ISO 9001:2015 Requirements
The organization shall meet requirements for post-delivery activities associated with the products and services.
In determining the extent of post-delivery activities that are required, the organization shall consider:
a) statutory and regulatory requirements;
b) the potential undesired consequences associated with its products and services;
c) the nature, use and intended lifetime of its products and services;
d) customer requirements;
e) customer feedback.
NOTE Post-delivery activities can include actions under warranty provisions, contractual obligations such as maintenance services, and supplementary services such as recycling or final disposal.
The organization shall meet requirements for post-delivery activities associated with the products and services.
Post-delivery activities may differ for each company, and it is required that the organization determine the nature and extent of any post-delivery activities applicable to their type of work. Post-delivery activities mean providing support for their product or services post the delivery which may or may not be required by the customer, as per your contractual agreements. Your organization must meet requirements for post-delivery activities associated with the products and services.Post-delivery activities can include actions under warranty provisions, contractual obligations such as maintenance services, and supplementary services such as recycling or final disposal. Post-delivery activities are crucial to ensuring customer satisfaction and the continued success of an organization. Here’s a guideline on how an organization should meet requirements for post-delivery activities associated with products and services:
- Clearly define what constitutes post-delivery activities within your organization. This can include maintenance, support, warranties, customer inquiries, and feedback processes.
- Create a documented post-delivery policy that outlines the organization’s commitment to meeting customer requirements and ensuring satisfaction after the product or service has been delivered.
- Designate specific contact points or customer support teams responsible for handling post-delivery activities.Ensure that customers know how to reach these contact points for assistance.
- If applicable, clearly communicate warranty and guarantee policies to customers, including the duration and terms of coverage. Provide instructions for customers on how to claim warranty or guarantee services.
- Implement a system for collecting customer feedback, such as surveys, customer reviews, or direct contact channels. Regularly analyze and act on customer feedback to improve products and services.
- Establish processes for addressing customer inquiries and concerns promptly. Train customer support personnel to handle inquiries effectively and professionally.
- Keep customers informed about updates, improvements, or new versions of products and services.Clearly communicate the benefits of updates and how customers can access them.
- If your organization provides maintenance or servicing, create schedules and protocols for these activities. Ensure that maintenance and servicing teams are adequately trained and equipped.
- Develop a procedure for handling customer complaints efficiently.Investigate complaints thoroughly and provide resolutions within agreed-upon timelines.
- Maintain records of all post-delivery activities, including customer interactions, complaints, resolutions, and feedback. – Use these records for continuous improvement.
- Regularly review post-delivery processes and activities to identify areas for improvement. Implement corrective actions based on feedback, complaints, and analysis of post-delivery activities.
- Ensure that all post-delivery activities comply with relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards.
- Provide training to employees involved in post-delivery activities to ensure they are competent in handling customer interactions and providing support.
- Maintain open lines of communication with customers, keeping them informed about any changes or updates related to the product or service.
- Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) related to post-delivery activities, such as response times, customer satisfaction scores, and resolution rates. – Use these metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of your post-delivery processes.
- Ensure that all post-delivery activities are documented and that records are properly organized and accessible for review and audit purposes.
- Conduct periodic management reviews to assess the effectiveness of post-delivery activities and make strategic decisions for improvement.
- Clearly define roles and responsibilities for post-delivery activities to ensure accountability within the organization.
- Conduct internal audits to validate compliance with post-delivery requirements and policies.
- Offer resources, guides, or training to help customers make the most of your products or services.
By implementing these measures, an organization can effectively meet requirements for post-delivery activities, enhance customer satisfaction, and maintain a positive reputation in the market.
2) In determining the extent of post-delivery activities that are required, the organization shall consider statutory and regulatory requirements;
In some cases, post-delivery activities are statutory or regulatory requirements. Such requirements should be addressed. For example, there is a mandated 13 weeks for the defects and liability period in New South Wales, Australia, which may be longer depending on what is included in the contract for the project. These requirements, including statutory and contractual, will need to be considered in the organization’s processes. Compliance with applicable laws and regulations is essential for ensuring that the organization meets its legal obligations and maintains the trust of its customers and stakeholders. Here’s how an organization can incorporate statutory and regulatory requirements into post-delivery activities:
- Begin by identifying all relevant statutory and regulatory requirements that pertain to your industry and the specific products or services you offer. These may include local, national, and international regulations.
- Conduct a comprehensive assessment to understand how these regulations apply to post-delivery activities. Consider factors such as data privacy, product safety, environmental impact, and consumer protection.
- Create a comprehensive document that outlines how the organization will comply with each relevant regulation in the context of post-delivery activities. This document may be part of the organization’s compliance management system.
- Ensure that employees involved in post-delivery activities are aware of the specific regulations that apply to their roles and responsibilities. Provide training and guidance on compliance.
