What Value Does ISO 9001 Add?

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Learn how ISO 9001 affects the NDT materials you use, therefore affecting your quality management system

By Mathew Plamoottil, Quality Assurance Manager

The organization ISO stands for “International Organization for Standardization. ISO is a network of the international standards institute of 162 nations with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland that coordinates the system.

ISO 9001 began in February 1947 and refers to a type of ISO standard that is concerned with “quality management.” ISO 9001 relates to what the organization does to enhance customer satisfaction by meeting requirements and continuously improving performance.

Simply noted, ISO certified companies reap:

  • Improved consistency of service and product performance
  • Higher customer satisfaction levels
  • Improved customer perception
  • Improved productivity and efficiency
  • Improved communications, morale and job satisfaction
  • Competitive advantage over companies that do not meet ISO 9001

Customers often ask us what the tangible benefits are of an ISO 9001 certification. The answer to this question can be summarized in two ways, external benefits and internal benefits.

 

External Benefits

In some industries, ISO 9001 certification is expected or required by large OEMs, government contracts, and other quality-focused customers. In those cases, Magnaflux has a long-standing commitment to quality, as evidenced by our continuous 23-year certification to the ISO 9001 standard.  

In other industries, ISO 9001 is newer, and many customers may not know that the certification will ensure you have a more disciplined, structured, and professionally run operation. An operation that your customers can count on for higher levels of quality. We have an established strategy to be the best by incorporating the requirements of the ISO standard.

The quality policy is to meet customers’ expectations, exceed them wherever possible, and continually improve everything we do. We measure ourselves to see if we have achieved our quality policy by creating objectives that are important to our customers. The goals include On-Time Shipments, Complaints, Returns, Input Errors, Damages, and Customer Satisfaction Rating. The goals are continuously reviewed with the team and senior management to see how we can improve, and action items established for any shortcomings.

With this review process, we establish our commitment to our customers, satisfy our customers’ needs and expectations (currently customer satisfaction at 99%), provide our employees with goals, and continually improve the effectiveness of the quality management system.

The requirements of the ISO standard provide us with continual improvement, customer satisfaction, defects, reliability, safety, and suitability.

 

External Benefits at Magnaflux

In the list below, a typical customer order process is used to demonstrate how we have addressed the various elements that are part of the ISO system.

  1. When an order is received, our Customer Support Team reviews the order. The team strives to ensure proper compliance with all customer needs for that order. Understanding the expectations of the customer is key to delighting our customers.
     
  2. The order is put into our ERP system, printed, processed, and pulled at our manufacturing plant in DeWitt, Iowa. Our shipping department has all the state-of-the-art tools to ensure accurate picking.
     
  3. Each product is carefully pulled and matched with barcodes to the order. If the product is not available in inventory, our production team is ready to make and package the product.

    We have devoted tanks for products, avoiding any cross-contamination, as well as a state-of-the-art filling station that checks what product went into each barrel, taking human error out of the equation.
     
  4. If a product needs to made to fulfill an order, it starts with the raw materials. Once the raw material is delivered, our quality department will ensure the integrity of the product. Production will take the approved raw material to make the product. Production will make the finished product, and again, the quality team will ensure the batch meets all the specification requirements.
     
  5. Once approved, the product is packaged and picked for the customer order. The order is packaged with the needed paperwork and sent with a reliable carrier to its destination.
     
  6. As the customer receives the shipment, we measure the satisfaction of the customer through our complaint and survey system to ensure that we met our customers’ expectations.

The requirements listed above are parts of the ISO standard, detailed in each of our procedures. The registration provides us with a third-party audit every year, making sure the processes established are in line with standard assuring the customer that doing business with Magnaflux ensures a reliable, suitable, safe, and quality product.

 

Internal Benefits

The structured guidelines of the ISO 9001 certification and how you use them to define your business processes helps employees better understand what is expected on the job. It is said that changing a culture can take several years, and introducing ISO into an organization is introducing a new culture that will take time.

 

Internal Benefits at Magnaflux

The first benefit is quality awareness by the Magnaflux team. Individuals are encouraged to change behavior and acquire an appreciation for quality. Even veteran employees changed habits to focus on quality, no matter how good of a contributor they may have been. Those who offer resistance to change learn to respect and appreciate all the practical value in a quality management system.

The other key internal benefit is the commitment to continual improvement within the company that must be demonstrated for certification. ISO 9001 expects ongoing improvement that impacts your company’s performance for your customers. For instance, it is a requirement in the standard to have a defined process for corrective and preventive actions. The identification of a non-conformity puts the process to the test. Our Corrective and Preventative process not only reviews the issue but seeks to prevent it from happening again. We undergo the process to provide a thorough investigation of the non-conformity to come up with a guaranteed solution that it is done right and to the satisfaction of the complaint.  

 

Quality Customers Can Count On

The most meaningful benefit of ISO 9001 at Magnaflux is not the paper certificate, but the ever-higher levels of quality we have to offer to our customers. You should notice and appreciate this with every interaction that a customer has with us. The reason customers look for ISO certification in their vendors is that they will likely receive better products and services from certified companies.

Our certification will provide the opportunity to highlight the superior quality we provide to differentiate us for our customers who need to rely on a best-in-class supplier. Magnaflux will continuously work for our customers to demonstrate why we are a preferred supplier in our NDT industry.

 

Published March 31, 2020

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