Keeping up with ISO standards in an ever changing environment

It goes without saying that risk-based thinking is critical for achieving an effective quality management system. It highlights the need to carry out preventative actions to eradicate possible nonconformities, identifying nonconformities that do happen and acting to avoid recurrence. It is so important that even the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) incorporated risk concepts into the ISO 9001 2005 requirement.

Conforming to standards such as the ISO 9001 2005, increases credibility with customers as it illustrates that the service and product that a business is offering meets the necessary requirements and expectations.

“It is important to monitor and review information about interested parties that are relevant to the management system and their requirements,” says Bongani Thobela, Quality Manager at Rand-Air, market leaders in portable compressed air and power generation rental. “This includes the customers, shareholders, business partners (suppliers and contractors), employees, society and the environment.”

The ISO 9001 2005 is hugely important for laboring businesses because it requires the management team to demonstrate an understanding of business risk (technology, environment, society, economy and politics) by using problem solving techniques. This is done by asking questions like: what will happen in the future? What can we predict? How does it affect the ability to achieve goals?

An effective risk management process is key to ensuring ISO 9001 standards are met. This will give assurance that the management system can achieve its intended results. It will prevent and reduce undesired outcomes and will ultimately achieve continual improvement. Most importantly, it increases the focus on the use of targets and planning of changes for driving improvements.

ISO is constantly evolving to ensure that organisations meet the needs of their customers and stakeholders. “We want to measure our success against quality compliance which means that we are constantly exploring better ways of doing things and the ISO 9001 standard forms the foundation of this,” Thobela concludes.

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