ISO 9001 standard: guarantee of a high-performance quality management system

2021, May

Written by Lou Ancelin
ISO 9000 family of standards has been developed to meet various aspects of quality management needs. It is open to all organizations, regardless of their size and sector of activity, which are committed in an ongoing quality process improvement of their products and services, in order to meet clients expectations.To date, more than one million companies and organizations, in more than 170 countries, own it. TecSOM production site is no  exception and meets the requirements of ISO 9001.

In 1946, the British Standards Institution (BSI) created the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) by bringing together representatives of national standards bodies from 164 countries, on the basis of one member per country. The Geneva-based non-governmental organization is the largest standardization body in the world. Its objective is to produce international standards in the industrial and commercial fields, called ISO standards.

ISO 9001 standard goals
This standard defines a protocol of requirements needed to validate a quality management system.  It is part of ISO 9000 series (ISO 9000, ISO 9001 and ISO 9004). ISO 9001 is a frame of reference which can be independently certified by an accreditated certification body. At TecSOM, AFNOR group is responsible for this.

ISO 9001 standard was first published in 1987. It has since been regularly updated to remain relevant and at the forefront of market developments.
 First revision was in 1994, the following ones took place in 2000, 2008 and 2015. This latest version takes more account of the stakeholders and company context, in order to respond more precisely to the constantly changing companies needs.

The standard was designed flexibly enough to be used by different types of businesses. It is for this reason that its protocol does not include any fixed parameters regarding quality or responses to customers needs. Specific goals are defined with each company, which must strive to continuously improve its processes in order to achieve them.

ISO 9001 standard is based on seven pilars which define the criteria for a quality management system that creates value for customers. These are based on client satisfaction, management motivation and commitment, process approach and continuous improvement:
  1. Client focus
Meeting or even exceeding customers expectations is the main objective. Attracting customers is important, but keeping their confidence by adapting to their demands and anticipating their future needs is key to the success.
  1. Leadership
Have a strong leadership or mission to ensure that all employees understand the goal.
  1. Comittment 
Create value for customers by placing competent, empowered and engaged people at all levels of the business.
  1. Activity processes
Understand activities as connected processes working as a system, to achieve consistent and predictable results. People, teams and processes do not exist in isolation ; ensuring that everyone is aware of the company’s activities and how they relate, to improve efficiency.
  1. Continuous improvement
Successful companies focus on continuous improvement. Be attentive and responsive to external environment changes to continue creating customer value in a world where everything is changing so fast.
  1. Decision-making
Base decision-making on data analysis and evaluation to achieve intended outcome.
  1. Relationships management 
Prioritize the quality of relationships with the various players who interact with the company, such as suppliers or customers, and establish a management plan to optimize them.

ISO 9001: nothing but benefits for the client 
  • Guarantee of trust: the general context of the company is evaluated (strategy, policy, finance, economy, human resources), objectives are clearly defined, risks are identified and addressed.
  • Guarantee of satisfaction: meeting the needs of the customer through a constant improvement process which promotes innovation, is a priority.  
  • Guarantee of fairly-priced quality: productivity, efficiency and internal costs optimization.
  • Guarantee of compliance with legal and regulatory requirements (for some projects, ISO 9001 standard is part of the prerequisites).

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