Understanding how ISO and document management can work together is important.  Knowing where to start and how to handle your processes and documents can seem overwhelming.

What is ISO 9001?

The ISO 9001 certification requires that a company regularly audits its quality processes. Regular process audits, when done correctly, provide the feedback needed to correct any deviations and keep the company focused on its goals.

ISO 9001 requires that businesses maintain control of documents.  Clause 7.5 requires a business to keep and maintain documented information necessary, to support business processes.  Then in turn, be confident that these processes are being carried out as planned.

Why have an ISO accreditation?

To meet customer requirements: Some firms will only use a supplier that is ISO accredited, this can help to maintain existing or gain new customers.

Improve company and product quality: Looking at all business processes in detail and how they work, or indeed don’t work so well, can only serve to enhance them in the long run.

Understand and communicate company processes: This helps to increase productivity as employees understand the reasoning behind the processes.

Improve consistency: If your customers want a consistent product; same size, quality, weight etc. then increasing the control of the production processes is vital.

Focus your employees: Having the right objectives, metrics, and procedures should focus employees on what’s important.  Regular external and internal audits help with this.

Improve efficiency and save money: Processes improve and become slicker when then are managed more carefully.  This goes hand in hand with improving efficiency, and is where savings can be made.

ISO and Document Management

DocTech’s document management system DocuWare, indexes (names and stores) documents by fields such as name, author, date created/stored and document type.  The status of each document, date for renewal and last edited/accessed by can also be included.

The DocuWare system securely stores documents, but it can also help with admin tasks that are required to meet ISO standards.  For example, if you say in your Quality Management Document you review the businesses Environmental Policy every year, a rule can be put in place in DocuWare to remind you to renew it in 11 months’ time.

Document version control manages the drafts and different versions of a document. Version control provides an audit trail for the revisions, and evidence of the finalised version.

DocuWare can automatically track and update records so users know exactly which is the latest version of any document.  To notify users of an update to an instruction manual, email alerts can be automatically sent out.

Critically, most users will only see the latest version of any given document.  For transparency and ISO compliance, all changes will be recorded in the back end of the software.

If you have any questions or would like to know more on how ISO and document management work together, please get in touch.