The British Standards Insititute (BSi) describe a Quality Management System (QMS) as : "Every organization would like to improve the way it operates, whether that means increasing market share, driving down costs, managing risk more effectively or improving customer satisfaction. Quality Management Systems give you the framework you need to monitor and improve performance in any area you choose." Pama's QMS framework adheres to the ISO 9001:2008 standard and is based on the principle of a us completing tasks correctly the first time. Then by assessing our Business system we can improve these methods further. Having this standard sends a clear message to our customers and suppliers that Pama is committed to providing and continually improving a high quality level of service and products.
The goal of Pama & Co Ltd is to supply the highest quality accessories for the cellular, citizen band and PMR industry, which satisfy the requirements, needs and expectations of our customers, including any statutory and regulatory requirements, and seek to exceed them in every way possible.
To achieve this goal the company has established and implemented a quality management system which meets the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 and is implemented across the whole of the company and embraces all of the activities which impact upon our customers. The Directors and senior managers are committed to ensuring that the system is effective in achieving quality and satisfying customers both now and in the future. Regular audits, reviews and statistical techniques are utilised to maintain and continuously improve the system. Management reviews provide the framework for the review and setting of quality objectives.
The Quality Coordinator is the management representative and irrespective of his other responsibilities shall ensure that the quality management system is established, implemented and maintained in accordance with the above mentioned standard. He is also responsible for monitoring the operation of the quality management system and has the organisational freedom to recognise quality problems and to initiate, recommend or provide solutions to these problems. If any conflict arises between senior management and the Quality Coordinator this shall be resolved by the undersigned.
All personnel have the authority to work within the scope of their responsibilities and the company acknowledges the requirement to train all personnel to effectively implement their duties.
The requirements of our quality management system are mandatory on all personnel who are aware of the importance of their activities and how they contribute to achieving the quality objectives.
The quality policy is communicated, understood and implemented at all level of the organisation via the induction and ongoing training programme. The policy is reviewed periodically to ensure its continued suitability and applicability.
For any system to work effectively within a company it is vital that the senior management not only endorse the system, but fully understand the system. Pama's QMS is so integrated within the organisation that as said before it is more of a Business Management System.
It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors within Pama to oversee and direct the entire QMS system. They are by nature the first to know the direction of the company and therefore the need to improve the QMS to meet both the company and our customers' expectations.
The following are some of the key areas that the senior management are responsible for, to ensure that the management system can run effectively:
The ISO 9001:2008 standard states that a management review must be held annually to review the QMS system, set new goals and agree on changes to the system.
The Pama directors understand how important this process is and instead of holding a meeting annually, they instead incorporate this review in the board meetings that take place at least once a month.
Further to this there is also a department managers meeting that is held once a month where all managers are present to represent their departments. The Managing Director is also present at this meeting, along at least 1 other director and in many occasions all the company directors will be present.
At both of these meetings managers and directors can organise their departments to ensure that all company processes are re sourced correctly and as these meetings are monthly Pama can react to the changing requirements very quickly.
Each Pama employee is provided training to ensure they can perform their role competently and retaining is given should their role or function of their role change. During their training staff are informed of the QMS either as part of their induction to the company and if they are customer facing via training how to record non-conformances using our back office system
Further training needs is assessed during yearly staff development reviews and any extra qualifications or training acquired is entered into the member of staffs training file.
Pama has trialled a new modular training system within its warehouse with great success and this system will eventually be rolled out to other departments to ease the process of staff training
Pama has to account for many factors when deciding to source/resource products. First and foremost Pama must understand the needs and demands of its customers and their marketplace. This is done from senior management down to our sales and customer services staff and is simply communicating with our customers. If we do not fully understand their needs then we will fail them as a company.
Secondly, we must understand the changing marketplace and be flexible enough to change with it. We must be able to predict market changes and be ready to provide products to our customers before they even know they will need them.
Pama are also heavily involved in the conception, design and manufacturing of brand new products to the market. Over the last 28 years we have introduced many revolutionary product designs to the market that are now seen as everyday products.
The huge success of the internet as a sales tool has seen Pama's customers diversify into new sales areas. Pama ensure that we can enter these new markets and source products for our customers. This allows us to continue our relationship which our customers and provide them with the ability to order from one source, who they can trust to delivery them, the quality of product and service they are used to.
