As Galaxy Wire & Cable was nearing our surveillance audit for ISO 9001:2008, we began to reflect on the role ISO has played in our company. Specifically, we wanted to see what has improved and by how much. What we found was that we can see and measure real improvements in a great majority of our processes. These improvements can be seen through data that is captured, analyzed and reviewed regularly.
While the ISO 9001 standard does not address how a manufacturer should produce product, it provides crucial processes that allow a manufacturer to continually improve the quality and delivery of its products to customers. The phrase “continuous improvement” is a cornerstone of the ISO 9001 standard. When the ISO 9001 standard it is properly implemented it will allow a manufacturer to identify areas that need improvement and ensures that a root cause can be identified, corrected and a new plan implemented to prevent recurrence of the unwanted result.
Some manufacturers may view the ISO 9001 standard as unnecessary and a waste of time. Can ISO 9001 really affect help increase the company’s revenue and bottom line? The short answer is – absolutely. From firsthand experience implementing and achieving ISO 9001:2008 in 2014, we can see how it has helped make our company much stronger. As a result of implementing ISO 9001:2008 we became more aware of all our processes, from the warehouse to the production floor to the front office. It helped us coordinate all of our processes and it made it very clear that each department supported the others with the ultimate goal of satisfying our customers.
We have always had strong processes and high quality, but what we lacked was the data to demonstrate how well we were actually doing. By following the ISO 9001 standards and processes, we can clearly see areas that need improvement and address them with a pointed approach. Some of the improvements may seem minor, but as a collective whole they account for major improvements company wide.
Galaxy is an engineering service oriented company. As Galaxy continues to grow we are confident that we have the processes and framework in place, including ISO 9001, to achieve our short and long term goals.