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Apply ISO 9001 to Baking Cookies

How does ISO 9001 apply to a business? Let’s say you make cookies…

Whether it’s chocolate chip, sugar cookie, or garbage flavor, the market (customers) will ultimately decide if your cookie is good. The standard tries to get you to achieve consistent results and continually improve the process. Thus, if you can make a good cookie most of the time, this helps you make it all of the time. Controlling and improving processes will yield better results!

Let’s look at this common recipe for making cookies and apply parts of the standard to it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
BEAT butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Gradually beat in flour mixture.
Stir in morsels.
DROP by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Let’s break down the (oversimplified) process of making cookies into the sections of the ISO 9001:2015 standard:

Section 1: Scope

Talks about the standard and how it applies to organizations.

Section 2: Normative Reference

References other supporting standards.

Section 3: Terms and Definitions

Terminology used throughout this standard comes directly from ISO 9000:2015, Quality management systems – Fundamentals and vocabulary.

Section 4: Context of the organization

4.1 Determine internal and external issues:

  • Availability of ingredients
  • Grocery store hours
  • Allergies of persons who will eat the cookies

4.2 Determine relevant interested parties and their requirements:

  • Persons eating the cookies require they taste good.
  • Grocery store requires you pay for the ingredients.

4.3 Establish the scope (boundaries and applicability):

  • Baking two batches of cookies, one for the kids and the other for the next door neighbor. Only one type will be baked, chocolate chip, using the provided recipe. Clause 8.3 does not apply as cookies are made following a recipe that someone else created.

4.4 Determine QMS processes:

  • Purchase materials (includes selecting vendors that meet product spec’s)
  • Receive/inspect materials
  • Store Materials
  • Measure Ingredients (take out of storage)
  • Beat/Stir, etc.
  • Drop onto cookie sheet
  • Bake
  • Pack
  • Ship
  • Clean Kitchen
  • Audit your QMS
  • Improve your QMS

Section 5: Leadership

5.1 Leadership and commitment:

  • The baker will take accountability for the entire cookie making process and ensure the kids and neighbor like the taste of the cookies.

5.2 Establish a quality policy:

  • The baker will strive to make gooey and delicious cookies by continually improving the ingredients and baking process based on the feedback from the persons eating the cookies.

5.3 Assign responsibility and authority:

  • The baker will bake the cookies, the spouse will buy the ingredients and the kids may help if they wash their hands first.

Section 6: Planning

6.1 Consider issues and requirements of interested parties and determine risks and opportunities:

  • Risk that the kids and neighbors will not like the cookies or they get sick from eating too many.
  • Opportunity to make the cookies smaller and have a larger quantity using the same amount of ingredients.

6.2 Establish quality objectives and how to achieve them:

  • Make the cookies gooey by leaving in the oven for less time.

6.3 When changes are made they need to be planned:

  • Before the bake time is changed, the cookies will be taste-tested to ensure they are cooked through.

Section 7: Support

7.1 Determine and provide resources:

  • Is the baker trained on using the equipment (oven and mixer)?
  • Is there a cooling rack to place the cookies on after they are baked?
  • Is there ventilation in the kitchen in the event that the cookies burn?

7.2 Ensure person’s doing work are competent:

  • Does the baker have any experience making cookies and/or can they follow a recipe?

7.3 Ensure person’s doing work are aware:

  • Consider posting printed copies the quality policy and objectives in the kitchen.

7.4 Determine communication:

  • Who will tell the kids when the cookies are ready to eat?
  • How will you tell the kids the cookies are ready?
  • Who will bring the cookies to the neighbor?

7.5 Determine, create, update and control documented information:

  • Documented information includes the recipe, grocery list, scope, quality policy, and objectives.
  • The baker updates everything as needed but will have to re-print and replace the old documents. The old documents have to be thrown away immediately so they are not accidentally used.
  • All documents are kept in the kitchen cupboard.

Section 8: Operation

8.1 Plan and control operations. Determine requirements and establish criteria for acceptance of processes and products:

  • The cookies are required to taste good.
  • Taste a cookie after each batch is baked to ensure the cookies taste good.
  • If the date on the ingredients is past expiration, do not use.

8.2 Communicate with customers, determine their requirements and review their requirements have been met before supplying product including when changes are made:

  • Let the kids know when the cookies have cooled and are safe to eat.
  • Notify the neighbor when bringing the cookies over to their house.
  • The neighbors don’t like visitors after 8pm.
  • If the cookies aren’t done in time, let the neighbors know you will stop by the following day.

8.3 Establish, implement and maintain a design and development process:

  • This clause is excluded from the scope since the cookies aren’t designed, but following a recipe another person created.

8.4 Control externally provided processes, products and services:

  • Check the ingredients at the grocery store to ensure not expired before purchasing.
  • Check prices at other grocery stores to verify getting the best deal.
  • Keep grocery store receipts for one week.

8.5 Production and service provision should be under controlled conditions:

  • The oven must preheat before use.
  • Any ingredients that state “refrigerate” must be stored in the refrigerator.
  • Update the grocery list if replacing any ingredients or if requiring brand name items.

8.6 Verify requirements have been met before release:

  • Taste-test the cookies before giving them to the neighbor.

8.7 Ensure nonconforming outputs are controlled and identified:

  • Burnt cookies get segregated from the good cookies and thrown in the trash once they’ve cooled.

Section 9: Performance evaluation

9.1 Determine what needs to be monitored and measured, what methods will be used and when you will analyze and evaluate the results:

  • The satisfaction of the kids and neighbors need to be monitored and measured. This will be done by asking them after they eat one if they liked the taste. Their response will be immediately analyzed and evaluated to determine if changes need to be made or another recipe is to be used in the future.

9.2 Have an internal audit program:

  • Have an objective and impartial person audit all process and all your documents to ensure the QMS is effectively implemented and maintained.

9.3 Perform Management Reviews:

  • During planned intervals, have Leadership (the baker and spouse), get together to review issues, performance, customer satisfaction, if quality objectives were met, audit results, grocery store performance, if additional resources are needed and if there are opportunities for improvement.

Section 10: Improvement

10.1 Determine and select opportunities for improvement:

  • How can you make the cookies better, more consistent, etc.?
  • Look at each process for improvement opportunities.

10.2 When a nonconformity occurs, react to it appropriately, determine and eliminate the cause and keep records:

  • If the cookies burned, was the temperature to high? Were they left in the oven too long?
  • Segregate the burnt cookies and throw away as soon as they have cooled.
  • Make a new batch of cookies to replace the burnt ones.
  • Document how many cookies burned, what was the cause and if a new batch was made to replace them. Retain this documentation for review and to track any trends in burnt cookies.

10.3 Continually Improve:

  • Keep improving!

For a step-by-step guide to implementing ISO 9001 in your organization visit our Steps to ISO 9001 Certification pages.

ISO 9001 All in One Package

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