We’re pleased to announce that we have once again been successful in our ISO 9001 surveillance audit and retain our quality management certification, with zero non-conformities and OFIs! This is a brilliant result for the team, and we’re grateful to all employees who excelled during their respective audits.
We spoke with our Head of Quality Compliance, Liz Silkstone who shared a bit of history with us from where we first started, to gaining our certifications and why it is so important to us and our clients.
How it all began
Once upon a time, 365 Response was an SME (small to medium-sized enterprise). When I say small, I mean literally there were three employees. I was employee number 3 and therefore have been part of the amazing story of 365 Response since the very beginning.
To see where we are now, how far we’ve come and grown is very moving and makes me incredibly proud.
Our founder, Sarah Fatchett, had the vision and passion to create this wonderful company and realised quickly implementing certified Management Systems would help us in the journey to become the market leaders we are today.
ISO Management Systems are internationally recognised standards developed and published by the International Organisation for Standardisation. To become certified against any of the ISO standards a third-party body must audit the management system implemented by the company. This is done on three yearly cycle – so we have two surveillance audits (ensuring the system is working) and then one comprehensive re-certification audit where the entire system is looked at in depth, audited and measured.
Going back in time, as an SME, becoming certified in ISO 9001 was a huge milestone for our business. Gaining certification ensured all our processes were improved, our reputation benefited, and we could evidence we consistently delivered customer satisfaction. It enabled us to tender for local and national government contracts, allowed us to trade with larger businesses and provided assurance to our customers that we were an ambitious, capable and credible company to work with.
The seven significant principles we must adhere to and are measured against:
The goal of any company is to satisfy the customer and keep them happy. All steps in improvement should be made with this goal in mind. As we implemented ISO9001, every decision was made with the customer and their satisfaction in mind.
Leadership in ISO 9001 is based on two things; a clear vision of the future and the ability to communicate that vision. The ability to see where the company was headed and communicate it, helped to keep everyone focused on achieving the same goal.
A process must be controlled and repeated. By focusing on processes, we knew produced the desired results, we increased the rate we achieved these results.
ISO focuses on a process of Plan Do Check Act (PDCA), designed to promote a process driven culture that infects the entire company, regardless of department.
One of the core focuses of the ISO 9001 system is constant and continued improvement. At every stage of the process there is an opportunity to question if the current method is the best, with the ability to improve upon any inefficiencies that might arise.
Evidence-based Decision Making
This principle is based on the idea of providing all members of an organisation with the most accurate information as possible, so all decisions can be as informed as possible. By making all information available, team members are and feel empowered to take initiative.
This principle of the ISO9001 system stresses the relationships a company will build with their customers and suppliers. By basing these relationships on trust and open communication, these relationships ensure we are considered an efficient, safe and credible organisation.
These principles are designed to work in unison and reinforce each other. They also provide us with a way to constantly improve each step and always be reviewing our processes to ensure they are the best possible.
Back to the present day:
365 Response is no longer an SME; we are part of the RL Datix family. This is a phenomenal journey from the tiny office we started in, with three employees and an inspirational leader – all looking at each other and wondering how we could ensure growth, success, integrity and care. Gaining our ISO certifications was a significant and important first step and continues to be the cornerstone and framework of our wonderful company.
Liz Silkstone, Head of Quality and Compliance
If you’d like to speak to us about our certifications or any of our solutions, please get in touch with us by calling 0333 2027 365 or emailing [email protected]