Quality management system ISO 9001 secures our quality

By being ISO 9001 certified, our customers are reassured of quality processes leading to quality products. This contributes to achieving the goals set in SDG 12, 16 and 17 of the UN Social Development Goals, among others.

ISO 9001, quality management system

ISO 9001 is the international standard for a quality management system (“QMS”) and demonstrates our ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements and to demonstrate continuous improvement.

ISO 9001 certification requires time, money, external experts, focus and priority. On the benefit side, we’ve succeeded in increasing our overall business performance, it helps us reduce costs and empowers the Sioen team spirit.

ISO 9001, a definition

The ISO 9001 standards are part of the ISO 9000 family of standards published by the International Organisation for Standardisation. Specifically, the ISO 9001 defines, for any company or other voluntary organisation, the criteria needed for setting up a strategy for quality management. Regularly updated since its creation in 1987, it now incorporates the concepts of process and continuous improvement in line with changing economic and societal challenges. (source)

ISO 9001 is not a standard for products. It does not define product quality. This is a process-based standard that is used to control processes. One could argue though that when a company uses quality-controlled processes, the end product should also meet the desired results.

ISO 9001 evaluates whether our Quality Management System is appropriate and effective, while forcing us to identify and implement improvements. Continuous improvement assures customers of products that meet high quality requirements. Moreover, it guarantees that we deliver consistent performance. Consequently, our company profits from increased job satisfaction, improved morale, and improved operational results. Increased efficiency and reduced scrap are just some examples.

Plan – Do – Check - Act

There are 10 sections in ISO 9001, with additional subclauses. To successfully implement ISO 9001:2015 we must meet the requirements as set in the sections 4 to 10 (as only the sections 4-10 contain requirements that are auditable). In addition, we must meet customer, statutory and regulatory requirements.

  1. Context of the organisation
  2. Leadership
  3. Planning
  4. Support
  5. Operation
  6. Performance evaluation
  7. Improvements

Source

All Sioen companies are ISO 9001 audited and certified

ISO certifications take lots of time and resources in our company. Still, we chose to do the audits. Not once, but many times because of the way we’re organised. Our company is a conglomerate of more than 30 companies, each with their specific capabilities.

Contrary to some other businesses that merely hold a brand (sales & marketing) and outsource all the rest, Sioen manages the entire value chain of a garment. In addition, we handle the entire value chain from yarn and fibre to coated fabric. Including extra services, such as cutting and welding. This implies that we have a 360° view on textiles, and that we have an impact on all levels. On top of that, we’re also producing colouring solutions. At Sioen, a quality audit is guaranteed in every step of the value chain. Hence, all the production processes we have in-house, are ISO 9001 certified.

7 principles of quality management

In order to be certified to the ISO 9001 standard, we must follow the requirements set forth in the ISO 9001 Standard. The concept of quality management, as applied in the ISO 9001 standards consists of 7 principles:

  1. Customer orientation: Efforts must be made to target customers as best as possible and meet their current expectations and anticipate their future needs;
  2. Leadership: At each level of responsibility, managers and executives must relay the defined quality objectives and put in place the conditions needed to accomplish them effectively;
  3. Staff involvement: Regardless of their positions, all staff members must be competent, well-regarded, properly informed about quality issues and motivated to achieve the quality objectives that have been set;
  4. The process approach: Each action developed must be considered and evaluated, not independently, but as an interactive element of a global process based on a coherent and systematic quality strategy;
  5. Continuous improvement: An environment of constant progress, according to the virtuous circle of the Deming wheel (plan > do > check > act), must favour an optimal adaptability to the contextual evolutions (both internally and externally);
  6. Decision-making must be supported by objective data: The analysis and evaluation of available data, as well as the identification and anticipation of causal links, work all as guarantees for relevant and sustainable decision-making
  7. Partner relations: a good management of relations with the various partners (suppliers, service providers, etc.) must integrate their effective involvement in the quality approach of the company or organisation.
    (source)

ISO 9001 increases value & performance

Implementing the robust ISO 9001 standard entails internal benefits, but most importantly also benefits our customers.

It leads to better internal management, increased efficiency, productivity and even profit, consistent outcomes, measured and monitored.

ISO 9001 is a recognised standard worldwide. We notice improved customer retention and acquisition. It minimises mistakes, improves reporting and communications, leads to better quality products and a reliable production scheduling and delivery.

The ISO 9001 Standard is maintained by annual assessments.