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During the early days of employment in late 80’s, the companies were required to get themselves ISO 9002 QMS certified.
ISO 9001:2000 is the latest revision of the ISO 9002 Quality Management System. It has become mandatory that all the small and medium scale industries must get certified by now.
This new revision is more aligned and provides less emphasis on documentation. On the aspect of business needs, there are 8 quality management principles that are followed.
- Customer Focus
- Involvement of people
- System approach to management
- Process approach
- Continuous improvement
- Decision making Strategy
- Supplier relationship
“These quality management principles are quite similar to the TQM principles. It is in our interest to understand it and put it to use beyond just the certification process.”
These principles are as follows:
Leadership is important for establishing the direction in which the organization is headed. Employees should become fully involved and must create and maintain an environment in achieving the organization’s goals and objectives.
Leaders create and set direction in quality objectives, management conducts reviews to ensure its fulfillment. However, most leaders don’t directly engage in creating an internal environment rather, they assign this task to the quality managers.
In small-scale industries, quality managers don’t have enough influencing power and can’t directly command over the quality system.
Organizations survival depends on their clients and customers and hence they must understand the present and future customer’s needs, requirements and must work to exceed the customer’s expectations.
Customer needs are gathered by a survey, an ISO auditor conducts around one or two surveillance audits per year and they get the survey done right before the auditor comes around.
Conducting a survey is a form of documentation, as a matter of fact, customer demands can be obtained in many forms such as customer feedback, complaints. This data should be taken in the ISO system officially.
Involvement of people
People at all levels are important to an organization and their level of involvement is used for the benefit of the organization.
Most companies involve their employee in the ISO compliance effort, some involve them in the other aspects of business especially in production and process improvements as well.
This is one of the principles which is well implemented by most of the companies. It is only logical that employee select only projects that they are familiar to.
System Approach to Management
Identifying, managing and understanding interrelated processes as a system contributes to the organization efficiency in achieving its goals and objectives.
This is a kind of loose link between production and rest of the departments especially the support group. In some of the organizations, a KPI is established for each department but is not interdependent.
Usually, the desired result is only achieved when all the activities and related resources are managed as one single process.
Most ISO certified organizations are quite efficient in the production process. However, their approach seems to limit within the production and it’s supporting departments.
Continuous improvement of the performance must be the permanent motive for any organization.
Most companies already work on continuous improvement but a very few realize the real motive of this principle. Companies need to understand the information and trigger a continual improvement effort.
Effective decisions are based on data analysis and pieces of information. This is probably the weakest principle in terms of its usage and applications. Management makes decisions based on previous experiences and customers.
This is one of the important decisions that need to be developed by the management staffs and previous decisions must not be repeated due to changes in the business environment.
Supplier and organization relations are interdependent and mutual relationships enhance the ability of both of them to create a value of interest.
Most small-scale industries practice this principle to some extent and it is perhaps due to its smaller outfits that they are not able to command better service from the Tools suppliers. The bigger companies take this step a bit differently and they demand quotes from different suppliers and selects the one which fits them best.
The involvement of integrity is what makes this principle difficult to master. Unless the company has a bigger volume of purchase and the vendors have a strong development program, it becomes understandable to why companies pay less attention to it.
The Last Say
While ISO certified companies are eagerly trying to comply with ISO requirements, they must extend the objectives of these 8 quality management principles in order to enhance their business.