The quality management system (QMS) at IDAC has become
increasingly important as the company and its customer base has continued to expand. As IDAC has grown, the company has
realised that the existing QMS needed to change and, as such, that it was important to have an internationally respected, quality system. ISO 9001:2008 is a comprehensive set of standards for quality assurance in the manufacturing and service industries, which allows companies to develop and document their quality systems.
The implementation of an effective QMS offered a structured, systematic approach to improving the
customer experience and helping IDAC meet its organisational
aims and objectives. In June 2009, IDAC embarked on a journey to achieve ISO 9001 accreditation.
Lloyds Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) are a market leader in the provision of ISO 9001 assessment and certification and due to their rigorous assessments and internationally renowned reputation IDAC engaged LRQA to perform their assessment.
As part of the ISO 9001 assessment procedures, LRQA thoroughly audited IDAC’s business operation with
the first assessment being carried out by LRQA in October 2009, after which a report was issued with
recommendations to be followed in preparation for the second assessment. This was carried out in March
2010 and IDAC achieved ISO certification from LRQA in April 2010. Certification to ISO 9001:2008 (the
internationally recognised QMS standard) demonstrates IDAC’s commitment to quality.
The paperless approach to ISO 9001
Previously IDAC’s QMS for its three main areas of business – software sales, consultancy and training – was not documented or driven by software. This has now changed and the QMS for the three main areas of business is operated through software that has been written in-house. Every area of IDAC’s work is now being documented. The software, written using Microsoft Visual Basic, creates a
quality record for each area of IDAC’s business. The quality record is a Microsoft Excel File, which is
stored as a record for future reference.
IDAC’s paperless QMS is driven from the company Intranet; it is low
maintenance and easy to use. This
system not only adds value, but also cuts down on filing
cabinets and excess documentation. The QMS is used from
the proposal and quotation stage of the process right
through to the satisfaction feedback from the customer. It is applicable to the provision of consultancy services and
computer simulation in finite element analysis and
computational fluid dynamics to the engineering industry,
including sales of related software and provision of
associated training. Doing everything electronically means that the system fits into an automated on-site and
off-site backup strategy.
The LRQA were particularly impressed with our electronic
system of recording quality checks, automated system
backup, use of outlook to assign and manage tasks, and
Extra procedures have been put in place to prevent the
deletion, duplication and misfiling of IDAC’s controlled
documents and also to ensure the adequacy of the
document prior to release.
The implementation of ISO 9001 has meant that there is now less scope for errors to be made.
As a result of obtaining ISO 9001 registration, IDAC has standardised its procedures across all areas of
business, thus obtaining uniformity and consistency throughout the company.
Using ISO 9001 standards has raised the level of quality consciousness and awareness among
employees, helping them to focus on understanding and meeting the requirements of IDAC’s customers. In
addition, the customer complaint process has improved, in particular the capturing and resolving of
complaints. This will lead to improved productivity and reduced waste that could also have financial benefits.
We are aware that a focus on quality is important in sustaining business relationships and long term success
and opportunity for both IDAC and its customers.