It's a dilemma that probably many organizations that explore the idea of implementing and certifying a quality management system have in mind. Such a process comes with financial efforts (the cost of implementation and certification), time allocated by all of the company’s employees of any level in the organization, sustained work, less pleasant aspects that will come out and will need urgent corrections ... a real show of force. The question is: what will we find at the other end ... will there be quantifiable benefits, tangible results, or will we end up having another certificate that we will proudly place on the wall in a meeting room and a thick documentation that will make our work even harder?
The most widely used international standard for quality management systems is ISO 9001: 2015, published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and translated into Romanian language by ASRO. Several defining elements of this standard, key concepts and methodology are presented schematically below:
• ISO 9001 provides the premise that the organization has approached the best management practices for controlling the services provided, from the order being received to the customer’s reception and even after the sale
• ISO 9001 does not guarantee the best product / service on the market
• ISO 9001 is not a product standard, a product / service cannot be declared as compliant with this standard, which is applicable to organizations in any field of activity
• Continuous improvement - the most important objective related to this standard
• Client orientation - identification, continuous analysis of the client’s requirements and expectations, in order to achieve their satisfaction
• Risk based thinking - planning and implementing of actions to address the risks and opportunities that arise
Among the main advantages of a quality management system we can emphasize:
• Provide trust to partners
• Possibility to participate in public auctions
• Faster integration of new employees and motivation of staff
• Competitive advantage over competitors who do not have such an implemented system
• Demonstrate compliance with legal requirements and international best practices
• Risk control / cost reduction
The decision to implement a quality management system is beneficial to the organization if a number of conditions are met simultaneously:
1. Management's commitment is strong and communicated to all employees through policies, objectives and regular training courses
2. The implementation process is taken seriously, the certifier is a reputable company - and the certification is obtained "in good faith" after a rigorous audit that will identify both irregularities and improvement opportunities
3. Procedures, instructions and forms are not taken as an example from a similar company but are designed and tailored to the specifics of the organization so as to help and bring improvement in the order of operations, not to complicate them with unnecessary stages or documents.
For our company, Premium Chauffeur Drive, this process has been an excellent exercise that has helped us organize ourselves from a procedural point of view, to allocate responsibilities very clearly, to set up some useful working instructions for employees and the most the important thing - to work together with a precise goal and to strengthen ourselves as a team. This effort has also been successfully completed and we have obtained the certificate of compliance with ISO 9001: 2015 as a result of the audit carried out by the certification body.
However, we are aware that our work is not over here, but it is only the beginning - according to the above, "continuous improvement" is the main objective of the applicable standard, so we undertake the responsibility to be better today than we were yesterday, tomorrow better than today ... and so on. Because in this world where things evolve with a dazzling speed, if you do not permanently innovate and you are not one step ahead of your competition, there is a major risk of becoming outdated and being eliminated from the market. The elimination comes directly from customers who are more informed than ever, more aware of their rights and more focused to obtain the best value for money for purchased goods or services.
So… our advice is: increased focus on quality! A management system is an excellent tool to monitor and improve the performance of any organization, provided it is assumed and treated responsibly.