Member News | 10.01.2018
Edinburgh-based Computer Application Services Ltd (CAS) took advantage of unusual circumstances to successfully complete its move to ISO 9001:2015 early in 2018, well ahead of the transition deadline. Organizations that are currently registered to ISO 9001:2008 have until the 14th September 2018 to transition to the 2015 standard.
CAS’s Quality Manager Tom Gilland was due to retire and his replacement had been recruited ahead of time to facilitate adequate handover. Twin salary payments isn’t something any organisation likes to see but a gap in QA would have been unthinkable. So the overlap was utilised to transition the business to 9001-2015, the ideal way to make sure “the new guy” learned everything he needed to know from “the old guy” ahead of assessment, while making his own mark at the same time.
What a great way for Tom to bow out, literally days after learning that 2015 standards had been met. And for CAS’s new Quality Manager Darren Wilson, a baptism of fire as the audit came just weeks after he joined the company.
Both managers stress however that quality is everyone’s business in CAS, and so it is.
Team CAS has invested in a significant restructuring of both product and processes over the past few years. A key driver was quality improvement.
Our flagship Workpro case management software has transitioned from a mostly bespoke solution to a platform approach, with core product features now available “off the shelf”. At the same time development practices have been transformed to ensure we can continue to offer client-specific “specials” - now quicker to deploy and “right first time”. Processes have been tightened up, with new procedures and tools providing better planning and measurement, as well as reduction of risk.
ISO9001-2015 represents a significant evolution of the highly regarded accreditation, with a key difference over 9001-2008 being the recognition, addressing and/or factoring in of business risk.
There is more emphasis on “Plan, Do, Check, Act” as each aspect of the updated standard falls under greater measurement, not just scrutiny. And engagement with the broadest base of stakeholders must be evidenced – colleagues, partners, suppliers.
On the subject of evidence, the old style “Quality Manual” is not what you point to; evidence is sourced from “living documents”, meaning processes and material evidence from the organisations daily mode of operation and management.
CAS’s CEO, Ken Naismith comments, “Just as Investors in People has adapted to demonstrate engagement and performance against expectations, I think the 2015 iteration of ISO9001 requires everyone in the organisation to know what they are supposed to do, do what they are supposed to do and evidence what they are doing. I’m glad to see the back of pages and files being updated ahead of “the test” and welcome the ever-present, constantly vigilant way of working the standards we promise our customers.
“It strikes me that non-conformances in Health and Safety and areas for improvement in ISO working standards could also be case types for Workpro, if anyone would like to pioneer this with us!”
The company is reportedly Scotland’s first software business, offering “computer application services” since 1969, initially as part of Heriot-Watt University. The business became a Limited company in 1986, formalising and fully commercialising these services as organisations such as the Royal Air Force enlisted its services. Thirty five years on, RAF and CAS are still together!
A major change came 4 years ago when CAS became employee owned. Backed by “EO” specialist investors, Capital for Colleagues (C4C) the team’s strategy is to expand product capabilities which means tapping into the market for its case management software, Workpro. Many Workpro users date back more than a decade but since investing in the technology base to make for ready-to-deploy product variations (with custom services where required), applications have expanded from complaints management to employee relations and freedom of information case work.
Recent business wins have ranged from UK insurance and finance sector clients to UK government “front line service providers” as well as regulators. And overseas? Bermuda, Brussels, Cayman and Curacao have joined the list alongside Canada and Sint Maartin.
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