Rail transport forms the pillar of our economy as one of the most cost-effective ways of travelling. Millions of South Africans rely on us to ensure that they not only travel safely, but that they make it to their homes alive. It, therefore, goes without saying that the safety of commuters should always stay top of mind for the Regulator.

What that means is, we not only have to put our customers first, but our standards when it comes to quality, have to always be high. That is where ISO 9000 comes in.

ISO 9000 is a series of standards, developed and published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), that define, establish, and maintain an effective quality assurance system for manufacturing and service industries. It is an international standard for quality that is implemented organisation- wide.

Where problems arise, ISO 9000 helps identify what the root cause of the problem is and assists with improving efficiencies while finding a solution. The current standard that is auditable after implementation is ISO 9001:2015 QMS.

What are the ISO 9000 Principles / Quality Management Principles?

1. A Customer Focus

The customer is the primary focus of a business. By understanding and responding to the needs and expectations of customers, an organisation can correctly target key demographics and, therefore, increase revenue by delivering the products and services that the customer is looking for.

2. Good Leadership

A team of good leaders will establish unity and direction quickly in a business environment. Their goal is to motivate everyone working on the project, and successful leaders will minimize miscommunication within and between departments including the identification and mitigation of risks and opportunities.

3. Involvement of people

The inclusion of everyone within an organisation is critical to its success. Involvement of all staff will lead to a systematic management of quality within the RSR and in turn create motivated, committed workers. These people will tend towards innovation and creativity, and utilize their full abilities to complete their work efficiently and effectively. If people have a vested interest in performance, they will be eager to participate in the continual improvement that ISO 9001:2015 QMS facilitates.

4. Process approach to quality management

The best results are achieved when activities and resources are managed together. This process approach to quality management can lower costs through the effective use of resources, personnel, and time.

5. Management system approach

Combining management groups may seem like a dangerous clash of titans, but if done correctly can result in an efficient and effective management system. If leaders are dedicated to the goals of an organisation, they will aid each other to achieve improved productivity. Some results include integration and alignment of key processes.

6. Continual Improvement

The importance of this principle is paramount and should be a permanent objective of every organisation. Through increased performance, a company can increase profits and gain an advantage over competitors. If the entire business is dedicated to continual improvement, improvement activities will be aligned, leading to faster and more efficient development.

  • Factual approach to decision making

This principle states that effective decisions are made based on rational analysis of data and facts. Before making any business decisions, big or small, ensure that you have all the facts. That way, if you are ever questioned about why you made a certain decision or asked to prove how that decision benefits the business, you will have all the data at your fingertips to fall back on. This principle also relies upon having access to reliable and accurate data, another vital aspect for a modern-day business.

  • Mutually beneficial supplier relations

This principle dictates that the relationships between your organisation and suppliers must be mutually beneficial in order to add value to both parties. It allows for both the RSR and the supplier to react faster and malleably to customer demands if things are smooth and harmonious between each other, as well as making it easier to negotiate on costs, complaints, remediation, corrective actions, etc.



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