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ISO 9001: Control Of Externally Provided Processes

Products, and services too ...


In this series of helpful blog posts, commonly called a 101, I will be taking a look at the main sections of ISO 9001, what they are, why they are important to your business and a few tips on how to implement the standard ...

You do not have to use businesses that are ISO 9001 unless required by your own customers!

You do not have to use businesses that are ISO 9001 unless required by your own customers!

copyright: ismagilov / 123rf

This 101 is looking into Section 8.4 Control of externally provided processes, products, and services. Why is this important to my business? Well, every business has external suppliers. They could be everything from consultants, materials, tradespersons and so on.

You need to be sure they are delivering what they said they would!

You need to know how the externally provided processes, products, and services interact with your business and what your requirements for them are. This is because it will influence your own products and services. If that is positive it will enhance customer satisfaction, if negative, it won’t.

The first thing you need to do is decide and record what criteria you are going to apply to your suppliers. Do you care about on-time delivery? Accuracy? Price? Customer service? Or are they simply the only provider in the country, or your customers named supplier you have to use? This needs to be reviewed to weed out any supplier issues you may have.

You do not have to use businesses that are ISO9001 (or any another ISO) certified unless required by a customer or other interested parties such as government departments!

You then need to make sure you control your externally provided processes. This could be describing what you require on a purchase order, ensuring contractors have the right qualifications or inspecting goods when they arrive at your factory. For more complex projects it will include more details such as communications required, roles and responsibilities, packaging requirements.

There are a variety of ways you can manage this. Personally, I use Teamwork to help me manage my externally provided processes. You can determine the risk level of using a particular supplier, record your criteria in a notebook and link to supplier website via the links section.

Any issues can be raised as tasks and tracked through the system. You can set tasks to remind you to review and update information too. There are a lot of options to suit whatever process you decide on.

Many of the companies I have worked with have found it useful to have an independent person to work with them to help control their externally provided processes.

"Would you like to know more?"

If you'd like to find out more about ISO 9001 then do give me a call on 01858 414226 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...

Book a meeting with me at a time that suits you by clicking this link

More about Ellen Willoughby ...

I'm Ellen, Director of All About Quality and All About Productivity. I have over 20 years experience as professional in the quality world and 17 years as a practising Buddhist. As a result of this, I have a passion for improvement. in both business and personal life.


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