The main reason that companies seek to implement standards such as the ISO 9000 group of standards is to achieve compliance for their commitment to quality management. In many cases, manufacturers, production plans, large and small sized businesses and many other companies are aiming to address potential quality gaps in order to provide the best possible product or service to customers and clients. But while many are at least on track by making the move towards compliance, that doesn’t mean that every company is going about this goal in the right way.
Biggest Causes of Quality Management Compliance Failure
Here are some of the most common reasons that your quality management compliance is not going the way it ought to be going…
- Reason #1: Poor Documentation
In ISO 9001:2008, documentation is such a major component that document control is an important element of a quality management system. Without a clear system in place that organises, stores and manages documents simply and effectively, compliance audits can easily be failed.
- Reason #2: Lack of ISO Understanding
Not understanding ISO compliance and standardisation is another common mistake. Many assume that ISO grants companies with certification. In actual fact, there are independent certification bodies that are responsible for certifying companies as being compliant with ISO guidelines.
- Reason #3: Publicising ISO Certification
You may think that showcasing your certification on your website or other places is a good move, but this can be very risky if using the ISO logo or using their name when promoting your certification. This means infringing on copyrights – something that no certification body allows. Placing certification marks on products is something that ISO also advises companies not to do.
- Reason #4: Poor Enforcement Strategies
Enforcement of quality strategies is variable in standardisation. Non-conformance consequences also vary, according to industries and nature of business. It is a good idea to have a clear understanding of enforcement strategies within your specific industry and also determine a good strategy that adequately handles non-conformance within your company.
- Reason #5: Expecting Certification Records
It is also good to realise that there is no list of certification records for suppliers and other companies. This means that there is no simple way to check whether your suppliers are compliant outside of extensive searches of third party bodies that may prove unfruitful. Often, these records are found within the suppliers systems if they are not found within a third party system such as an auditor.
- Reason #6: Not Understanding Certification Bodies
Certification varies by country too. There are many different factors at play, especially when it comes to government certification bodies. Each country has its own independent bodies, but not all have official state-sanctioned bodies that regulate compliance certification. This is good to know when dealing with international suppliers or partners, or when expanding operations globally.
- Reason #7: Certification of Multiple Sites
In the case of multiple bases of operation, such as factories, manufacturing sites or headquarters, certification becomes somewhat more complicated. Often, multiple audits are done to ensure that each site is evaluated individually. Conducting initial audits on support processes is a good way to begin the process, after which sites can then be audited separately. Certifying multiple sites requires that manufacturers coordinate several separate audits.
- Reason #8: Insufficient Competency Testing
Another essential aspect of ISO 9001 quality management standards, employee competency testing is something that many overlook or fail to take seriously. Training beyond initial interviews and promotion interviews should be done each year, with a focus on promoting awareness of quality goals across the board.
- Reason #9: Poor Auditor Selection
Not choosing auditors well is another mistake that affects compliance. Qualifications for auditors are variable, which makes the auditing process also variable if auditors are chosen too quickly or not carefully enough. Many countries do not regulate the auditing process or the selection of auditors, which means that not all auditors are equally able to do the best job.
- Reason #10: Underestimating the Role of the Auditor
Not understanding the importance of what an auditor does is another mistake. In quality strategies, processes are a major aspect of achieving compliance. Auditors need to focus on processes therefore, and certification bodies need to ensure that they are on course where this is concerned. Changes suggested by auditors need to have real value, to put it simply. What this means for companies is the need to pay careful attention when selecting certification bodies, and to do a bit of homework in order to understand exactly how quality management compliance can be achieved… BEFORE attempting to be certified.