‘Quality’ lunch for all the team at Alpha Wireless
On Friday 26 July, all the staff at Alpha Wireless headed down to the local Fisherman’s Thatched Inn, Ballybrittas, County Laois, for a well-deserved lunch to celebrate, given the recent successful ISO9001 re-certification audit where we had 0 findings.
“As Alpha Wireless grows as a business, the Quality Management System (QMS) plays an important role to ensure we maintain consistent practices and behaviours across the business, giving any new employees a reference point to understand how we go about our business,” says Jim Findlay, Quality Manager, Alpha Wireless.
Over to Jim as he explains more about the importance of maintaining quality standards.
So what exactly is ISO 9001?
“ISO 9001 is the international standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system (QMS). Following the processes defined in the system allow Alpha Wireless to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. In order to get ISO 9001 certified, an external accredited company – NQA in our case – has to review processes and procedures to ensure they meet the requirements of ISO 9001:2015. Every group in Alpha Wireless had to document procedures, work instructions and generate records where appropriate.”
What was involved in maintaining certification?
“Over late 2018 and 2019 the quality group worked with each of the departments in Alpha Wireless to define and standardise processes and procedures. In 2019 an internal quality audit programme was undertaken with each department to review procedures and records to ensure each group was following the documented work instructions and processes. For many groups, our Sage 200 system defines how we manage our daily activities such as raising purchase orders and invoices. This provides a consistent method of work and full records of our activities.”
Why are internal audits so important?
“Every department at Alpha Wireless must identify and consider risks affecting processes and procedures – hence the importance of conducting internal audits. These will allow us to identify opportunities to improve the ways we are working and avoid any unexpected issues with the quality and reliability of our products. All the quality group plus selected employees from other groups will receive formal training to be an ISO:9001 Internal Auditor so that we conduct audits in a professional and consistent manner.”
“ISO9001:2015 places much more emphasis on risk for all aspects of the business. There’s also greater focus on linking each individual’s activity to the overall goals and objectives of the company, so we need to demonstrate how each person is supporting the strategic goals of Alpha Wireless.”
Jim Findlay, Quality Manager, Alpha Wireless
Our road to ISO9001 certification
- Alpha Wireless has held ISO9001:2008 certification since 2011
- Alpha Wireless was first certified to the new standard ISO9001:2015 in July 2018.
- The ISO9001 certificate is valid for 3 years, from July 2018 to July 2021.
- The 2018 audit for first time certification to ISO9001:2015 was conducted over two days, with the 2019 surveillance audit completed in one day.
You can find out more about Alpha Wireless’s quality policies here.