Deciding to adopt a quality system in a company can be definitely considered as a strategic choice.

It is a strategic choice when it is understood and aimed to a continuous improvement of performance, hence, the company competitiveness.

It is a strategic choice when it becomes an instrument of control used by top management to decide on the future and data analysis related activities.

It is a strategic choice when it leads to defining organization and responsibility aimed at achieving objectives and, therefore, the implementation of company’s policies.

It is a strategic choice, but also a necessary one, when you need to demonstrate your ability to continuously produce safe products and services able to meet the customers’ needs.

However, it is not a strategic choice when it is considered as a “we create some documents to gain the “Badge”, but let’s live the organization with extemporaneous rules and decisions dictated by the moment” kind of decision. It is not strategic when it appears to be a necessary evil forced by some kind of legal or contractual situation.

The technical standards* supporting this “strategic choice” may represent a guide, but they don’t necessarily run out of arguments in terms of real applicability and operational decisions capable of determining those degrees of efficiency and effectiveness for each specific company. They can therefore address but not exactly define the operational framework necessary to better compete in the reference markets.

Changes to ISO standards are subject to more or less regular intervals and they are the result of technological, legal or competitive environment changes, but they almost always include revisions aimed at improving the descriptive mode, with the ultimate aim of getting easier to understand.

The future of rules may reserve changes to substance and form, once again oriented to consider technological, legal and competitive environment changes.

If new management theories related to innovative organizational and management practices may develop and become customary, they can be considered and included in the forthcoming revisions.

Even the consequences related to the ongoing revolution of the “so-called” Industry 4.0 will have to be considered. The operation of interconnected robot, the productive activity managed by 3D printers, the use of augmented reality to support production processes, the integration of information along the value chain from the supplier to the consumer, the management of large amounts of data on open systems and related safety aspects, as well as the analysis of Big Data aimed to optimize the production processes, are all aspects that, in some way, may end up finding space and attention in future revisions of quality systems regulations.

 

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Paride Bruni
Quality Manager