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Customer Focus

In customer focus, the ISO 9001requirement is inclined towards the underlying concept of customer responsiveness, which is defined as giving customers what they have contracted to receive. This is defined in ISO 9001 Clause 5.2 “Customer Focus”.


The principle of customer focus is a wider concept. It is more proactive than the concept of customer responsiveness. The proactive side involves working with customers to find better ways to meet the customer needs, and this goes beyond the expressed needs and wants of the customer to uncover the underlying purpose driving the customer requirements. Normally, this extends beyond the immediate customers if they are not the end users, the consumers of the products. The principle also applied to looking at future needs of existing customers and that of potential customers.


Conformance to customer requirements and achieving customer satisfaction are crucial concepts in managing performance. The performance management of the organization is focused on these two concepts defined in ISO 9001 Clause 7.2 as “Customer-related processes” under the main clause 7 on “Product Realization”. The requirements of “Product Realization” are all focused on meeting customer requirements and achieving customer satisfaction, starting with Clause 7.2.1 “Determination of requirements related to the product”. This requirement covers specified and implied requirements of the customer and also covers requirements including statutory and regulatory requirements.



For the manufacturing of goods, this means that the requirement affected to the product have to control the upstream activities from the sourcing of the raw materials and/or services as inputs into the core processes until products are delivered to the customer.


A consumer, who is the end-user in the value chain, purchases a product with the purpose of deriving value-added service from the product use. The ISO 9001:2008 is note explicit about the requirements on the outcome of the product end-use, but this can be implied from ISO 9001 Clause 8.2.1 “Customer Satisfaction”. If the product does not perform to the expectation of the consumer, then dissatisfaction will result from the use.


Although the ISO 9001 does not specify the proactive aspect of this proactive aspect of this principle, however, in ISO 9004, the sub-clauses 5.1.2 and 5.2.2 provide addition guidance on this application. This means that organization with a mature management system has the opportunity to achieve better performance with the full application of this Customer Focus principle. The responsibility of top management here includes looking at the current and future needs and expectations of the customers. In fact these sub-clauses actually cover the wider external environment to include all “interested parties”, in other words, other stakeholders whom the organization might have impact upon.


Applying the Principle of Customer Focus in ISO 9001

Applying The Principle of Customer Focus In ISO 9001

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