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The Quality Management System (QMS) at CADFEM UK CAE Ltd. has become increasingly important as the company and its customer base has continued to expand. As CADFEM UK CAE Ltd. has grown, the company have realised that the existing QMS needed to change and, as such, that it was important to have an internationally respected, quality system. ISO 9001:2008 is a comprehensive set of standards for quality assurance in the manufacturing and service industries, which allows companies to develop and document their quality systems.
The implementation of an effective quality management system (QMS) offered a structured, systematic approach to improving the customer experience and helping CADFEM UK CAE Ltd. meet its organisational aims and objectives.
In June 2009, CADFEM UK CAE Ltd., embarked on a journey to achieve ISO 9001 accreditation.
LRQA (Lloyds Register Quality Assurance) are a market leader in the provision of ISO 9001 assessment and certification and due to their rigorous assessments and internationally renowned reputation CADFEM UK CAE Ltd. engaged LRQA to perform their assessment.
As part of the ISO 9001 assessment procedures, LRQA thoroughly audited CADFEM UK CAE Ltd.’s business operation with the first assessment being carried out by LRQA in October 2009, after which a report was issued with recommendations to be followed in preparation for the second assessment. This was carried out in March 2010 and CADFEM UK CAE Ltd. achieved ISO certification from LRQA in April 2010. Certification to ISO 9001:2008 (the internationally-recognised QMS standard) demonstrates CADFEM UK CAE Ltd.’s commitment to quality.
The Paperless Approach to ISO 9001
Previously CADFEM UK CAE Ltd.’s quality management system for its three main areas of business; Software Sales, Consultancy and Training were not documented or driven by software. This has now changed and the QMS for the three main areas of business is operated through software that has been written in-house. Every area of CADFEM UK CAE Ltd.’s work is now being documented. The software, written using Microsoft Visual Basic, creates a Quality Record for each area of CADFEM UK CAE Ltd.’s business. The Quality Record is a Microsoft Excel File which is stored as a record for future reference.
CADFEM UK CAE Ltd.’s paperless quality management system is driven from the company Intranet (see graphic to left); it requires low maintenance and is easy to use. The graphics below show some of the forms that are generated by the system. This system not only adds value, but also cuts down on filing cabinets and excess documentation. The QMS is used from the proposal and quotation stage of the process right through to the satisfaction feedback from the customer. It is applicable to the provision of consultancy services and computer simulation in finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics to the engineering industry, including sales of related software and provision of associated training. Doing everything electronically means that the system fits into an automated on-site and off-site backup strategy.
The LRQA were particularly impressed with our electronic system of recording quality checks, automated system backup, use of outlook to assign and manage tasks and remote access.
Extra procedures have been put in place to prevent the deletion, duplication and misfiling of CADFEM UK CAE Ltd.’s controlled documents and also to ensure the adequacy of the document prior to release.
The implementation of ISO 9001 has meant that there is now less scope for errors to be made.
As a result of obtaining ISO 9001 registration, CADFEM UK CAE Ltd. has standardised its procedures across all areas of business, thus obtaining uniformity and consistency throughout the company.
Using ISO 9001 standards has raised the level of quality consciousness and awareness amongst employees, helping them to focus on understanding and meeting the requirements of CADFEM UK CAE Ltd.’s customers. In addition the customer complaint process has improved, in particular the capturing and resolving of complaints. This will lead to improved productivity and reduced waste that could also have financial benefits.
We are aware that a focus on quality is important in sustaining business relationships and long term success and opportunity for both CADFEM UK CAE Ltd. and its Customers.