Managing quality - You can do it! - Part 3
In Part 2 we looked at the documentation requirements in general terms. In Part 3 we start to review the individual Clauses of ISO 9002 and look at some of the requirements for compliance.
The Company Quality Policy is a statement of intent by the company and:
- Sets out the overall policy, aims and objectives of the company in terms of quality.
- Is written and signed by the Managing Director to show the necessary management commitment.
- Reflects the individuality of every company.
The Quality Policy should include a statement of the company aims and objectives. These should be concise, meaningful and capable of being measured (to prove that improvements have been made). Typical objectives might be sales increases, reduction in quality costs, improvements in profitability or reduction in scrap. The effectiveness of the ISO 9002 system can be assessed from the achievement of these objectives. A typical Quality Policy is shown in Figure 3.1 (below).
Any Fabricator Ltd. Ltd. specialises in the manufacture of PVC-U windows, doors and conservatories. The nature of the product requires that emphasis be placed on Quality Management Systems to ensure a high quality product that is consistent in performance and competitive in price.
To ensure that products meet the standards demanded by the customer, the Company maintains an effective Quality Management system based on BS EN ISO 9002.
The objectives of the quality system are:
- To continuously improve products and services.
- To reduce quality costs and waste to less than 12% of turnover.
- To provide evidence that material and customer services conforms to the specified requirements.
- To ensure that inspection requirements are defined and satisfied at all times.
The company ensures that all personnel are fully acquainted with this Quality Policy and objectives through on-going training and education at all levels.
Figure 3.1: A Typical Company Quality Policy
The example is only a guide to how long the Quality Policy should be and the type of things to say. It is not an opportunity to 'cut and paste'. Do not copy from somebody else! The Quality Policy should come from the heart. It is better to have a short personal statement than a long copied statement that means nothing.
The Quality Policy should be on company letterhead paper and displayed in reception areas as well as on all notice boards in the factory. This visible display of your policy should provide the right focus for staff and inform visitors of your commitment to delivering quality products.
These clauses cover how people and resources are organised to ensure quality in your company.
This is generally covered by Job Descriptions (if available) or simple quality responsibility and authority statements if you do not have formal Job Descriptions. An Organisation Chart is required to show the company structure and the chart should show the reporting relationships. Our experience is that company organisation is rarely well defined and the organisation chart often changes significantly during the registration process. For future expansion and planning, the chart always uses titles (never names) and a person may have two separate roles in the company and two positions in the chart. A typical chart is shown in Figure 3.2 (below).
Figure 3.2: A Typical Organisation Chart
In addition to providing the correct people a company must provide sufficient resources (money, equipment and time) for the system installation and operation. The company should identify the resource requirements and provide adequate resources for the task.
ISO 9002 requires the appointment of a Management Representative with defined responsibilities and authority for the management of quality. This is probably the most important position in terms of achieving and maintaining ISO 9002 and is the Quality Management Representative (QMR) in Figure 3.2.
In a small company there is no justification for a full time QMR and a person who has other duties normally does the job. Choosing your QMR involves several factors:
- The QMR needs to be orderly, organised, methodical, patient and computer literate - In the early stages there will be large amounts of paperwork to control. In the running stage the main work will also be the control of the paperwork and system modifications.
- The QMR should report directly to the Managing Director - The Managing Director is responsible for the Quality Policy and the QMR, whose role is to implement that policy, should report to the Managing Director for all aspects of the quality system.
- The QMR controls the Quality Management system. They do not have to actually perform any testing or inspection but must ensure that the testing or inspection is carried out as per the procedures.
For a small company, there are obviously limited numbers to choose from and there are often only one or two suitable people. The appointment of the Receptionist, Office Manager or Secretary as the QMR can be very effective. These people have good computer and organising skills, report to or have good access to the Managing Director, know the activities of the company and generally accept the extra responsibility and work willingly. Many window fabrication companies have very successfully used this route.
The choice of the QMR needs to be made at the earliest possible opportunity. The QMR should also be trained in auditing techniques so that you have a trained auditor to carry out system audits.
Management Review is carried out to check that the system is performing the way you want and is meeting the requirements of ISO 9002 and the Company Objectives. Management Reviews check that the company is not only doing things right but also doing the right things. The performance of the Quality System checks that things are being done right and progress towards the company objectives checks that the right things are being done.
The Management Review acts as:
- A formal review of your status and progress.
- A method to change the system as the company's needs change.
The system is not engraved in stone, you can change it as often as you like provided you document the changes and still conform to the requirements of ISO 9002. Many companies continuously add to the system, but you also need to remove things from the system. Forms and procedures can become obsolete and redundant and should be changed or removed entirely.
Management Review can either be a total waste of time or the most valuable part of the whole process. The ISO 9002 registration process gives you a totally documented system. This means that you can see where the paper and information flows and can work to improve the quality of information whilst reducing the amount of paper and duplicated work.
"Managing quality" is designed to give you direct and clear information on the requirements of ISO 9002. The series has been written specifically for window fabricators but most of the information is equally relevant to plastics processing of a general nature. The series is:
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2 - The requirements of ISO 9002
Part 3 - The procedures (Section 1) (This section)
Part 4 - The procedures (Section 2)
Part 5 - The procedures (Section 3)
Part 6 - The procedures (Section 4)
Part 7 - The procedures (Section 5)
Last edited: 11/03/10
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