TE Wire & Cable has always been committed to quality management and creating the best products possible for our customers. This post features the second part of our interview with our Quality Control Dept., this time focusing on technical questions about TE Wire's ISO 9001:2015 Certification.
Q1: What would you say are some of the differences between ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 9001:2015?
- A: A significant change from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015 is that top management has to take more responsibility for the effectiveness of the quality management systems (QMS). In older versions of the standard, the quality representative took on most of the quality management roles. Also, the introduction and explicit requirements to risk management, interested parties, context of the organization, and more detailed process approach has allowed the QMS to become more useful in fitting with the needs of top management achieving company goals.
Q2: How would you say ISO/IEC 17025 differs from ISO 9001:2015?
- A: ISO 9001:2015 essentially guides the companies QMS to meet the needs of customers as well as regulatory and statutory requirements. There are many similarities between ISO 9001 and ISO/IEC 17025, but 17025 applies directly to organizations that produce testing and calibration results while verifying competence. In other words 17025 is for laboratories concerned with demonstrating technical competence underlying their quality system.
Q3: Were there any third party auditors like LRQA?
- A: Per their online bio, "Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) is the world's leading provider of independent assessment services including certification, validation, verification and training across a broad spectrum of standards and schemes, with recognition from over 50 accreditation bodies around the world". They are our only third party auditor for ISO 9001, and for ISO/IEC 17025 we are audited by A2LA.
Q4: What does ISO 9001:2015 allow for us to continue to do?
- A: Completing the transition successfully allows us to meet new customers while being able to service our current customers basis. The new standard enables us to clearly state our objectives and identify new business opportunities, while at the same time consistently meeting and enhancing our customers satisfaction. It allows us to work more efficiently by aligning our processes to our business goals, thus making us more productive and improving quality. It also gives us the opportunity to address all the risks and opportunities within the organization.
Q5: What are some of the requirements?
- A: The ISO 9001 requirements provide a set of fundamentals that guide companies in the implementation of a productive and efficient QMS. The requirements are applicable to any company in any industry, and it specifies what elements are mandatory in a QMS, but doesn’t tell the companies how to implement them. The new standard is more explicit about the significance of the process approach, incorporating the PDCA cycle. Risk has always been a feature of ISO 9001, however now it’s explicit to the entire QMS. It uses a risk-based approach and requires that we identify, plan, and take action on risks and opportunities that are relevant to achieving the intended outcomes of the QMS. As stated prior, the new standard requires top management to have more involvement in the QMS. They are responsible for ensuring that requirements are integrated into the organization’s processes and that the policy and objectives are aligned with the strategic direction of the organization.
- The seven quality principals still remain:
i. customer focus
iii. engagement of people
iv. process approach
vi. evidence-based decision making
vii. relationship management
Q6: Anything happening in the future to look forward to?
- A: TE Wire has consistently been improving our process integrations and quality of products, customer, and employee satisfaction. Within the next 8 months, TE Wire will be transitioning to ISO 17025:2017 from the current 17025:2005 version. With this transition we look forward to further improvements to our QMS, process, risk assessments, calibration practices and increased customer satisfaction.