The ISO 9000 is the most well-known and used certification standard in the world, and a cornerstone of EHS (Environmental, Health and Safety) management. It has been implemented by over 1 million organizations worldwide, small, and large, and across different industries.
While it is not required for every industry, ISO 9000 compliance has many advantages for both business and customer by improving the quality and consistency of products and services. This strong customer focus also benefits the organization by increasing customer trust and driving repeat business.
Since its inception in 1987, the standard has undergone several updates. The most recent version, ISO 9001: 2015, emphasizes the importance of the process approach as a pillar of an effective quality management system. The process approach improves performance and quality goals through the systematic definition and management of interrelated and interdependent processes. ISO 9001:2015 also places renewed emphasis on risk-based thinking and the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle as key aspects of the process approach to quality management.
There are certain industries that must receive ISO 9000 certification to remain competitive or meet specific compliance requirements. For all other organizations, certification is optional but often beneficial. Since the ISO 9000 is the cornerstone for any solid quality management system, adoption can significantly improve organizational EHS management, including overall process, standards for product and service quality, and customer satisfaction.
What makes ISO 9000 so successful at improving both process and product? The standard’s guiding principles are rooted in the key tenets of quality management.
The starting point for the ISO family of standards are the seven quality management principles (QMPs): customer focus, leadership, engagement of people, process approach, improvement, evidence-based decision making, and relationship management. While all these principles are central to the ISO 9000, their relative importance and weight can vary between organizations, or even across time within a single organization.
While the message is clear and simple, implementing such a diverse range of goals can prove quite a headache in practice — especially without a centralized, integrated management system. So, let us look at how quality management software (QMS) can help implement and track ISO 9001: 2015 compliance, and how to choose the best program for your needs.
While ISO 9000 implementation might appear straightforward on paper, it requires a fair amount of planning and coordination, commitment, leadership involvement, and organizational participation. One of the best ways to streamline this complex process is through a reliable and one-stop-shop quality management software or system (QMS).
Check out the Donesafe ISO 9001 Quality Management Software page for more detailed information.
In an earlier blog post, we covered the role of a QMS and how it contributes to an organization’s overall compliance strategy. A QMS administers organizational activities in a way that meets both regulatory requirements and customer expectations, while constantly improving the efficiency of its processes.
Donesafe also outlines a guide to QMS in another blog post. This covers the what, why, how to make the decision and how to implement this within your organization, the benefits plus onboarding and training employees. Your Guide to Quality Management Software.
1. Connectivity. As safety management infrastructures have gone digital, data is continuously fed into the industrial Internet of Things (IoT). This infrastructure depends on a consistent stream of reliable inputs to yield accurate outputs and analytics. All this real-time functionality makes tracking compliance on paper an impossible task. In today’s networked industrial world, cloud-based software is truly the only viable option for the kind of tracking and analysis required by ISO 9000:2015.
A QMS also connects the entire quality management infrastructure—apps, people, and processes–under a single umbrella. This integrated system offers real-time tracking, monitoring, and process improvement, as well as incident reporting, follow-up, and resolution. This supplies immediate insights on critical areas of ISO 9000 compliance, as well as long-term insights tracking performance on the seven quality management principles. The ease of reporting, viewing, and follow-up gives management actionable data intelligence at their fingertips.
2. Automation. It is clear that QMS software helps free up time for quality managers to do the high-value, preventive tasks that help support consistent compliance. Automating repetitive or manual processes reduces paperwork and time spent on inefficient tasks or constant follow-up, removes the potential for human error, and improves accountability. This can also help monitor quality processes like the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. Whether it is for ISO 9000 or other quality standards, automation is a momentous change for quality management.
Finally, a quality management strategy bolstered by a comprehensive QMS platform can encourage employee participation in quality-promoting practices, changing organizational culture from within. A QMS can be set up to monitor training gaps or needs, ensuring that employees are always up-to-speed on quality management best practices.
By increasing efficiency through connectivity and automation, a QMS becomes indispensable for quality management in a cloud-based, digital world.
There are a few defining qualities of a QMS platform that help ensure seamless compliance with ISO 9000 and other compliance standards. Here are the most crucial factors to consider when choosing a QMS to bring your quality management strategy to the next level.
Accessibility, features, and interface: The software should strike a balance between having the right features and being accessible to anyone within the organization. It should provide integration across multiple devices, with a user-friendly, intuitive, and straightforward interface that suits everyone from the lowest-tech to the highest-tech worker.
Efficiency: A fully automated QMS supplies end-to-end quality compliance management, while maximizing efficiency and reducing time spent on minor and low-priority tasks. Look for a platform that combines the entire portfolio of quality management policies, processes, and procedures across the organizational hierarchy. Pay special attention to the interface and whether it supplies quick notification, response, and resolution.
Quality of data and insights: A QMS should supply informative data and insights, while also allowing safety managers to respond efficiently and evolve their approach when needed. Managers should be able to easily track down and analyze incident reports, audits, and quality compliance. A QMS that combines efficiency with quality data insights means knowing exactly where you stand on compliance in real-time.
Customization: A good QMS recognizes that organizations have vastly different quality management needs, and supplies built-in customization tools that allow management to add or remove components to correspond to the company’s specific quality compliance and reporting needs.
Promoting participation: At its absolute best, a holistic and fully integrated QMS can transform an organization’s culture to focus more on quality-promoting activities at every level. A quality management system that allows everyone to be part of the solution will positively change individual and organizational quality standards, from top leadership down to each employee.
Donesafe is a Quality management system that connects your system from workers in the field to the management team in the boardroom. Donesafe makes it fast and easy to access, enter, and report QMS data in real-time. Donesafe is a modern & fresh platform with end-to-end functionality. It works online with any device, including offline with native iOS and Android apps. Find out more – Quality Management Software.
To learn more about our Quality Management apps, book in a demo with our team.