To implement ISO 9001, companies need to incorporate the principles of quality in all their processes, products and services. This attitude depends on the awareness of all employees and the development of a “culture of quality” that needs to become a daily habit, done naturally.
Civil engineering, for instance, is a productive sector that faces great challenges when implementing a quality management system. These challenges generate obstacles and errors in fulfilling the requirements of the quality management system, which can cause the loss of ISO 9001 certification. Among the challenges, we can mention:
This fact generates resistance in managers and subcontractors when it comes to training their team about the quality management system and to dedicate time to carry out traceability controls, validation and production steps.
Lack of market knowledge:
Many construction companies define the products without being based on research of needs and / or market expectations, which makes it difficult to show the critical analysis of requirements related to the product.
Inexperience in business planning:
Some construction companies carry out the planning of individual construction work only and do not have the culture of planning the business. This is due to the lack of managerial training to analyze market trends, to outline future prospects and to identify opportunities that favor the company’s growth.
In the 2015 review of ISO 9001, this training will be strongly required, especially for determining the context of the organization, understanding the needs and expectations of stakeholders, and for defining actions to address risks and opportunities.
High staff turnover:
When the time interval between the end of a project and the beginning of another is long, construction companies generally dismiss all workers and technicians, losing all training and all the work of developing a quality culture.
The quality management system has to be implemented cyclically with each new construction project, and all errors have to be accounted for and corrected repeatedly.
Low education level:
The responsibles for performing the critical production processes have low education and, generally, great resistance to changes in the work methodology. This requires constant oversight to reduce instances of non-compliance in products, processes and services.
Low quality of inputs:
Buyers and managers of a construction company need to be very attentive to the quality of the inputs that will be applied in the construction. Low quality inputs generate non-conformities in the product and rework, with consequent financial losses, in addition to causing delays in the work.
Implementing the ISO 9001 quality management system in civil construction requires overcoming many challenges. When the process is well conducted, product and service compliance and increased customer satisfaction are assured, internal processes are better managed and the construction company gains greater credibility in the market, among other benefits.