Part 33: You're certified to ISO 9001, now what?
So you have created your quality management system (QMS), you have:
- Implemented it
- Had the QMS audited by a Certified Body
- Got your QMS certified to ISO 9001, and
- Celebrated the achievement with all you staff.
Now what do you do?
Well one thing you don’t do is sit on your laurels and think the job is done.
There is more work required to make the QMS keep adding value to your business.
If you have used a consultant to develop your systems, you may have spent thousands of dollars. You will have spent thousands of dollars on the external audit by the Certification Body. Plus all the time you spent on the systems will be a cost to the business. Therefore, your Management Team and even your Board maybe looking at you, the Quality Manager, and asking “show me the money” or they will more than likely ask “what is the return on our investment in a QMS?”
Therefore, you need to show a pay-back. You need to show that the QMS is giving the business value that is measurable.
How do you do that?
Well you need to do work hard and measure the value-add to your business. This requires foresight and planning ahead.
Think about the areas of your business where the QMS has helped to reduce rework. In addition think carefully where the QMS could have been used to reduce waste. Finally ask the sales team and see if they have won extra jobs from being ISO 9001 certified. Add that value up and present that to the Management Team or Board to prove that getting certified wasn’t a waste of time.
Back when I first started developing systems that were being certified to ISO 9001 in 1989 (well ISO 9002 first then ISO 9001 a couple of years later) we tracked the jobs won by the Sales Team because we were ISO certified. This metric was cumulative and would over a 12 month period become millions and millions of dollars. It was a very powerful metric that we used to counter the nay-sayers (and there were plenty of them) that thought ISO was just a waste of time and effort.
What else should you do? Well for one you should be reviewing the QMS regularly.
For example, one thing we are doing here at Mango is to have all our employees attend the monthly Management Review meeting. In that meeting we talk about the adequacy, effectiveness and value the QMS is bringing to the business. We discuss the objectives in detail and look at the results against the objectives. We look at the documented Quality Manual and decide what areas that we can remove from the system because they are an overhead and don’t add value. Because we use our product Mango for our QMS, we don’t need to document the very detailed step-by-step procedures. If Mango does the job why then document that, it adds no value to do so. So we plan to reduce the size of the Quality Manual - you should too.
You need to keep improving and updating your QMS so that it remains effective and adding value to your business. You need to demonstrate to Management that the QMS is not a time suck and that it makes their job easier. Winning over Management will mean that the QMS will have longevity.
If your QMS is adding no value to the business then stop using the QMS right now.
- Plan to measure pay-back of the QMS.
- Measure the value the QMS has to the business
- Present the results to Management and the Board.
- If the QWMS is adding no value to the business stop doing it.
View previous blogs in this series "How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification":