ISO 9001 for a printer


A printing company uses ISO 9001 to better define their aims and objectives and to link those to the processes employed to deliver them.

The problem

The company had previously streamlined processes and practices by implementing ISO 9001, however the standard had changed and now required the company to define objectives and targets to which processes and practices should be linked.

The client 

Abba Litho was originally set up by Steve Harrington in 1984 and began operating from a small site in Gun Wharf, Old Ford Road as a partnership.

Then, during the ‘80’s and primarily based upon the steady expansion of the business, a decision was made to support this growth through the company adopting its current Limited status, thus becoming Abba Litho Sales Limited.

In 90’s, with the company having outgrown its previous premises, the business was moved to Monier Road, London E3 and during the “noughties” Statius assisted with the implementation of the international renowned and prestigious quality management system ISO 9001 which was registered with NQA.

The company was now looking forward to using the new 9001 framework to drive improvements in their business planning and marketing activities which would then in turn link back to the day-today processes and practices undertaken.

The approach and the solution

Having spent a great deal of time and effort in streamlining its business operations and having reaped the benefits of their NQA registered ISO 9001 quality management system, Steve and his colleagues were very keen to capitalise on this success by upgrading their management system to the latest version of ISO 9001 in line with their new and better working practices.

The top team were involved in:

  • Assessing the marketplace
  • Assessing the competition
  • Setting 1, 3- & 5-year objectives and
  • Establishing strategic and process risks and opportunities

Based on the above, Abba’s quality management system was developed to comprise a single quality policy manual supported by a small number of flow-charted procedures that provide a simple and easy to follow reflection of their key business activities.

This was subsequently followed up by a successful transition assessment that was carried out by NQA.

The outcome 

Initial feelings and feedback have been very positive with the company reporting:

  • Greater staff involvement and understanding.
  • Increased efficiency, consistency and streamlining of processes
  • Reduced costs incurred by unnecessary duplication

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“This (assignment) has confirmed some things I knew, and that was useful; some things I didn’t and that too was useful. However, most importantly, I guess we all felt a bit uncomfortable at times but now we have a real and robust improvement plan to go forward with.”

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“Statius’s hands on approach and genuine interest in the development of the Integrated Management System meant that we successfully achieved ISO 14001 certification (at the first attempt) and we shall rely on their future support as we develop our systems.”