ISO 9001: Awareness and Communications

In this series of blog posts, I will be taking a look at the main sections of ISO 9001, what they are, why they are important ...

This 101 is looking at Section 7.3 Awareness and 7.4 Communication. Why is this important to my business? Awareness and communication have to be key. Without them, people do not know what they are doing and why they are doing it.

"Hands up if, like me, you have worked in a company where that is the case?"

If people do not know what they are supposed to be doing, then customer satisfaction will naturally suffer. Incorrect products, services not being delivered consistently, you name it, it can and does happen. This is because people do not understand what is acceptable and what is not. What the implications are if things do meet the required standards also need to be understood.

You also need to think about customer or supplier communication. After all, they are also key to ensuring you maintain customer satisfaction.

How do I manage this? It will vary depending on your business and the formality required. An office-based business may use all sort of electronic means of communication to raise awareness such as intranets, messaging systems, and e-mails. In a site-based industry such as construction, noticeboards and toolbox talks are more likely to be appropriate.

What you need to communicate will depend on who you are communicating too. Internal and external communication will naturally be different.

Generally, though communication falls into 3 categories:
  1. Making sure people understand products, services and processes
  2. Clarifying what is expected such as behaviour or standards such as H&S or customer service levels
  3. Making sure people know how to deal with the exceptions e.g. complaints, H&S incidents

As a company, you will need to decide who can communicate too. For instance, who can speak to customers, the media, suppliers and so forth?

Many of the companies I have worked with have found it useful to have an independent person to work with them to help understand the requirements and how to implement them.

If you would like to know more about anything I've mentioned in this blog post, do give me a call on 01858 414226 or leave a comment below and let's see how I can help you.