Understanding ISO 9001:2015
5.1.2 Customer Focus
Organizations depend on their customers. Without customers there would be no need for most organization to exist.
Focusing on the customer provides
a unity of purpose when all activities and efforts are directed towards achieving customer and regulatory
requirements. It is top managements responsibility to emphasize this fact throughout the
understanding and taking care of customer’s specified needs and expectations by providing products and
services that effectively address them.
gain competitive advantage by increasing the value to customers in
one or more activities, relative to what competitors offer. Value is defined as improving the
worth of the product or service to the customer either through lowering the price or increasing the product
or service performance characteristics or both. Top management must focus on increasing the value to the
customer while optimizing the use of QMS resources and minimizing the risks and costs to the
satisfaction is the
customer’s perception of how well their needs and expectations have been fulfilled, whether these needs and
expectations are stated or implied.
It is by
understanding and addressing these and other customer perceptions and by building pre and post sale relationships with
each customer that your organization can achieve and enhance customer
else flows from these definitions. An organization’s products, services, support, management, employees,
vision, mission, strategies, business plans, goals and objectives, business processes, consideration of risks
and opportunities, employee responsibilities, business environment, culture, etc, must be developed around
and focused on achieving these two primary objectives.
This clause relates to top management’s
role in accomplishing this by demonstrating their leadership and commitment in applying this approach to
customer focus across all the activities listed above (which which includes the QMS
mentioned in clause 5.1.2 a, b & c.).
It doesn’t mean they have to do it themselves, but they must provide the necessary direction and oversight to make
sure the organization does it and does it effectively.
Customer focus is also the first of the QMS principles on which this ISO 9001 standard is based upon. Please go
back clause 0.2 and read the actions that top management must direct an organization to take to fulfil the
requirements under this clause 5.1.2. Also go back to clause 5.1.1 and re-read the definitions for the terms - top
management, leadership, commitment and ensure.
This article is an extract from my eCourse
“Understanding ISO 9001:2015”. The rest of the discussion in my eCourse focuses on action items that top management can take to address this