ISO 9001 is the world's most widely recognized Quality Management System (QMS). It helps organisations to meet the expectations and needs of their customers, amongst other benefits.
Some of the projects done by Daw Visual Marketing Solutions
Daw Visual Marketing Solutions, now in their 25th year of trading have now got ISO9001 accreditation. Sign Update asks John Kerr, sales director, why it matters?
Why does ISO9001 matter?
It is an independent opinion of your company and how it operates. The ISO independent inspector that comes in, makes sure we do what we say we do. That process covers everything from an enquiry coming in; how we deal with that enquiry; how quickly we get back to the client; how we then process this in our graphic design department, how we manufacture the product; and the quality of the product that goes to the client. All these things are individually assessed.
I can't imagine the inspectors have a great deal of experience of the manufacturing process?
They do - the company we use is the British Assessment bureau. These people send out a particular inspector who is knowledgeable about signage and printing.
They make sure our machinery is all calibrated and annually checked.
Calibrated – do they have enough experience to check that?
They would look for evidence of calibration, records showing when calibration engineers visited and to what standard it was. They check other things too like evidence of PAT testing, everything to the kettles used in the kitchen.
How long does this whole process take?
Daw applied for ISO9001 about a year and a half ago. It has taken us that long to have all the visits from the inspector. They walk round and tell you all the things they want you to improve on and tell you the things your doing well. They then come back again to see if you've made the changes, if they are for the better, and if you're doing things consistently.
It's got to be expensive?
It is a substantial investment, financially and also of the many man hours of our staff and management; so not something you'd go into light heartedly. The reason for the expense is not only for the expertise of the inspectors that come out, but also eventually all the back up that the ISO9001 can give you. They come back annually to check that you are continuing to do what you said you were going to do, which is likely to incur more costs. It's like a thorough MOT that's not only about the factory; it also covers human resources, how do we treat our staff, what training is available for them etc.
What did you mean by all the backup that ISO9001 can give you?
They will keep you up to date with changes in the industry, laws, any technical changes, and changes in standards.
Why have you not done it until now?
This is our 25th year in business and we have grown, to about 23 employees. It was a good time because of our growth. I think the larger corporate industries looking for our kind of services would be more inclined to utilise our services, knowing that we have a good quality of process and product in place that has been independently verified.
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