and strategic planning. It will outlive its competitors as it has contingency plans in place to minimise risks.
5. Utilisation of best practice management and strategy
ISO 9001:2015 certification requires management to have direct involvement and ownership of the process and to ensure that the QMS is achieving its intended results and drive continual improvement within the organisation.
ISO 9001:2015 also places emphasis on leadership and management commitment. It requires greater involvement by top managers and business leaders in controlling the quality management system.
Ensuring that business leaders take extra responsibility can only be good news for customers.
So, when engaging a CNC machining service for precision engineering work, do select on the basis of ISO 9001:2015 certification. It will bring many benefits to your business. You will be assured of quality products and excellent customer care.