ISO 9001: Supplying What the Contract Stipulates
An enterprise supplying goods or services that are in any way tailored to meet individual customers’ requirements needs to have a reliable routine for:-
- Establishing the individual contract of sale – even if initially set up orally;
- Recording all subsequent negotiation of detailed specification of what is to be supplied and when;
- Ascertaining ability to supply;
- Managing change control should the customer wish to re-negotiate details prior to completion of the order, once again, in terms of specification, timing and ability to supply;
- Having available, to all members of the organisation who may need to take over responsibility, accurate, up-to-date records of all the above events in the life story of the order.
Furthermore, there is a need for some form of oversight seeking to ensure that all this happens without fail. It make sense to go beyond merely trying to prevent failure in the sales order handling function, by similarly covering all other operations through to delivery and after-sales service. Such a regime is called a quality management system and is a pre-requisite for profit maximisation.
Having a quality management system that customers can recognise is, of course, a major selling feature and, for this reason an international standard for such systems has been established, since 1994, by a UN agency called the International Standards Organisation. The current version of the standard is ISO 9001:2008.
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