AGUA FABRICS LIMITED
Agua Fabrics is a privately owned company based in London. The
company has built its reputation in the healthcare, education,
leisure and custodial markets by providing quality products and
excellent service to customers for over 70 years. The origins of
the company date back to the 1930’s, supplying linens, textiles and
uniforms to the health service. As the linens and textile market
became more commodity orientated, the company began to develop a
branded portfolio of products. In 2002 the Agua brand was created
to encompass a collection of waterproof upholstery fabrics. The
company chose to implement ISO 9001 because it is the world’s most
established quality framework. ISO 9001 seemed an appropriate means
to demonstrate that Agua Fabrics had processes in place to monitor
and improve performance in the purchase and supply of textile
products in their expanding product portfolio. ISO 9001
certification also provided independent assurance of reliability to
customers. Agua Fabrics selected BSI as its certification partner
due to the reassurance that BSI’s market-leading position and brand
reputation would give to its customers.
Agua Fabrics made initial investigations at the end of 2007
with the process getting underway at the start of 2008. The first
certification was achieved in September 2008 and then extended in
January 2009 and February 2011 upon review. Agua Fabrics
acknowledges that changes to internal systems and processes were
initially met with some resistance. Staff had concerns about the
potential increase in administrative duties. However, benefits soon
became apparent once the new systems were implemented which
assisted with staff buy-in. Involving staff in the development and
implementation also helped.
ISO 9001 certification is becoming a pre-requisite for many
customers. Certification therefore meant new business opportunities
and increased profits for Agua Fabrics. Adhering to the ISO 9001
framework enabled the company to simplify some internal processes
and improve efficiency. For example, the retrieval of data needed
to follow up customer queries was made easier and quicker leading
to improved customer relationships. Regular reporting on debtors
reduced debtor days by five, which also impacted positively on cash
flow. By introducing the practice of minute keeping business
meetings became formalized which kept the management team focused
on their objectives and helped with supplier negotiations.
Highlighting the significance of key performance indicators also
boosted internal motivation to achieve and improve results.
Q.1. What are the benefits that Agua Fabric realized after ISO
Q.2. How ISO 9000:2005 and 9004:2009, 19011:2011 would have
helped Agua Fabric in getting ISO Certification?
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Q.3. According to ISO 9001:2008, Agua Fabrics need to focus on
which four generic business processes?
Q.4. ISO stands for International organization for
standardizations. Why do standard matter in Agua Fabrics?
Q.5. Explain five quality management principles that are
utilized as an input by ISO 9001:2008?
Q.6. How does ISO certification will provide business
excellence to Agua Fabrics?
Q.7. Mention various criticism that Agua Fabric will face from
Please answer all the question