What is ISO 9001:2008?
ISO 9001 is an effective tool for increasing productivity, improving communications, promoting teamwork, improving performance and achieving quality goals for both service and manufacturing companies.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published a number of standards including a standard for quality assurance in 1987. The goal was to provide a common worldwide set of quality system guidelines and requirements. More than 200 countries including the U.S. have adopted ISO 9001 as the National Quality Standard. ISO 9001 is the first consistent set of international standards available to evaluate a company's ability to provide a quality product. The standard was modified in 1994, 2000, & 2008, thus the ISO 9001:2008.
Why did we choose to pursue compliance? Many companies talk about their Quality Programs and most companies do have some form of quality control. We at Redland, however, wanted to reach for the highest level of accomplishment, this being the realization of a world recognized quality management system and the inherent strengths of this quality standard.
What does this mean for our customers? The elements of the program investigate and measure every business activity including how the order is entered, the manufacturing process, as well as testing, packaging, shipping, etc. Accomplishment of this compliance means that we have met the Standard, and implied in this are better communications, better customer service and products manufactured consistent with a world recognized quality management system. The ISO compliant quality management system includes the following significant activities as performed by Redland Brick:
- A Quality Council that meets for the purpose of determining and discussing quality levels and means for improvement.
- Formal organizational structure that includes a Quality Policy Manual, Standard Operating Procedures and Work Instructions for all critical functions of the process.
- A Specification Book containing specific formulas for products.
- Formal training and communication meetings on a continuing basis.
- Formal procedure for order review to ensure customer satisfaction.
- Raw material mining practices that ensure early identification of requirements for maintaining proper raw material usage.
- Record keeping that is complete to guarantee traceability of the product in terms of its reproducibility.
- Inventory system organized to ensure proper ID, correct shipments and control of nonconforming product.
- Formal corrective/preventive action programs in which everyone can participate and that is reviewed by corporate management.
- Testing of materials conducted by outside labs as well as internally by company technicians.
- Process controls monitoring for critical areas of additive feed, texture and dimensions.
- Continuous finished product testing including:
- 24 Hour Cold Water Absorption
- Sampling of brick packages to ensure quality of finished product.
- Formal customer complaint procedure.
- Formal internal audit procedure which verifies compliance with the program. This assures every level of the quality system.
- Formal calibration program for critical equipment.
- Formal position on the environment relative to land reclamation, clean water and air emissions.
- A commitment to continually attempt to improve every facet of our business.
We also have in place procedures involving the ordering of critical quality-related materials, the receipt of these materials and the evaluation of these suppliers.