ShBarcelona received its first ISO 9001 Quality Management System certificate in 2018, and it was issued by AENOR (Spanish Association for Standardization and Certification). The certificate is an official recognition of having delivered good quality services in the last three years, with a constant focus on improving company processes and customer satisfaction.
In this article we let three people elaborate on the company’s quality policy, the objectives that are being set every year, and the importance of having the ISO 9001 certificate. You will hear from Mireia González (consultant with Ecogesa), Laia Embun (head of ShBarcelona‘s Quality Department) en Franck Anaïs (managing director at Sh Group) what their thoughts and knowledge of the subject are.
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What is the ISO 9001 Quality Management System?
Mireia González explains the basics of this quality management system (or QMS): “It is a set of requirements that must be met by the entire company to demonstrate its standardised processes and policies, and with which all departments together can achieve the company’s objectives“.
In other words, it is a system that is based on certain requirements that must be complied with to reach minimum objectives on the aspect of quality. For ShBarcelona it concerns: continuously working on improving the company and offering good quality services.
The Deming Cycle is the most basic continuous improvement model, and it is needed to implement a well functioning management system. The Deming Cycle (or PDCA Cycle) stands for the phases: Plan, Do, Check and Act.
At this moment, ISO 9001 is the most commonly used international standard, and it provides guidelines and requirements for organisations to implement and maintain a quality management system. ShBarcelona works with this system on a daily basis.
Mireia González (Ecogesa) stresses the importance of continuing with the management system, once the company has been certified. This way the company can guarantee customer satisfaction and continue with improvements.
The certificate is valid for three years, and that is why annual internal audits take place. These reviews help to maintain and improve the system and thus reach quality levels each year.
The history of ISO 9001
The quality consultant points out that the ISO 9001 standard has been evolving all throughout its history. “ISO 9001 can nowadays be applied to organisations of every size. Working with the characteristics of this Quality Management System and implementing it effectively will help organisations to centralise, organise and manage its processes.”
The standard was, however, mainly focussing on large industries when it was first introduced in 1987 and the first five years of its existence. It wasn’t until 2008 that the service sector was included within the standard.
The latest update took place in 2015, and this is when ISO 9001 also became a tool for the prevention and innovation of processes and risk management.
Basic criteria to meet
Once ShBarcelona implemented a quality management system, it meant that a series of standards and processes must be complied with. This way objectives that were specified at the start could be achieved.
Both ShBarcelona’s managing director and Ecogesa’s Mireia González agree on the importance of continuously training the organisation’s employees. The aim is to improve the company’s competitiveness in the long run, and to be able to enter new markets. This will allow us to keep growing as a company.
In addition to this, by having the entire team of the company involved in its development and the management system itself, it will ensure that the quality of services offered will be better. This is ultimately a big part of the values the team wants to express.
Another important criterium is to comply with legal rules and regulations for companies, as well as meeting the demands of our clients.
The impact of ISO 9001 on the company
Ever since we started the company back in 2000, we have always acted thoroughly and transparently, optimising all our processes and guaranteeing good quality services.
As a result we are now trusted by the most prestigious organisations, such as big companies, business schools and universities, both on a national and international level. Some examples of organisations we work with on a regular basis are: Esade, Quirónsalud, Vueling, General Electric, and many others.
ShBarcelona is only one of few companies that is currently ISO 9001 certified. This distinguishes us from the majority of real estate companies within the sector, and makes us a leader in quality management control in the sector.
“It confirms that our way of understanding what quality is, is on the right track, and at the same time it has allowed us to work with an objective system that is recognised internationally, which backs us up when it concerns third parties”, says Franck Anaïs, managing director.
With a quality management system in place we can analyse wishes and demands of different stakeholders, and also check our strengths and weaknesses, in order to come up with action plans that help contribute to continuous improvement.
“This is a key issue, because it improves a client’s confidence, which had been diminished by the sector’s bad reputation in the last couple of years”, says the CEO of the Sh Group.
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Has the pandemic made it difficult for the company to maintain its quality management system?
We have been able to uphold the quality standards we reached in the previous years, despite the pandemic that was caused by Covid-19. Our management systems have allowed us to act swiftly, and so we are adapted to new demands.
ShBarcelona has been working on its strategy with the help of satisfaction surveys for some years now, and even with this new world we are facing with the pandemic, 88.86% of our clients in 2020 would recommend our services.
During that same year we collected 1,626 surveys, and the data extracted from them shows the following:
- tenants give us a rating of 8.5 out of 10
- landlords give us a rating of 8.9 out of 10
With these results, Franck Anaïs wants to emphasise that “the enormous efforts of our professional team has allowed us to meet the level of demand and quality.”
In addition to this, Ecogesa (the auditing company) has given us the support and advice we needed throughout the years: from first defining the ISO 9001 Quality Management System, to the official certification.
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