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Tick-tock, the ISO’clock is Ticking

Organizations that have earned ISO 9001:2008 certification, and want to recertify to the new 2015 standard, must do so by September 2018. After this date, a certificate to ISO 9001:2008 will no longer be valid.

At Alexandria Industries, we rely on ISO certification to demonstrate our ability to provide products and services that consistently meet both our customers’ and the industry’s quality requirements. While all of our facilities are ISO 9001:2008-certified, we are knee-deep in the details to achieve 2015 recertification by the end of 2017, with our Carrollton, Texas facility already achieving this new certification.

Area of Focus
We recently created a Management Systems Handbook for Alexandria Industries. We share this with our customers and employees so that they may understand the framework of Alexandria Industries. It is the first tier of our ISO documentation.

We use the handbook to train employees on our company’s quality policy and requirements. It includes our corporate values, along with guidelines regarding responsibilities for management, sales and marketing, quality, human resources and information systems teams, to name a few. It also includes steps for performance evaluations and process improvements. Here is where we challenge employees, for instance, to develop an idea related to quality that will improve a particular process. Employees not only have to create the idea, they also have to implement it and evaluate it to determine its success. They are responsible for following their idea from start to finish.

Biggest Changes
To achieve the new ISO certification, companies will need to prove that their business processes show their effectiveness of seven quality management principles (QMPs).

Quality Management Principles

  • Customer focus – meet customer requirements and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • Leadership – leaders (at all levels) establish unity of purpose and direction and create conditions in which people are engaged in achieving the organization’s quality objectives
  • Engagement of people – people (at all levels) throughout the organization are essential to enhance its capability to create and deliver value
  • Process approach – consistent and predictable results are achieved more effectively and efficiently when activities are understood and managed as interrelated processes that function as a coherent system
  • Improvement – successful organizations have an ongoing focus on improvement
  • Evidence-based decision making – decisions based on the analysis and evaluation of data and information are more likely to produce desired results
  • Relationship management – for sustained success, an organization manages its relationships with interested parties, such as suppliers

The 2015 certification also requires leadership to engage more with the ISO certification process and prove it by being involved in business factors such as risk assessment and supply chain management. For example, leadership must make decisions based on risk and opportunity, rather than a gut feel. This is particularly helpful for manufacturing companies like Alexandria Industries where industry risk and employee safety are top-of-mind.

To learn more about the new ISO 9001:2015 certification requirements visit www.iso.org. If you have specific questions about our company’s ISO certification process, please contact Amy Thimmesh, quality manager, Alexandria Industries.