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Ensuring quality with ISO 9001: An inside look

ISO 9001 is a globally recognised standard for quality management systems (QMS). The current version is ISO 9001:2015, and it specifies the requirements for a QMS, including:

  • Processes for quality planning, control, and assurance
  • Methods for monitoring and measuring performance
  • Guidelines for documentation, internal auditing, and corrective & preventive action
ISO 9001 quality and compliance certification at Lindström

Our holistic approach to quality management 

ISO 9001 applies to organisations of all sizes and sectors. In the 1990s, we were among the first companies to certify our quality management system according to ISO 9000 requirements, and we’ve been maintaining this certification ever since. 

ISO 9001 is simply a guiding document—it’s up to our management team to make decisions related to the company strategy, vision, and direction. Harri explains: “ISO 9001 doesn’t give us anything more than guidelines. The organisation itself must make and document their decisions.” 

Harri Puputti, Director of Quality and Compliance at Lindström - and an expert at ISO 9001

We take a holistic approach with our quality management system, as it supports our broader business strategy. Harri translates the standard’s definitions into business language so that our leaders understand how it helps us achieve our strategic goals.

Management system standards are built to support your business. They require you to document what you’re doing, building trust and awareness within the company. This enables you to work together for your goals.

Harri Puputti, Director of Quality and Compliance

The key principles of ISO 9001

ISO 9001 is based on seven quality management principles designed to help companies grow profitably, deliver value to customers, and ensure customer satisfaction.

Harri outlines these principles and their application at Lindström:

  1. Customer focus:
    We understand our customers’ business needs and key requirements. We prioritise the customer experience, always listening to and considering their feedback.
  2. Leadership:
    Guided by our company values, our top management takes the lead in setting and implementing our quality management system. 
  3. Engagement of people:
    With our communications department, we ensure every employee understands our policies, procedures, and guidelines and their connection to our business objectives. We involve everyone in strategy development.
  4. Process approach:
    We fully define our end-to-end processes in compliance with ISO 9001 requirements.
  5. Improvement:
    We identify threats to our strategic goals and recognize growth opportunities. 
  6. Evidence-based decision making:
    We plan actions based on performance evaluations and other data sources.
  7. Relationship management:
    We manage relationships with all stakeholders, including suppliers, partners, customers, employees, legal authorities, and public organisations.

Harri explains: “When we operate according to our processes, we can deliver clean, well-prepared textiles to our customers on time and to the right place. Our long-term relationships with partners and customers are the best testimonies.”

David Mendl, Operations Director at Dr. Max pharmacies
Mr Chen, Operation Manager at Beijing Institute of Biological Products 

The role of auditing in achieving ISO 9001 certification 

To achieve ISO 9001 certification, we undergo both external and internal audits. A third-party organisation evaluates our quality management system against the standard’s requirements. The external auditors report on positive outcomes, potential risks of non-compliance, and direct non-compliances. Their wide experience with other companies allows them to offer valuable feedback and recognise our performance level.

Auditing supports us to be a better organisation tomorrow than we are today. The auditing process is a development tool to ensure our continuous improvement. It’s important  to have someone evaluate us, provide feedback, and suggest ideas for further improvement.

Harri Puputti, Director of Quality and Compliance

We track all audit observations, perform root cause analyses, and plan our next steps. And after setting the plan, we execute it and measure the impact of our actions. 

Navigating the coming wave of regulations 

Harri shares that compliance is now more important than ever. Meeting quality requirements helps us understand and integrate sustainability regulations into our business.

“We need to enhance our processes to ensure our compliance with the tsunami of new European regulations coming. And with climate change being a reality, we must be well prepared.

Climate change is of course a risk, but it also brings opportunities. For example, our circular economy business model is something that we see as an opportunity: we can support our customers to fight against the negative impacts of climate change.

Harri Puputti, Director of Quality and Compliance
Lindström Group