ISO 9001 CERTIFICATION & RECERTIFICATION
In this period, SRI underwent four external surveillance audits by KEBS with the fifth doubling up as the recertification audit. In all the audits, SRI demonstrated compliance with the requirements of the ISO 9001:2008 standard.
Compliance did not come easy, big challenges were encountered and through ingenuous creativity were effectively surmounted. These achievements served as the hallmarks of continual improvement.
The first most conspicuous improvement was the redefinition of the Processes of the Foundation to reflect the distinct products/ services provided within and also to the external customers. This event saw the number of Processes increase from two (2) to thirty two (32). This also saw the revision of the â€œProcess Interactionâ€ structure to clearly reflect the Processes interacting directly with the Customers, Processes engaged in production of distinct Products/ Services to external Customers, Processes providing distinct support services and Processes involved in monitoring and improvement. It is from this improvement that the annual surveillance program by KEBS, for the entire certification period, was founded.
A critical benefit accrued from the redefinition of the Quality Management System (QMS) Processes became evident in the process of implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. The QMS Processes influences the definition of Processes in the ERP to the extent that these became cost-centers. This factor now ensures that each Process is able to effectively plan and ensure availability of resources in the annual Foundation budget. In effect, each Process is able to service it Customer requirements without the problem of unavailability of resources.
Another salient improvement was the full automation of the Quality Management Process. This was achieved through implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that was rolled-out starting the year 2010. This saw the full range of activities fully automated i.e. Audit Planning; Audit Execution; Handing of Corrective Actions and Non-Conformity Reporting; Capture of Management Review Minutes; and Capture of QMS documentation; Review of QMS Documentation; and Definition of Process. This single event did not only tremendously increase efficiency of the Quality Management in terms of workflow, traceability, and integrity of records but also greatly enhanced the awareness of the Quality Management System to the entire staff.
One of the salient benefits that arose from the automation of the Quality Management System, is the integration with Customer Complaints and Customer Satisfaction requirement of the Performance Contracting. With all complaints being captures as Non-conformities, through the automated workflow it was possible to track action in line with the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 i.e. assign responsible personnel to provide the root-cause, correction, and correction action. Further the workflow provides for follow-up to ensure correction is undertaken and that the corrective action is effective.
Further improvement came through training of all Process Owners as Internal Quality Auditors. This enhanced the awareness of the Standard to the lowest point of control within the Foundation.
The latest improvement entailed redefinition of all Centers as Processes complete with distinct Proced
ures and Cost Centers. This ensures effective allocation of resources as planed and also effective control of the resources by the staff at the Centers.
Other salient improvements include: proper handling of Potential Non-conformities; Effective definition of Customer Communication Process that handles aspects including Customer Complaints; and Efficient monitor
ing and analysis of Processes through automation.
With the recertification, SRI now looks forward to embracing Total Quality Management through full compliance to the eight principles of quality management. In this regard the Principles have been captured as part of the QMS. Further, the Internal Auditor has been appointed as alternate QMR with the mandate to ensure the Board is up-to-date with Quality Management performance and improvements.
To reach this juncture, special thanks for the team spirit, commitment, creativity and vibrant determination for the success goes to the Board members, CEO, KEBS, IQA team, and staff.