Paul Bennett, Managing Director of market leading membrane keypad manufacturer, Fascia Graphics explains the importance of ISO accreditation for manufacturers and their customers…
After over twenty years of being ISO certified, we have just achieved a three-year ISO 9001:2015 accredited certification for our Quality Management Systems (“QMS”). This independent verification of our quality management system demonstrates Fascia Graphics’ commitment to quality, customers service and continuous improvement.
We once again met all the requirements that include top management commitment to quality, customer focus, adequacy of resources, employee competence, and process management.
For us, and many manufacturers, quality is paramount, and this is why over 20 years of ISO accreditation has been so important to our business. The ISO 9001:2015 international standard is well known amongst customers and meeting these standards provide customers with the confidence that Fascia Graphics consistently provides goods and services that:
– Comply with applicable regulations
– Meet customer needs and expectations
This second point is vitally important. At Fascia we have noticed how customer satisfaction levels has continued to rise, as achieving these standards ensures that, as a business, we have a customer first approach. Our recent survey of our top 500 customers demonstrated how this is having a positive impact on our customers – with 92% saying they are very satisfied with the quality of our products, and 95% satisfied with the total package we provide – which includes market leading technology, customer service, product features and benefits, and cost. And, when it comes to customer service, 94% of our customers say that our staff handle their query’s quickly, with the same number stating that our staff are very knowledgeable.
Reaching these customer satisfaction levels are reassuring to our business, management, and staff, that following the ISO processes really has an impact, but it is important for every manufacturer that achieves this accreditation, that they do not just rest on their laurels. As part of this three-year registration period, we continually monitor customer perceptions about the quality of the goods and services provided – so we can quickly react to feedback.
Some other benefits of ISO certification
There are a number of other benefits for manufacturers that are ISO 9001 certified. For instance, if you tender for public sector work, the vast majority of tender winners are certified.
Also, at Fascia, we have found that by embedding ISO processes into our business, we have been able to improve operational efficiency and consistency – meaning very few errors are made. This not only benefits our business, the savings made by reducing the need for re-work, can also be passed on to the customer.
Finally, using consistent industry approved processes also benefit all of our staff – as they feel more comfortable that following these processes will provide better quality products – leading to greater job satisfaction. As an ISO 9001:2015 approved manufacturer, monthly audits of the systems are carried out by fully trained auditors to ensure that the systems and personnel are working to the QA procedures set out in the ISO manual. These audits not only help with staff training, they also regularly motivate them to strive to continually improve our processes.
In conclusion, it is our view that as ISO status encompasses almost every business activity, it should form part of a continuous improvement culture, as it identifies both areas for improvement, and recognises good practice such as an investment in state of the art equipment, and the development of comprehensive training systems such as Q Pulse and NVQ.