Our customers are an incredible bunch, working on products that change lives, and for whom accreditation is a very serious business. As such, we want to hold ourselves to the same standards. Being ISO 9001:2015 certified not only adds credibility to our product, but demonstrates to our customers that, yes, we do understand what an audit is like, and yes we can speak firsthand to how Qualtrax makes an enormous difference.
A few weeks ago, we went through the process of an external audit. And–exciting news!–we came away with 0 findings! Yes, zero. How incredible is that? Our auditor left us this glowing comment:
“The company makes good use of computer systems (including its own Qualtrax compliance software) to enter and track information. As a result, there is little handwritten data, which increases accessibility and significantly reduces the risk of manual documentation errors.”
Talk about a reason to celebrate! Many of our customers apply for and maintain compliance standards because of industry pressure; a company that is ISO certified gains consumer confidence because a third party deems their product reliable and safe. Qualtrax doesn’t have those same pressures. Our dedication to maintaining ISO 9001:2015 certification is voluntary.
“ISO 9001:2015 is a great framework for what we’re doing already, and it holds us accountable to our business processes. We make sure we’re putting those processes above all else and keeping our customers first, even when bandwidth is tight,” C.J. Page, Vice President of Operations, explained. He oversees both internal and external audits at Qualtrax, and this was his first experience with an external audit for Qualtrax. “It was gratifying to be given that comment. Good, clean quality systems can be hard work to maintain, but it’s worth it.”
Of course, this review doesn’t mean we’re ready to loosen up or slack off in our compliance. “The great part about ISO 9001:2015 is that it asks us to embrace the concept of findings,” CJ explained. “We go through internal and external audits in order to find things we could be doing better. Even though we walked away from the audit with 0 findings, we created a lot of OFIs (Opportunity for Improvement) for ourselves during the process.”
For example, one of the keys to a successful audit–and something that a compliance management software like Qualtrax can help with–is making compliance part of your routine. “You can’t do this overnight. To do [an audit] successfully and to be really prepared you have to be doing [those processes] all the time. Making a rhythm out of quality and compliance means you’re doing it right,” CJ said. “We want to get better at a rhythm of managing our compliance. We’re working to build it more and more into our daily routines and practices at Qualtrax, beyond just complying to our ISO 9001:2015 certification.”
An external body coming in and finding our own use of our product to be a critical part of our success is amazing, and it’s even better that we found paths forward to better our product and services for our customers. “There’s no better way to support our product than showing [our customers] the results of our own use. If we’re using this system to manage things in-house, then you know it’s good,” CJ said. “We want to take it one step further. When an auditor walks into a place, we want them to say ‘yes, they use Qualtrax.’ It’s a sign that you take compliance seriously.” And we’d be remiss to not have the same expectations for ourselves!