- Integrate compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements into existing post-delivery processes and procedures. This ensures that compliance is an integral part of day-to-day operations.
- Establish monitoring and auditing mechanisms to regularly assess and verify compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. Conduct internal audits and reviews to identify areas that need improvement.
- Maintain records related to compliance efforts and activities. This includes records of audits, corrective actions, and any interactions with regulatory authorities.
- Seek legal counsel or consultation to interpret and navigate complex regulations. Legal experts can provide guidance on how to meet legal obligations effectively.
- Stay informed about changes in relevant regulations. Regulations can change over time, so it’s essential to adapt post-delivery activities accordingly.
- Develop incident response plans that include steps for addressing and reporting any compliance violations or breaches promptly and in accordance with regulatory requirements.
- If certain regulations require customer disclosures or notifications (e.g., data breaches), establish clear communication protocols and templates to ensure compliance.
- Pursue external certifications or audits, if applicable and relevant to your industry. These can provide evidence of compliance with specific regulations.
- Periodically review and update your documentation and processes with the assistance of legal experts to ensure ongoing compliance.
- Be prepared to adapt post-delivery activities swiftly in response to significant changes in regulations, ensuring ongoing compliance.
By considering statutory and regulatory requirements in post-delivery activities, organizations can mitigate legal risks, maintain a positive reputation, and build trust with customers and stakeholders. It’s an essential element of responsible business conduct in today’s regulatory environment.
3) In determining the extent of post-delivery activities that are required, the organization shall consider the potential undesired consequences associated with its products and services
The organization must consider all risks or potential consequences related to its product or service and create a response plan on how they will address the situation. For builders, this would be the defect liability period that commences once the project is handed over. There should be timely responses to issues raised and comprehensive reporting during the defects liability period as it is generally the last major interaction with the customer and can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction. The reporting can assist the sales/estimating teams and construction teams for future projects to identify lessons learnt.In a software company, this can be fixing bugs and other issues post-release. A post-delivery maintenance window may be defined in the contract with the customer in many cases. Considering the potential undesired consequences associated with products and services is a crucial part of determining and managing post-delivery activities. It demonstrates an organization’s commitment to delivering safe, reliable, and high-quality products and services to customers. Here’s how an organization can incorporate this consideration into its post-delivery activities:
- Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment for each product or service offered. Identify potential undesired consequences, such as safety hazards, performance issues, or environmental impacts.
- Ensure that the organization complies with relevant laws and regulations related to product safety, environmental impact, and consumer protection. Align post-delivery activities with regulatory requirements.
- Implement rigorous product testing and quality control measures to minimize the likelihood of defects or performance issues. Regularly review and update testing protocols.
- Establish mechanisms for customers to provide feedback on their experiences with products or services. Monitor customer reviews, complaints, and inquiries to identify potential issues.
- Develop a clear incident reporting and response process to address and rectify any adverse events or issues related to products or services promptly.
- Implement a culture of continuous improvement where identified undesired consequences lead to corrective actions and process enhancements.
- Maintain comprehensive records of product or service testing, customer complaints, incident reports, and corrective actions taken. These records can be invaluable for analysis and improvement.
- Develop product recall plans and procedures to swiftly and effectively address and communicate recalls or safety concerns to customers if necessary.
- Clearly define warranty and guarantee policies to address potential undesired consequences. Ensure customers are aware of their rights and the process for seeking remedies.
- Implement sustainability measures to reduce the environmental impact of products or services. This may include recycling programs, eco-friendly packaging, or energy-efficient designs.
- Provide comprehensive and clear product labeling and user guides to help customers use products safely and effectively.
- Evaluate and manage potential undesired consequences within the supply chain, including the sourcing of raw materials and components.
- Educate customers on how to use products or services correctly and safely. Provide guidelines and safety tips where necessary.
- Ensure that the organization operates within ethical boundaries and complies with legal requirements, particularly in industries with heightened safety or ethical concerns.
- Establish clear and transparent communication channels with customers, regulators, and stakeholders. Promptly inform them of any potential undesired consequences and the steps taken to address them.
- Develop risk mitigation plans that outline preventive measures and strategies for addressing potential consequences proactively.
By considering potential undesired consequences associated with products and services and taking proactive measures to address them in post-delivery activities, organizations can enhance customer trust, minimize risks, and improve overall product and service quality. It’s a proactive approach to delivering value and satisfaction to customers while mitigating potential issues.
