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Understanding ISO 9001:2015

7.1.3   Infrastructure  

The next sub-clause 7.1.3 under resources requires the organization to plan, provide and manage its infrastructure effectively and efficiently. It should periodically assess the suitability of the infrastructure to meet organizational objectives. 

Top management should evaluate the following factors in determining its infrastructure resource needs. 

·         Inventory by type & class, criticality, location, availability and use of existing infrastructure, 

·         Current state or condition (dependability) of existing infrastructure and economic useful life, 

·         Capability & capacity (see definitions in clause 7.1.1 above) of existing infrastructure, 

·         Frequency & timing of use – uptime, unscheduled downtime & idle time. 

·         Costs & risks of using & maintaining existing infrastructure, 

·         The organization’s strategic plans for growth, 

·         Current & future demand for product & services, 

·         Ability of existing infrastructure to handle future growth effectively, 

·         Alignment, sequencing & integration of asset types & classes to generate operational efficiencies & effectiveness,  

·         Effectiveness & efficiency of current infrastructure compared to competitors, 

·         Cost & productivity evaluation of new infrastructure less trade-in/disposal versus maintaining the status quo. 

As you can see, resource (asset) management is a huge topic and there are many tools (Resource Criticality Analysis, Reliability Centered Maintenance, etc), expertise and guidance (e.g. ISO 55000) on managing and optimizing the value of an organization’s infrastructure.  

Larger organizations may get external expertise to help evaluate these factors and make appropriate decisions on taking the best course of action in determining its resource needs for present and future growth to achieve its business & QMS objectives. 

Smaller organizations may use internal expertise comprising a cross-functional team for conducting this evaluation using tools such as Failure mode & Effects (FEMA) analysis for each of its major and/or critical infrastructure resources.  

In determining your infrastructure planning you might consider strategic factors such as: future needs; current availability and capacity; cushion for growth; contingency planning; linkage to current and future product programs. This planning may be done through business and QMS planning (clause 4). The actual deployment of such resources may be determined by each process owner.   

This article is an extract from my eCourse “Understanding ISO 9001:2015”. The rest of the article discusses in detail the various  types of resources and the actions your organization must take to address the risks and requirements of clause 7.1.3.

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Understanding ISO 9001:2008