In a year where everything is a bit different, it was no surprise our ISO renewal audit wouldn’t be quite like previous audits. Instead of being performed in-house, the three-day audit was performed remotely with our staff in near-constant communication with the outside auditor, who was based in Houston. Thankfully it all went off without a hitch, both in regards to the technological aspect and the ISO-audit part.
We use ABS Quality Evaluations to audit our quality/ISO processes. Typically, an auditor visits our facility and performs the audit. The auditor can talk face-to-face with employees, asking about procedures and processes. But, with the current Covid-19 pandemic, that type of audit just wouldn’t be happening this year. Instead, we held a three-day video conference with our auditor. There were still interviews with employees, just through webcams. Documents we still inspected, but were scanned and electronically sent.
Despite all these hurdles, it turned out to be one of our most thorough audits (in a good way!). Yes, it would have been nice to have our auditor here in person, but this distanced audit was still beneficial. Our auditor, whom had never audited us before, was able to provide some valuable insight and commentary on our organization.
We’ve been continually certified for more than 20 years, so having a mature quality management system certainly helps with these audits. Our processes are part of the culture here and everybody has a pretty good understanding of what they need to do.
Hopefully next year, our auditor can travel here and give us a good, old-fashioned in-person audit. In the mean-time we’ll keep doing what we do, which is best summarized by our quality policy “IMEC is committed to producing quality products with continual improvement to fulfill our customers’ needs and expectations.”
For those that need a copy of our new certificate, it is posted on our quality page. It is also available just to the left of this text.