New Article on ISO 9001 Quality Management Manuals Published by Quality Works

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While numerous models for ISO 9001 quality management systems are being successfully used in various industries, approaches to documenting management system structures for multi-location enterprises are limited, at best. A new article published by Quality Works provides a new method for structuring quality management system documentation, allowing a business with multiple facilities to use a common ISO 9001 quality manual. The discussed approach significantly improves consistency of the corporate message regarding quality, while reducing the number of documents within the organization's quality management system.

Mark Kaganov

QW Enterprises, LLP's Management Team ensures that the responsibilities and authorities are defined and communicated within the organization per the Resource Management Procedure and site-specific organizational charts per the Manual Reference Matrix ToC.

A new article by quality and environmental management systems expert Mark Kaganov discussing ways to simplify ISO 9001 quality management manuals in large corporations is now available from Quality Works. In the article, Kaganov discusses a new model that allows large corporations with multiple facilities to achieve quality improvement and reduce the amount of documents used corporate wide.

Many large multi-location companies are struggling to connect their corporate quality manuals with supporting, location-specific documents. To develop a manual for a company with numerous facilities, organizations typically take two routes: site-specific manuals as copies of the corporate manual or quality manuals independent from the corporate manual.

When a site-specific quality manual is developed as a copy of the corporate quality manual with modifications specific to a given facility, mechanisms to keep the site's quality manual coordinated with the corporate quality manual are rarely defined. Difficulties of keeping these documents in sync are due to the fact that corporate manuals are controlled by the home office, while local manuals are the responsibility of the site's documentation control functions.

Creating a location quality manual as a copy of a corporate manual or creating independent manuals is not practical. The main difficulty in creating a common quality manual for numerous locations is the necessity to reference in the common quality manual not only corporate documents, but also corresponding documents of various facilities.

"When satellite locations develop their own quality assurance manuals independent from the corporate manual, the differences often lead to disconnect between the corporate and local policies and commitments," Kaganov says. "From corporate identity and business consistency points of view, it is beneficial for an organization to have consistent commitments of its facilities to quality and applicable regulatory requirements."

When an organization needs to reference numerous documents including those controlled by satellite locations, Kaganov advises companies to establish a reference matrix to connect corporate manual commitments with site-specific supporting documents. This document may be titled a Manual Reference Matrix and be used in the following document reference structure:
Corporate Manual element > Manual Reference Matrix Table of Contents (ToC) > Site-specific Manual Reference Matrix > Corresponding site-specific document.

This model is illustrated through documenting element 5.5.1 in the corporate manual with references to site-specific organizational charts:

"QW Enterprises, LLP's Management Team ensures that the responsibilities and authorities are defined and communicated within the organization per the Resource Management Procedure and site-specific organizational charts per the Manual Reference Matrix ToC."

The example states that the company uses common Resources Management Procedure and site-specific organizational charts. To locate a site-specific organizational chart, one needs to refer to the Manual Reference Matrix Table of Contents (ToC). The table of contents represents a list of all locations' Manual Reference Matrixes, as shown in the illustration below:

Manual Reference Matrix Table of Contents:
Home Office (Denver, Colorado, USA)
Ontario (Canada)
Guanajuato (Mexico)

Following a hyperlink on "Ontario (Canada)", as an example, one will find a site-specific Manual Reference Matrix. Locating element 5.5.1 in the Ontario Manual Reference Matrix, one will find that the Ontario location uses for this clause of the manual a document titled Organizational Chart Ontario (see the attached file "Quality Manual Reference Matrix Sample").

For more information on how to implement a quality manual for a multi-location company, visit Quality Works' Web site at .

About the Author:
Mark Kaganov holds a Master's degree in design and technology of electromechanical equipment and has more than 25 years of experience in quality and environmental management systems. Kaganov is an author of numerous technical publications and a public speaker. For last five years he has been a Director of Operations and a Lead Consultants with Quality Works, specializing in ISO 9001 and other quality management systems. Quality Works was established in 1996 with focus on improvement and optimization of management systems for its clients around the world.

Mark Kaganov
Director of Operations
Quality Works


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