Last year, CPI migrated to the 2015 standard, which requires senior management take direct responsibility for one or more quality systems as a “process owner.” The director of sales at CPI now “owns” customer satisfaction and customer service quality efforts, while the director of finance and materials “owns” purchasing.
This focus on ownership is a big change in the quality management world, according to Gassler. “Before, it used to be about hiring a guy like me and putting me in charge of quality,” says Gassler. “Then I owned ISO – I owned all the problems and everything else that goes with it.” Now, the CEO and all the directors are responsible for effective management of the quality management system.
Gassler recommends that every company consider engaging with ISO standards, whether their customers demand it or not. “Don’t go after certification simply to put a plaque on the wall,” he urges. “Embrace everything the standard asks you to do, and embrace it as a continuous improvement process.”
ISO 9001 is the international standard for quality management systems set by the Geneva-based international nonprofit organization, Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO has 162 national standards organizations as members, including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Certification to the ISO: 9001 standard is an outward assurance to customers that a company has good systems for monitoring quality, safety and efficiency and provides consistent, quality products and services to its customers. The standard provides a process-oriented approach to documenting and reviewing the structure, responsibilities and procedures necessary to achieve effective quality management within a company.
ISO periodically updates its 9001 standard. The most recent version is ISO 9001: 2015. Companies that are not currently ISO 9001 certified must certify to the latest standard. Companies certified to the previous ISO 9001: 2008 standard must migrate to the new 2015 standard by Sept. 30, 2018.
To find out more, visit www.iso.org/iso-9001-quality-management.html.