Sonnex achieves the latest ISO9001:2015 certification!

In mid-2016, Jano decided to take the business to the next level in terms of our quality management system. He realised that in order to keep improving and ensure the best service to our customers, we needed to bring our business processes in line with the world’s standard of quality assurance.

Sharon was appointed as the full time Quality Administrator to begin the process of achieving accreditation which would take 6 months to complete, then ongoing maintenance. In July 2016, we began the task of implementing the system.

The latest version is ISO9001:2015, updated from ISO9001:2008. The main changes are that it’s management led and very practical. It’s more customised for our individual business, with real benefits to our customers.

With Sonnex being one of the first manufacturing businesses in South Australia to achieve the updated standard, there wasn’t a lot of advice or resources available from others who were already certified.

As with any changes in a business or organisation,  it takes time to adapt new processes. However, the employees have understood the benefits of the new system and graciously adopted the changes and worked as a team to reach our goal of certification before the end of 2016.

It was amazing to see the decrease in mistakes over just a few months due to the reporting, evaluation, and subsequent actions that the system required us to undertake. Work areas appeared neater and more standardised, which improved the overall appearance of the work shop and office spaces.

The tangible benefits of ISO9001:2015 accreditation for our business so far are:

  • It is a customer focused system – regular customer feedback is collected and discussed implemented.
  • Service providers and suppliers are evaluated and monitored to ensure quality throughout the entire job process.
  • Non-conformances (i.e. expensive mistakes!) have significantly reduced as each incident is reported, evaluated, and steps are taken to avoid future re-occurrences.
  • Turnaround time for our customers jobs have reduced and is continuing to reduce as the processes are becoming more efficient and each work area is neater and streamlined.
  • Traceability is in place for customers who require test certificates or evidence of material with Australian standards.
  • Continuous improvement is also now a part of our culture as a result of monthly data analysis, customer feedback, corrective action requests, risk assessments, and the trainings which staff have and will continue to undertake.
  • We also conduct regular internal audits to ensure the processes are being followed and we are ‘doing what we say and saying what we do.’

As Sharon says, “I am grateful for the standards which have been developed over time by industry professionals, and I appreciate the auditor coming to examine the intricate details of our system. I value standards because it feels rewarding to know that we are operating in a manner in which our customers (and their needs) are genuinely valued.”