ISO 9001: Correcting Known Deficiencies

A typical business operating without managing the quality of its outputs will tend to tend to supply its customers in an inconsistent manner, simply because there is no control over consistency. Breaks in consistency become particularly noticeable when there any change of personnel involved in delivery of outputs.

The main purpose of a quality management system is provide assurance of consistency of outputs and then to improve their quality and increase the degree of customer satisfaction; the ultimate target being to maximise these last two factors. By ‘quality’ is meant fitness for purpose, rather than luxuriousness, so maximising quality and customer satisfaction amounts to seeking to maximise profitability.

Establishing a quality management system involves defining processes for the production of outputs to customers and then measuring how well these definitions are adhered to. This last activity is called quality management system auditing. Such auditing consists of following sample individual customer orders through from initial placement to final delivery of outputs including, where applicable, any post-delivery service.

Inevitably, the audit results take the form of a tally of identified actual or potential non-conformances between process outputs and the process definitions in the quality management system, or, in some cases, clear-cut errors in the definitions themselves, in other words, non-conformances between the process definitions and best practice.

Having thus identified a series of non-conformances, the next step is to initiate corrective action for each instance. This needs to be recorded as does progress towards completion of the corrective actions. This answers the questions in the title and also provides a mechanism for preventing business disasters.

Not surprisingly, history shows that in tough times economically, those businesses that operate a quality management system are the ones that survive and prosper. Your business needs a quality management system if it too is to survive and prosper.

Why not see what would be involved in setting up a quality management system to ISO 9001:2008 for your business? Visit to see the full range of options, from self-building using a computerised tool, through to use of full consultancy.

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