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ISO 9001: Identification And Traceability

Identification and traceability is important ...

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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 ...

With ISO 9001 you must make sure all the parts of your process are identifiable and traceable!

With ISO 9001 you must make sure all the parts of your process are identifiable and traceable!

copyright: wasja / 123rf

This 101 is looking into Section 8.5.2 Identification and traceability. Why is this important to my business? Well, we all want to deliver great products and services to our customers. In order to do this, you need to make sure you can correctly identify the right product or service and everything that constitutes it.

For example, if you are making a metal widget for your customer and delivering it, you need to know the correct drawing was used to create it, the correct material and equipment were used to make it and you are sending them the right product they are asking for to the right place.

In order to make sure you end up with a satisfied customer, you need to make sure all these parts of your process are identifiable and traceable.

How do I do this? This does depend on the type of product or service you provide. The following examples give you the idea:

  • If you have different materials for different products, are they stamped with the correct identifying details?

  • If you store goods for your customer, is this traceable throughout the warehouse? Do you have an identifier for which row and position the product is stored?

  • When dealing with parcels or letters, is there a barcode that can be scanned to follow its process through the delivery process?

  • If you send documents to clients, are they identifiable by title and/or document number so you do not send the wrong document to the wrong client?

  • Do you have forms that identify who did what part of the process and who authorised it?

These examples give you an idea of how identification and traceability is important to your business.

How do I manage this? There are a variety of ways you can manage this. With products, it can be marker pens, labels and digital methods to visibly make things identifiable in a way that suits your systems. With services, you can set ways to name documentation, version control systems or logging e-mails in CRM systems.

Personally, I use Teamwork to help me manage my identification and traceability. Each client has their own custom portal they log into to access their own document, tasks, and information. Each action on the system is tracked so you can trace what is going on if needed. 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 understand the requirements and how to implement them.

"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 ...


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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.


01858 414226