Recommendations from Certification Bodies are always appreciated by ISO consultants who are willing to learn and grow. The following are some of the suggestions that we have received from certification bodies over time.
Given that the focus of an ISO 9001 certification is to improve the reliability of our products and services as perceived by customers, getting feedback to determine the level of satisfaction of our customers is extremely important.
Now, typically, companies tend to explicitly ask their customers about what they think of them. There are various ways in which this can be done, some are more effective than others. We believe that having the person who is delivering the work asking feedback from customers would be least beneficial – as they might not feel comfortable sharing the truth with a person they work with, day in, day out.
Moreover, sending emails to customers to reply anonymously, would result in a reply rate of less than 5%. Therefore, this method to evaluate feedback is hardly ever used by companies that are serious about wanting to get statistically significant feedback from their customers.
Most customers, tend to hire us to help them to get scientific feedback from their customers about their perception of the products and services offered by their organization. Invariably, this service gives insights to our customers on where they should focus their efforts.
Recommendation from Certification Bodies is that the above way of collecting data is extremely positive and helpful, however, there are other metrics that we can monitor. By measuring the retention rate, we will have a clear picture of how many customers choose to purchase from our company multiple times. Only satisfied clients will part from their money to buy our product or services.
A Quality Management System is about meeting the stated and unstated customer requirements. The stated customer requirements refer to information that the customer specifically conveys to us. Let’s take an example of bricks. The customer may tell us how many bricks they want from us, and of which dimension (for example single 7″ blocks).
However, they might not explicitly state that they want the product to meet EU Regulation for Hollow Concrete Blocks. Such regulation states what tests need to be done to confirm conformity of the product. Now, for a product to be certified, all of its sub-components (and raw materials) need to be certified too.
Anyone involved in the construction industry in Malta, knows that getting suppliers in Malta of aggregate to certify their products to European Standards is practically impossible. More often than not, these would be one-man shows, and the person running the business wouldn’t want to through the certification process – his customers would still buy from him – irrespective of whether his product is certified or not.
This conundrum is faced by people in various industries. The recommendation from the certification body for this case would be to put as much pressure as realistically possible on the supplier to get the required certifications. Moreover, they should seek to find new, and alternative suppliers for their products.
Quality Policy Available to external interested parties
The quality policy is a document that states the commitment of the organization to continually strive to find ways to improve its management system to better meet the requirements of all interested parties. Various interested parties would be expecting different results from the same organization, and these are to be reflected within the quality objectives for the organization.
Having the quality policy printed out, framed, and placed into a prominent position within the premises is a good start. Getting the employees to read, and sign the quality policy is an improvement – as you are making sure that one of the most important interested parties know about the policy.
The recommendation from certification bodies is to also add the quality policy on the website of the company so that external interested parties would have the possibility to see the quality policy.
Recommendations from Certification Bodies
Most of the auditors of CBs (certification bodies) would have years of experience working with organizations. And therefore the Recommendations from Certification Bodies are to be noted with appreciation as they are gold mines waiting to be implemented, based on best-practice for your specific organization.
With over 10 years experience in ISO consulting, Luke Desira has had his fair share of external audits – and therefore has had the opportunity to really evaluate and implement 10s of Recommendations from Certification Bodies.