ISO 9001 simplified
Quality has many definitions and has earned a bewildering reputation for it. In fact, the term “quality” is often used loosely. The term has almost always been defined in the context of the manufacturing industry. In it, quality is the measure or state of excellence or absence of defects, which is achieved through strict and constant compliance with standards to achieve uniformity that satisfies the requirements of the client or user.
There has always been a lot of confusion about what quality really means, with people saying that one product has a higher level of quality than another. This is probably because when people talk about the quality of a product or service, they are usually referring to its excellence, perfection, or value. In reality, of course, quality must be defined in terms of how well the product or service fulfills the purpose for which it was designed and satisfies its original requirements.
Take for example a $250,000 Porsche and a $20,000 Toyota. It would be very unfair to say that the Porsche has a higher level of quality simply because it costs more. Both vehicles, however, have met their predetermined quality requirements because they have been built to their exacting standards and are equally acceptable as “quality” cars. It may simply be that individual quality requirements differ.
A company controls its business operations through a quality management system which, if implemented correctly, will bring products and services of a predetermined quality to ISO 9001 certification. Simply put, a Quality Management System (QMS) is the structure of responsibilities, methods, activities, resources, processes and events that together provide quality implementation procedures to ensure that the organization can meet quality requirements.
What are the requirements of a Quality Management System and ISO registration? To be successful, organizations must be able to provide products that meet customer requirements and comply with relevant standards. Above all, organizations must be able to provide evidence of product quality claims. How can someone provide this proof? The easiest and most recognized is to comply with the quality requirements of the ISO 9001:2000 standard.
There are, of course, costs and benefits to having an ISO 9001 certified Quality Management System. In some industries, a QMS can be very expensive to set up, particularly if inadequate quality control processes were previously used. However, this large expense must always be weighed against the savings in material, rework, and general problems that arise from lack of quality. The production of quality products is always followed by a reduction in administrative, operational and production costs.