Implementing quality systems
A BSI case study

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Page 3: Implementing a quality system

The most successful modern companies manage to identify their customers' needs and create the processes that enable the business to deliver them.

One most important aspect of BSI's work is helping organizations to develop management systems which meet the ISO 9001 standard. This involves setting up systems to ensure that processes are customer focused. It also requires a company to improve its quality management system continually.

From 2004, companies wishing to be registered for the certificate must conform to the latest version of the standard ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management Systems Requirements.

It is attention to customers' needs that drives the system.

  • The starting point is discovering what customers want through market research.
  • The most important end result is customer-focused products or services. Market research determines what to produce and how. Checking on customer satisfaction measures how effective the quality system is.
  • Managers have a responsibility to discover what customers want and to satisfy their needs. To deliver, they manage the organization's resources, including people (human resources), machinery and raw materials.
  • By measuring and reviewing results continually, the organization's performance improves continuously.

To implement a quality management system, an organization will need to:

  • identify the processes that will make up the quality management system i.e. carrying out market research to identify customer needs, conducting a customer satisfaction survey to monitor the existing service
  • determine the sequence and relationship between these processes
  • identify methods to ensure these processes are carried out well
  • make resources and information available to run these systems well
  • measure and record how well systems run
  • carry out actions needed to achieve planned results, and to ensure continual improvement.

To achieve ISO 9001:2000 a company must show that top managers are committed to the quality system and regularly communicate with all of the organization's members about the system's importance.A vital part of developing the quality management system is to plan and deliver training about quality issues throughout the organization.

The company must also register with a registrar (a body like BSI) who visits and assesses the company's quality management system (QMS) and, if satisfied, issues an appropriate certificate. Follow up visits are carried out to ensure the processes in place are continually revised and improved.

BSI | Implementing quality systems