ISO 9001 2000, Getting started

Before starting the ISO 9001 2000 route to registration you will need to have the top management on board. This can be achieved by highlighting to top management the cost benefits to the business of ISO 9001 2000 registration.
If you feel unable to sell the benefits of ISO 9001 registration to your business or that you are unqualified to do this then it will be worth you contacting a consultant to assist you with this process. The consultant will have all the necessary tools and examples to hand.

Next you will need to consider what your business is trying to achieve, most businesses want to make money but as with all things there are many ways of achieving the same goal. Some businesses are very good at what they do but I have never yet encountered the perfect business.
If you feel there is no room for improvement in you business you may need to see your doctor about delusional thoughts.
(If you genuinely think you have the perfect business, be it ISO 9001 2000 related or otherwise please contact me at [] and invite me to audit your business. Yes I do charge, albeit the normal daily rate.)

Okay, so you now know what your business is trying to achieve. I'm sure it will be something like:

"We aim to provide our customers with the best value (Widgets or service) on time, every time etc.

Well done, you have just written your companies Quality Management System Policy.

Next we have to look at how your business is going to work towards and then achieve its new Policy. A good starting point is to identify the objectives each department need to set in order to meet the requirements of your policy. Some typical examples for a Sales order process might be:

  • Reply to customer enquiries within 1 hours of receipt.
  • Update sales database with customer details before order acknowledgment.
  • After sales database entry send order acknowledgement on the same day as order received.
  • Send product catalogue to new customer on day of order receipt.
  • Run credit check on new customers before loading order to production schedule.

    The process objectives can be documented in text format or as flow simple flow diagram. Many businesses now opt for a simple flow diagram because it dictates pictorially how a process works.

    Great, you have now documented your first process. Next we need to consider what records to keep so that you can demonstrate the process objectives have been met. In the above example all the necessary records are kept on the sales database. The database automatically records the time between order entry, reply to customer, completion of customer details, acknowledgment sent, product catalogue sent, completion of credit check and loading of order to production schedule. The database will only allow things to be completed in a certain order; for example it will not allow the order to be loaded to the production schedule prior to an acceptable credit check being received. To ensure that only authorised people access the sales database it is password protected and it records the computer users ID against each sales database entry.

    At the end of each week the sales manager runs an exception report to identify which targets have or have not been met, this gives him the opportunity to implement corrective action if the process is not being operated as planned. The corrective action may simply involve the re-allocation resources or additional employee training. You can of course run this process without a computer system by using a check-sheet where the process checkpoints are recorded. Using a paper-based system relies heavily on your business not entering into a blame culture, otherwise your employees may decide to falsify results rather than report a process failure. A business that operates a blame culture will never be successful, as there is no incentive for employees to report process errors and more importantly the business does not know where its processes are breaking down.

    Excellent, you have documented a Quality Management System policy for your business, set departmental objectives needed to meet that policy and generated records which can be used for business process improvement.

    This Article was Provided by a Driso Consultant.

    Driso provide ISO 9001 2000 consultancy, auditing, software, and training Services.
    They also supply Easy ISO 9001 2000® software for initially setting up an ISO 9001 2000 compliant Quality Management System or improving upon an existing one.
    Click here to contact Driso Consultancy Services. See what they can do for you and your business.

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