Quality systems are important in any industry and working environment. This report looks at a case study of a Maclean Ltd, a new business and its journey to achieving B.S.E.N ISO 9001 status. The company is a small firm about 80 employees, that doesn’t have any quality accreditation as of yet.
It is important to have proof to back up your abilities, whether you are a heating engineer working on a gas boiler (Gas safe register certification) or a large organisation producing baked goods, certification is important so your business can flourish and so the customer has confidence in your ability to do the work to a satisfactory level.
Quality management in a business is essential, it ensures the day to day running of the company is seamless, and it ensures the continuous high quality output from the business.
ISO 9001 is certification for a quality managed system. If a company has ISO 9001 certification then anyone who buys their products or works with said company knows that there are systems in place throughout the whole company to ensure a high quality consistent output. The key word there is consistent. A quality management system needs to ensure consistency in the finished product, so the customer is confident that the product is going to be fit for purpose and not going to fail. This needs to happen every time. To ensure consistency various tests are done before during and after the manufacturing stage, so we have pre inspection, testing the components that go into the product, batch testing, testing the first or a sample of the product from the batch, patrol inspection, where the site is patrolled and samples taken at random and then final inspection where the product is tested before it is shipped.
As the managing director I had an aim the company up to ISO 9001 accredited status within a two to three year timescale. To do this I started by appointing an experienced quality manager. I approved a budget of £30,000 to attain this (not including salary). This takes into account the whole process including any extra training or re-training that needed to take place and any other contingencies. It was the quality manager’s responsibility to implement the new policies and to take the business up to the ISO9001 accredited status.
The first challenge is the introduction of a quality system to a workforce that is unused to working with one. It is the workforce that will have to change most of all and it is them that are essential to attaining ISO9001 accreditation. Motivation would be one of the biggest challenges along the journey. We needed to ensure that the workforce was willing to follow new procedures and if some were stubborn or reluctant to change then we would have had to consider disciplinary action or involving the HR department. We could also involve non-financial incentives to the workers who did the best work, as a financial incentive would eat into the budget.
A quality policy needed to be introduced, this needed to be...