Getting the ISO 9001 certification - a structural norm for any evolving organization
This is an essential norm that serves as an anchor to other certifications and is a basis that every organization should have.
At Untile we have always made sure that high quality and standards were at the forefront of everything we do. We want to ensure our clients trust we only deliver the best possible service and that they feel assured when making business with us.
One of the many things we do in order to comply with the topics mentioned above, is to look at what certifications we should have — and getting this ISO 9001 certification was a no-brainer.
A step towards consolidating our clients’ confidence in us
Getting different certifications is something many organizations do, not only because they need to but also because they come with a lot of added benefits when it comes to improving what a company has to offer. For example, at Untile, we see every certification as an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and realize how we actually do things.
We, of course, know the basis of our processes and have a good grasp of our methods, but actually writing them down usually allows for space to understand how different the way we thought we did things is from how we actually do them. Most times that difference is pretty small, but even when the gap is barely noticeable, it gives us the opportunity to write down those processes, see how we can improve and understand how they’ve been handled so far — and ISO 9001 was no different.
By documenting our methodologies, procedures and work structure, we were able to analyze what is working perfectly and what still has room for improvement and on those that can still be improved, we make adjustments and work towards a better solution.
These certifications make us look inside and understand that things we thought weren’t that relevant, are actually very important and can make a difference on both our clients and our team.
As a process-based standard, ISO 9001 does not focus on products or services but rather on how things are done, making it applicable for all types of businesses. In fact, this certification implies the same amount of work whether we’re talking about a smaller corporation or a big one, so having this universal certificate and going through this as a team ultimately provides us with scalability and uniformization.
In the words of our Quality Manager, Inês Soares:
“The processes created within Untile are a key aspect of delivering quality projects to our clients. The implementation of ISO 9001 allowed us to improve our procedures and methodologies in order not only to improve the services we provide, but also the productivity of our teams. The quality management system implemented also allows us to ensure continuous monitoring and improvement of the entire environment of the company, thus guaranteeing its growth.”
An always-evolving company towards a brighter future
As mentioned above, we see every certification as a learning opportunity, which was made even clearer when we implemented three different norms simultaneously. We didn’t want to implement these norms just for the sake of implementing them and we knew that in order to be as efficient as possible we would need to design new processes, while keeping the people who work with us at the core of everything we do.
Building a new management system.
We decided to create an integrated system that now works as our organization’s steering wheel. By having a new management tool, created with the help of our team, we are able to include all three norms’ standards and make sure we’re complying with each and every part of them.
The system’s pillars are set but the way it works is meant to be an ongoing process. We don’t want to have an inflexible tool that serves us now but may become outdated in just a couple of months or a few years. We knew we had to design it in a way that allows evolution, and that’s why we find ways of improvement with every analysis and evaluation, to which we define an implementation plan according to the needed features, importance, urgency and impact.
We used to have most information scattered across different systems and tools but now, everything is integrated. From our more traditional documents like the SWOT Analysis and goal definition, to our metrics, interested parties, customer evaluations and suppliers, everything now has its place.
People first, always
Following ISO 9001’s standards also allowed us to protect our most valuable asset: our people. At Untile we deeply value our team’s well-being and always want to make sure they feel safe and confident in what they’re doing.
This said, we cannot avoid accidents from happening and sometimes unforeseen situations are inevitable. We wanted to guarantee that we know how to deal with those situations and that we have processes when our team needs them, and having ISO 9001 implemented definitely helps us with that.
Now, if someone is feeling sick or needs to leave unexpectedly we have all the documentation needed for who’s replacing them to know how to proceed. This means that even if the substitute doesn’t have the same amount of experience or isn’t 100% comfortable with that area of expertise, they will have detailed documentation to guide them on how to perform all the necessary tasks, making it an invaluable tool when it comes to continuous learning opportunities for our current team but also when onboarding new talent.
At the same time, having ISO 9001 implemented also allows us to have a plan if something happens to our offices, equipment, software or projects as we now know what measures to take and have carried out drills that will help us get things back on track as quickly as possible.
Rooted in trust and quality
ISO 9001 is yet another great way of showing our clients, suppliers and partners that we are a trustworthy brand, following the highest standards and who value constant improvement and evolution.
We did not take these steps just to obtain a certification but rather to feel safer and to know that our values transpire to our daily operations and that our clients can trust us.
According to our Project Manager, Priscila Prado, “with increasing competition in the global market, ensuring quality brings numerous benefits both at an organizational and financial level. The achievement of ISO 9001 reinforces the potential of the successes and Untile’s guarantee of greater competitiveness in the market.”