The ISO 9001:2015 quality management system is an invaluable system of protocols, standards, and guidelines for any business when it comes to efficiency and quality. By completing this certification, or merely adhering to its principles outside of official certification, your business and your customers will benefit.
All ISO systems are based on a well-thought-out series of documented guidelines and forms, for the most part. To make compliance easier for business owners, whether they are interested in the competitive advantages or full certification, a few companies offer a selection of tools intended to simplify the adoption process of ISO standard. Most of these tools fall into one of the five categories below.
Basic Forms and Kit Standard
When it comes to business-friendly ISO tools, buying a full starter set of forms, with whatever instructional kit they come with, from a reputable source is typically the best way to get your footing. You have to start somewhere, and if you aren't familiar with ISO procedures, this will get you what you need to understand precisely what you and your business are getting into.
Quality Manual Organization
If you have purchased any basic forms package, chances are the “quality manual” portion has been included. This is, arguably, the most important part of ISO 9001:2015. It's the core of the program and any potential certification efforts. If you single out just one part of the ISO program that will make the most impact on quality and business growth, this is it.
The right ISO tool for developing a suitable Quality Manual is one that walks you through the entire process, including demonstrations, examples, and offers advice on how certain things might be altered.
Auditor Training and Certification
The auditing process is valuable and frequently doesn't get the resources it deserves, even in companies who have completed registration. This may be because in older versions of the standard, less emphasis was put on internal auditing. They were things that could be glossed over.
The fact is, an internal audit, conducted by a trained individual, can be the best chance your business has at finding flaws in current processes and new ways to optimize your business for a higher level of quality. Given the vast array of variables encountered during an audit, preparing for these procedures can be a time-intensive task, when no tools are provided.
Conducting internal audits at regular intervals also helps maintain strict adherence to the ISO standards and systems you have in place. Further, it is required to maintain certification and registration. Choosing to acquire additional training resources for internal auditors can add invaluable tools and strategies to their repertoire. Not only that, providing additional training adds a level of significance to the job and ensures that it is done correctly.
Within this standard, you will see a lot of opportunities to develop your checklists and add on to some of those already in the norm. However, it can be a little simpler and save a lot of time to purchase a full set of ready to use checklists that help your business adhere to the ISO standard.
Employee Training (Multimedia) Standard
Adhering to the standard can be difficult at first, but it will be better for everyone in the long run. Change can be difficult for anyone, business owner or employee. Providing your employees with information about why the standard has changed and the necessary steps needed to make said change is essential to the success of the endeavor.
One of the best tools and business can use when it comes to changing or adopting an ISO standard is multimedia. Allow your employees access to a channel where they can ask questions. Give them videos they can watch during downtime if something is unclear and a quick reference for new protocols. These are just some of the ways you can help your employees adapt to a new ISO standard.