Nology, a leading distributor of quality, security-driven broadband, networking and communication hardware and solutions in South Africa, is proud to announce that Nology Solutions, the solutions and services arm of the company, has achieved the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 9001:2008 service accreditation.
ISO 9001 is the practical accreditation of the ISO 9000 standard, which relates to quality management systems and is aimed at ensuring that organisations meet the needs of their customers and stakeholders. One of the most important criteria for achieving this certification is that the organisation must ensure that customer requirements are understood and met with the goal of improving customer satisfaction, and quality must be managed and controlled across various areas of the organisation.
“ISO 9001 is a broad accreditation that covers international standards for aspects such as design and development, which are important areas of the Nology Solutions business,” says Mandy Govender, Chief Operations Officer at Nology. “By obtaining this certification we are assuring our customers that our products have gone through stringent processes and are of only the best quality, and we are ensuring that our customer service processes, such as complaints, services and feedback, subscribe to global best practice.”
Attaining the ISO certification is something that is of strategic and operational importance to Nology as an organisation, since customer service has always been an important area that requires continuous improvement and refinement. Quality assurance is another area of focus, and in preparation for the ISO audit the company embarked on drive towards documenting and improving both processes and infrastructure. Areas such as vendor processes, customer complaints, sales and marketing were streamlined, documented and enhanced with relevant technology, including a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to provide greater visibility of customer interactions.
“Once we had documented all of the necessary procedures and put in place the correct checks and balances, we undertook an internal audit process in preparation for the official accreditation audit. This helped us to verify that our procedures were compliant with ISO standards, and enabled us to make observations from our findings and identify areas for further improvement,” says Govender.
Obtaining the ISO 9001 accreditation not only involved improving processes and streamlining procedures, it also required that a quality management system (QMS) with all relevant documentation was in place. According to the ISO requirements, this necessitates the buy-in and involvement of top level management to oversee the creation of the QMS, communicate the requirements for the standard throughout the organisation, establish the quality policy and the quality objectives, provide adequate resources for the operation of the QMS and review the operation of the QMS.
“We managed to complete all of the necessary processes and procedures well within the prescribed deadlines, closing off our findings and obtaining our certification within three weeks of the audits,” Govender adds. “This achievement is due largely to the buy-in we had from the very top of the organisation, with the Board of Directors becoming personally involved in checking findings, making recommendations and providing feedback. Having executive buy-in also streamlined the change management process, which ensured good uptake of the ISO compliant processes.”
“Nology strives to be a leader in the converged communication space, and if we want to be seen as leaders, we need to align ourselves with international best practices and standards. Internal and operational excellence is a strong focus for us and forms an important part of our strategy,” says Riaan Leuschner, CEO of Nology.
“The ISO 9001:2008 accreditation is our commitment to ourselves as a company and to all of our customers that we will deliver the highest quality products and the best levels of service possible. The staff at Nology are what made our achievement of this accreditation possible, and we are excited to continue on our path of continual excellence and improvement,” he concludes.