A reliable quality management according to DIN EN ISO 9001 ensures a constantly high product and service quality of the company.
The certification of the quality management system takes place every three years by a previously appointed certifier. The TÜV companies are the best known providers. Two surveillance audits take place between the first certification and recertification. The first one was carried out under special conditions due to the Corona crisis. This should be an occasion to take a closer look at the influence such an audit has on our company and how our customers benefit from it.
Granted: When we first thought about certification according to ISO 9001 some time ago, we were sceptical whether the effort would be worth it. After all, our quality standards have always been high and, due to our vertical range of manufacture, the processes were transparent and customer satisfaction was high. However, certified quality management according to ISO 9001 is standard in our and many other industries today, which is why we finally decided to implement it. As a service provider for our certification, we have chosen TüV Saar.
Not only internal company processes, but also supplier and customer relationships are scrutinized. All results are documented and archived. Our management is supported by another employee, the quality management representative. In addition, there are also areas whose implementation is not necessarily part of our daily work and which require training, for example, the setting up of a methodically correct survey on customer satisfaction or to create an adequate supplier profile. According to the ISO standard, suppliers can only be considered if they meet certain requirements. Another focus is occupational health and safety, where welders and forklift truck drivers, for example, must undergo regular examinations. Especially in the area of occupational health and safety, the ISO catalogue is linked to legal requirements, which is why special care is required in this area.
As an intermediate step, the review audit that has just been completed and passed is generally not as complex as the main audit, but is restricted to random checks of sub-areas. Normally, it is a one- or two-day on-site appointment, but due to the corona situation, it was conducted digitally and by telephone. It was therefore clear that production-related areas can only be checked with difficulty via remote coordination. Nevertheless, we prepared ourselves intensively and took the appointment as an opportunity to check every detail, including production-related aspects.
Now that the second phase has been successfully completed, what is our interim conclusion? ISO certification is a huge project, but it also offers opportunities. We have been able to improve many things, but we have also been able to uncover and eliminate problem areas. In the end, it is important to internalize that certification is not an end in itself or "only" a notarization. Rather, our philosophy is to invest in sustainability and quality. Because this is the best preparation for a smooth quality management.