Once Pama has decided on a new product we ensure there is a full audit trail from initial design right the way through to delivery of the product to our customers. Some examples of the audit trail are:
To ensure we maintain our high quality standards we constantly refer to documents such as the ISO 9001:2008 standard, requirements of our customer and suppliers, legal and statutory requirements, and Pama's own internal policies.
Pama controls it's documentation through several processes including:
Incoming post sorted by Staff member and then into departments. This post is then issued directly to the member of staff or their department head for dissemination. Any post that is signed into the building by an authorized member of staff must then also be signed for by the Addressee. We advise any correspondence sent into Pama that is of importance should be sent by a method that requires a signature on delivery.
We ensure that any documents in use within the company are readily made available by whoever needs them. Every member of Pama staff has access to a computer and can access the documents from there.
Every document is given a unique document and version number to clearly indicate the current document.
This helps with the prevention of obsolete documents remaining in the system.
The approval of the suitability of documents before their use is indicated in the diagram below:
Pama have processes in place that details how we control the retention, storage, retrieval and disposition of records that are used in the day to day running of the company. These records can be anything from customer invoices, supplier invoices and copy warehouse pick notes to customer contracts. These records are stored for the minimum legal period of time and in many cases longer. Pama keep records to hand for a 3 month period and if necessary documents older than this are then archived and put into storage until such a time as they are be required. We have recently introduced a system into place that allows all critical documents to be scanned and the images stored onto the computer system. This means that all authorized staff has access to their relevant document sections and can view copy images without leaving their desk to find the original.
Pama continually perform a wide range of internal audits, these are specifically aimed at ensuring we are adhering to ISO 9001:2008 and are performed by one of our internal auditors. Pama also has external auditors that ensure we are ever improving our quality of products and services we provide our customer and that we are following the guidelines as set out in the standard.
Some internal audits have proved so beneficial to improving our business processes within Pama that they have now become part of the standard running of our operation. Many of them are done on a daily basis and are monitored by the department heads. These are backed up by an alert system within our computer system that will escalate the non-completion of an audit to ensure that it is completed within an acceptable time frame.
The non-conformance procedure is used by Pama to control the identification of areas within the company that fail to meet the requirements as laid out in Pama's QMS. These non-conformance's can be raised due to internal/external audits, through day-to-day running of the company or from external sources such as customer complaints.
The non-conformance system is an ideal way to identify and record a problem area or product within the company. From the moment we first introduced a non-conformance system within the company, we noticed an immediate and dramatic improvement in the products and quality of service we gave to our customers. Our suppliers also received a huge benefit from this system as when product non-conformances are raised we are able to use the framework to provide systematic and documented evidence to aid our suppliers to solve any problems.
An example of the non-conformance procedure in operation is: When an order is received from a supplier our technical department will quarantine the delivery until they have tested the products according to a predefined set of testing protocols. Should a product fail then the technical department will raise a non-conformance stating the fault found. This non-conformance will contain such information as supplier name, number, purchase order number, product code and details of the fault. The stock is also physically marked with a failed sticker to avoid any accidental contamination with good warehouse stock. The supplier is then provided details of the fault and provisions are made for its replacement/credit.
Pama review each non-conformance including customer complaints and decide the cause of the problem and the appropriate course of action to resolve the non-conformance.
During this process a plan for the resolution is agreed. It is only when a resolution to the problem has been found, that the non-conformance can be closed.
The corrective action procedure is how we deal with a problem after it has occurred. Analysis of the non-conformances also allows Pama to review our procedures and processes that are defined in our QMS and these processes can be updated if necessary. This way our QMS is reviewed as the company has changing requirements to meet the needs of our customers.
One of the most important areas of Pama's QMS system is our preventive action process. The Quality Manager or representatives will monitor and analyse data from non-conformances, customer/ staff feedback and internal/external audits.
The findings will dictate whether a process within the business needs updating or even that the QMS requires updating due to the changing needs of the company. Any urgent changes will be initiated immediately to prevent any more occurrences taking place and the staff involved with the process will be notified and retrained if necessary. All changes to the QMS will be notified to the board of directors for discussion at the next board meeting.
More minor non-conformance's or repeated non-conformance's will be analysed and a solution to prevent further occurrences will be decided by the Quality Manager/representative and the department manager responsible for the area of non-conformance. This will be done either via an email for minor matters of a formal meeting for more serious issues. As above, any changes will be notified to any staff involved and re-training will take place. Any formal training procedures will also be updated to reflect these changes.
The final stage of Pama's Quality Management System is using all the data that has been gathered and using it to improve the management system.