We are pleased to announce that this month, Kotrak SA has been officially awarded the ISO 9001: 2015 certificate. Its acquisition confirms the compliance of our services with the international standard that specifies the requirements for quality management. What this means for us and our clients, you will learn from an interview with Maciej Westfal (Management Board Representative for the Quality Management System at Kotrak SA) and Tomasz Grela (Consultant BiuroNorma Sp. Z oo).
In our article you will learn:
What is ISO?
Maciej Westfal: ISO is the name of the International Organization for Standardization, which was established in 1947 in Geneva. It brings together standardization associations from various countries of the world, and Poland is represented in this group by the National Committee for Standardization. The goal of these organizations is to create common standards of operation in virtually all areas of our lives. The expression ISO itself is not an abbreviation but a name and refers to the Greek word isos, meaning equal.
ISO standards used in business are aimed at the standardization of processes and activities in the company, ensuring appropriate quality and repeatability so that customers are served at the highest global level. These standards also apply to management areas in enterprises, ensuring a high level of work safety, data processing and document storage.
What ISO standards have we implemented in our company?
Tomasz Grela: Currently, the ISO 9001: 2015 standard has been implemented at Kotrak. Its implementation is to ensure repeatability, predictability and credibility of the company in terms of the quality of services provided, as well as consistency and cohesion in the field of enterprise management. This standard is responsible for:
- assembling the organization in all areas of its operation
- organization of processes and their effective management
- improving operational efficiency and reducing the number of errors (increasing operational efficiency, reducing costs, better use of human resources and infrastructure)
MW: The scope of the certification in Kotrak SA covered design, production and implementation of software, service and sale of computer hardware, fiscal devices, and scales. It also includes the sale of software, provision of programming services, maintenance and development in the field of software, as well as the sale and service of devices for food processing.
ISO 9001: 2015 certification is aimed at supporting the continuous improvement of our company. The Management Board of Kotrak SA plans to consistently raise the work standards of our company, and the implementation of ISO 9001: 2015 is the first stage on the road leading to further certifications. The next planned quality target is the ISO 27001 standard in the field of information security management. Through this certificate, we intend to confirm the procedures and practices that have been used for a long time in this area.
What are the benefits of implementing ISO 9001: 2015?
TG: The implementation of ISO 9001: 2015 has a lot of benefits. It is primarily the improvement of internal communication, transparency in the area of responsibility and employee rights, and organization of the work environment. Obviously, this results in increased awareness of the duties, responsibilities, rights and actions of employees, and thus an increase in their motivation and commitment. It is also an increase in awareness of the impact of their work on the quality and success of the company.
A company with ISO 9001: 2015 implemented can effectively respond to changes both inside the company and those outside the organization. The implementation of the standard requires risk and opportunity management, thus making business decisions based on risk analysis. The implementation of the standard also means managing changes in a controlled and predictable manner.
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TG: Conscious implementation of ISO is a very important stage in the development of the company and building its competitive advantage. The implementation of such standards positions the company above other similar ones, as it ensures a high, international standard of the company’s operation. These types of companies attract new investors much more often, because ISO certificates are not only a symbol of a strong and conscious company, but also reduce or even remove various international barriers (e.g. trade).
Customers are also more willing to cooperate with enterprises whose operations are confirmed by proven and generally accepted standards. They guarantee more effective satisfaction of their needs and higher satisfaction in terms of cooperation. ISO is also synonymous with effective communication and constant improvement of the services provided by the company, for example, thanks to the analysis of feedback provided by contractors.
It is worth remembering that the ISO 9001: 2015 standard also gives the company the tools to develop in an orderly manner and in the right direction.
Each company in which I have implemented ISO 9001: 2015 has grown in strength, both in operational and business terms. It became more effective in its activities, acquired new customers, and organized relations with suppliers. In most cases, these companies retained valuable employees, expanded their portfolio of services and products, and implemented many new and interesting management ideas. Currently, most of these companies cannot imagine returning to the previous reality before ISO. On the contrary – each year they are reaching higher and higher, implementing new standards and raising the quality of their processes to the world’s best-of-the-best levels.
MW: This possibility of implementing further norms and standards is one of the important reasons why we decided to implement ISO 9001: 2015 in Kotrak. The dynamic development of our company has opened up international markets for us. We are present on five continents, serving contractors from various industries. In order to constantly provide them with the highest level of services and win new customers, we are aware of the key role of introducing international standards. We can see how much they improve cooperation with our foreign corporate partners. Therefore, we treat receiving the ISO 9001: 2015 certificate as the starting point for gaining new ones, confirming our high position on the technology market.
How was the implementation of ISO in Kotrak?
MW: In our company, we implemented ISO together with BiuroNorma, which is a leader among consulting companies, actively operating throughout our country and successfully serving both small companies and very large international entities. The certification audit was carried out for us by Bureau Veritas, a world-class Swiss organization present on the market since 1828.
TG: For every company, the implementation of ISO 9001: 2015 is undoubtedly a development leap in the field of organization management. It is a new quality and a new way of thinking and perceiving reality.
Kotrak performed this task very well. It owes this success mainly to the people working within it. It is they who build companies and systems – not consultants, not procedures, not process maps or quality books. Of course, all this is support, but without the right people, nothing will happen.
Kotrak, however, is made up of a fantastic team of young, committed and intelligent specialists who additionally have a great sense of humor. Nothing else is needed for happiness and success. You can move mountains with such a team, and we basically managed it together, because Kotrak is also about complex business processes and a wide range of activities. The company is a hybrid of business and life experience with PMBOK, ITIL and (recently) ISO 9001: 2015.
How was the implementation going? As always with such a complex process, it was very demanding and laborious – which we were all aware of from the very beginning. The project was difficult, but anything is possible with a partner like Kotrak.
Employee involvement, fantastic atmosphere, consistency and professional approach to the set goals brought results. We managed to implement the requirements of the standard in a very short time, confirming that nothing is impossible for Kotrak.
The end of these struggles is an effectively implemented system based on the requirements of ISO 9001: 2015 and, most importantly, employees convinced of the rightness of this direction. It is they who guarantee the maintenance of the high efficiency of the system.
MW: It took a lot of time and work to get the ISO standard for quality management implemented. As each of the people involved in the implementation contributed to the success of the company, at this point I would like to thank each of the employees individually and as a group for the enormity of the work done, actions taken and patience during the months of hardship.
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