Article - ISO 9001/Audits Tools and Technology
Quality auditing has made many strides and advancements since the days of Walter Shewhart and Joseph Juran. Back then, much of what took place was visually inspecting items on the shop floor. Today all aspects of auditing have been enhanced by various tools and technology. Communication is no longer only face to face or through the telephone. More and more people now work remotely and use various collaborative tools to work and to communicate. Technology has brought us cool advances such as Microsoft teams where we can work together no matter where our home base is located. When I think of technology in relation to ISO 9001 and audits, two things come to mind. First, cloud based QMS software, and second, e-audits.
There are many great tools to make the audit process easy for both users and administrators. I personally work as a Black Belt and Quality Manager at a mid-sized fulfillment company. Most of the employees at my company were intimidated by the ISO 9001 audit. We found a cloud based QMS software program, QT9, which relieved most of our fears. By using this tool, we have all of our documents, Corrective Actions, Risk Assessments, and Supplier Evaluations (just to name a few) in one place. Before QT9, our documents were scattered in folders throughout the network. This tool was instrumental in bringing quality to everyone. While I love quality and the whole auditing process, not everyone feels that way. We found a program that was easy to use for all levels of the organization. Now when we have a corrective action, a production supervisor
can go into our system and get to the root cause by answering 5-whys and send tasks to others to help prevent reoccurrences. Without technology, completing a corrective action would be very tedious and due to the hassle, the problem might have gone unaddressed.
One major technological advancement in the world of auditing is e-auditing. Companies are always looking for ways to become more efficient. In the past auditors would always have to travel from location to location to do on-site audits. The travel could be very expensive and time consuming. With the advent of e-auditing, the travel expense for auditing can be eliminated. Geography is no longer an issue. My registrar can now have clients in Southern Illinois and Southern France.
A great thing about the ISO 9000 World Conference is that you will hear from auditing experts that have mastered technological advances such as e-auditing and see exhibits featuring companies such as QT9. What makes it great about the ISO 9000 & Audits World Conference is that the subject matter experts are often willing and available to answer specific questions related to your industry or organization and give tips and suggestions. Tools and technology are just two of the great topics that will be discussed at the conference. Other subject matters include: career advancement, manufacturing best practices, and how to apply your certification. Check out the website at www.iso9000conference.com for a full list of conference topics and general conference information.
Department of Commerce
Environmental Protection Agency
Schindler Elevator Corporation