One of our clients in Germany have just been awarded a Certificate for ISO9001:2008 for their liquid roofing products.  The Company near Hamburg have been operating a 9001 based system for a few years but decided that it was time to have this formally assessed and certified following a relocation from a small site near Cadenberge.    We were pleased that they passed without a single non-conformity, the Assessor said that he was very impressed with the new factory and procedures.

ISO 9001 is an International Standard and the Germans see this as an endorsement of their manufacturing management processes.  I was particularly impressed with the attention to detail and planning that went into their application and their  ethos of getting it right first time, every time.
The visit took place during a rail strike and as such the roads were exceptionally busy; the autobahn leading to the Elbe tunnel was completely stationary, it reminded me of the M25!

The Hamburg port is a very busy one and there were miles of trucks going to and from the port. A sure sign that the economy in Germany is flourishing.  The vast majority of incoming ships did seem to be from China, while those going out were to all over the world.

The weather for mid-November was exceptionally mild with one of the days seeing temperatures of 18 Celsius.  I remember last year at this time seeing snow!

The client now has both product and management system certification and these give them easy access to a number of markets.  We are pleased to have been associated with this company and hope to be of help to them for many years to come.

The official blog for independent Management Training
Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.

We get several calls each week from prospective clients saying that they are getting nowhere with tenders which require applicants to have a certificated quality management system, such as ISO9001. If they don’t have a qualifying system then their tenders are relegated to the state of  “also- rans”.  Inevitably these enquirers want to know how quickly it can be incorporated into their business, and of course, how much it will cost.

I explain that ISO9001 as well as other management standards, needs to be set up and then operated for three months before undergoing formal assessment.  I will often be asked if this time-frame can be reduced.  My answer is always the same; an assessor can only assess what you are doing and not what you planning to do in the future.  This is why the three month operational requirement is so important. 

In addition to this, a business will have to have undertaken an internal audit, carried out by suitably trained auditors, and a management review must have taken place.    If any one of these has not taken place then the assessment will fail.

The costs of preparing for assessment will vary from business to business and whether external help is employed.  In my experience businesses “doing it themselves” often make fundamental errors and are surprised when the assessment fails and results in a re-visit because it does not meet the requirements of the standard.  At the other end of the spectrum is the business that has procedures for everything and very prescriptive procedures at that (an example would be “take screwdriver in right hand, insert the blade into the screw head and turn clockwise” . No consideration has been made for left-handers, cross point screws or left-hand threads.  Making procedures so prescriptive actually sets you up to fail, while insulting the intelligence of operators.  It is often better to state “using an appropriate screwdriver tighten the screw to the correct torque”.

External consultants are often a cost effective method of achieving compliance to ISO9001; not only have they done it all before, you will have a simple workable system and you are guaranteed to pass.
We, at Quality Matters have a large sign in the office K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid) which makes us realise that any quality system we produce has to be easy to use by our clients and effective. 

The official blog for independent Management Training
Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.

30 September 2011 was the culmination of two years work with one of our major clients and ensured that our 100% first pass success rate was maintained.  The external assessment  to ISO27001:2005 was conducted over five days at a number of locations.  There were 4 observations recorded and one minor non-conformity that was corrected during the assessment.

We are justifiably proud that all our clients have passed their assessments, and at the first attempt.  As you can imagine this is no mean feat;  we have been achieving this since Quality Matters Ltd was formed in 1991.

Our portfolio of Standards include:

ISO9001  The Quality Standard   
ISO14001 The Environmental Standard
ISO27001  The Information Security Standard    
AS 9100  The Aerospace Standard
OHSAS 18001  The Health & Safety Standard
ISO20000  The IT Service Management Standard
ISO22000  Food safety standard
TS 16949  The automotive standard

Plus a number of Product Standards including British Board of Agrément,
British Retail Consortium and other industry specific Standards.

To complete our service we offer certificated internal Quality & Environmental Auditing Training, both as public courses and bespoke in house courses.

Our next public course is to be held in Colchester 10 + 11 November 2011

Our Clients report that they are very satisfied with our services and come back time and time again.  They also recommend our services to other organisations.

20 Years of Success

The official blog for independent Management Training
Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.

Any organisation is unlikely to last long if quality is not built into the product or service supplied. Most purchasers will be looking for that little extra when making a buying decision; this could be a superior after sales service, fast delivery or better value but in every case quality is assumed, if this base quality level is not in place then the purchaser will look elsewhere.

With this mind many organisations will choose ISO9001 as their preferred method of demonstrable quality. ISO9001 is a third party assessed system and so it is an independent body that is certifying the quality management system of the organisation; this says much more than any self certifying system can.

There are over a million organisations certificated to ISO9001 and there are many more in the pipeline.

The official blog for independent Management Training
Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.