Things Supply Chain Managers Need to Know about ISO 9001:2015
ISO 9001 has provided a common basis for communicating and specifying requirements through supply chains for nearly three decades. The standard has evolved from the heavily manufacturing bias in the 1980s and 1990s, to one that delineates requirements to define and control processes for any type of organization.
The much anticipated revision of ISO 9001 was finally issued this past September. Every revision tends to create speculation and energy. Quality practitioners want to know what they have to prepare for, while business leaders wonder what it will cost in consulting fees and administrative effort to maintain certification. It’s common to wonder if the changes will add value and improve delivered quality.
The revision issued in 2000 introduced the process approach, while the revision issued in 2008 included minor changes. The speculation leading up to the current version was so great that ASQ published an article last year using a play on the WWII era British “Keep Calm” crisis message (Quality Progress, September 2015). While there are a few significant changes, you’re not in crisis.
If you’re just beginning the process of meeting the ISO 9001 standard, you can choose. The benefit of starting with the 2015 version is that you won’t need to consider additional requirements within the next three years. Beginning with the 2008 version, however, gives you the opportunity to become registered while industry experts sort out the criteria and interpretations. If registration is a requirement in your supply chain as a customer or supplier engaging with partners will ensure expectations are met. Supplier Day conferences can also provide forums to share information quickly, among the business as well as getting feedback to and from third-party registrars.
“While advanced continuous improvement methodologies, including Lean and Six Sigma, have become more popular, ISO 9001 along with its industry specific variants is still considered a foundation for quality in many organizations and industries” commented the president of Grupo Denim Salomón Juan Marcos Villarreal.