4) In determining the extent of post-delivery activities that are required, the organization shall consider the nature, use and intended lifetime of its products and services
Considering the nature, use, and intended lifetime of products and services is essential when determining post-delivery activities. This consideration helps organizations tailor their post-delivery efforts to align with the specific characteristics of their offerings and the expectations of their customers. This is very commonly stated in the organization’s return policy. This is generally based upon the intended lifetime of the product and warranties return if something goes wrong with the product before that time.Here’s how an organization can incorporate these considerations into its post-delivery activities:
- Conduct a thorough analysis of the nature and characteristics of each product or service. Understand its purpose, features, and how it is intended to be used.
- Identify and analyze customer needs and expectations related to the product or service. This includes understanding how customers intend to use it and their long-term requirements.
- Determine the expected lifetime of the product or service. Consider whether it is a one-time purchase, a subscription-based service, or a product with a longer lifespan.
- Based on the product or service’s nature and expected lifetime, establish maintenance and servicing requirements. Some products may require frequent maintenance, while others may need less frequent attention.
- Develop warranty and support policies that align with the expected lifetime of the product or service. Ensure that customers are aware of the coverage and duration.
- Create comprehensive user guides and documentation that address the specific nature and intended use of the product or service. Make these resources readily available to customers.
- Offer training programs or educational materials to help customers make the most of the product or service, especially if it has complex features or uses.
- Plan for replacement or upgrade options for products or services that have a limited lifetime. Notify customers about these options well in advance.
- Factor in environmental concerns, including product recycling, disposal, or the reduction of environmental impact, depending on the nature of the product or service.
- Encourage customers to provide feedback on how the product or service meets their needs. Use this feedback to iterate and improve offerings.
- Assess potential risks and issues associated with the product or service over its intended lifetime. Develop strategies to mitigate these risks.
- Plan for the end of the product or service’s lifecycle, including proper disposal or recycling procedures.
- Continuously monitor the performance and condition of products or services, especially those with long lifespans, to identify any emerging issues.
- Maintain open lines of communication with customers throughout the product or service’s lifetime, providing updates, notifications, and support as needed.
- Ensure that all post-delivery activities align with relevant legal and regulatory requirements, including those specific to the nature and use of the product or service.
By carefully considering the nature, use, and intended lifetime of products and services, organizations can provide tailored post-delivery support, enhance customer satisfaction, and maximize the value customers receive throughout the product or service lifecycle. This approach also promotes long-term customer relationships and brand loyalty.
5) In determining the extent of post-delivery activities that are required, the organization shall consider the customer requirements and customer feedback.
Considering customer requirements and customer feedback is essential when determining post-delivery activities. This customer-centric approach helps organizations address customer needs, enhance satisfaction, and continually improve their products and services. Some client contracts may have post-delivery, support, maintenance or warranty requirements. Such post-delivery activities should be clearly described and implemented. Any customer feedback on post-delivery activities should be considered. If required by the customer, any requests for changes should be accounted for if found feasible by the company.Here’s how an organization can incorporate customer requirements and feedback into its post-delivery activities:
1. Customer Requirements:
- Understanding Customer Needs: – Conduct market research and surveys to understand customer expectations, preferences, and requirements related to your products or services.
- Customization Options: – Offer customization or personalization options to meet specific customer requirements when applicable.
- Clear Product/Service Information: – Ensure that product or service descriptions, features, and benefits are clearly communicated to customers to meet their expectations.
- Customer Communication Channels: – Provide multiple communication channels (e.g., email, phone, chat) for customers to express their requirements or ask questions.
- Feedback Collection: – Actively seek input from customers during the pre-delivery phase to understand their needs and preferences.
2. Customer Feedback:
- Feedback Collection Mechanisms: – Establish mechanisms for customers to provide feedback on their experiences with your products or services, both during and after delivery. This can include surveys, reviews, and direct communication.
- Feedback Analysis: – Regularly analyze customer feedback to identify common issues, concerns, or areas for improvement.
- Continuous Improvement: – Use customer feedback as a valuable source of information to drive continuous improvement efforts in post-delivery activities.
- Response to Feedback: – Acknowledge and respond to customer feedback promptly, whether it’s positive or negative. Show customers that their opinions matter.
- Feedback Integration: – Integrate customer feedback into product or service development and enhancement processes to align with customer expectations.
3. Tailored Support:
- Personalized Customer Support: – Provide personalized support and assistance based on customer feedback and specific requirements.
- Problem Resolution: – Address and resolve customer issues, complaints, or concerns in a timely and effective manner.
- Proactive Communication: – Proactively communicate with customers to provide updates, news, and information related to products or services.
- Notification of Enhancements: – Inform customers about product or service enhancements or updates that address their feedback or requirements.
5. Iterative Development: – Use customer feedback to guide iterative development and improvement of products or services over time.
6. Tailored Training: – Offer training programs or educational resources based on customer feedback and specific customer requirements.
7. Customer Satisfaction Surveys: – Implement regular customer satisfaction surveys to gauge how well post-delivery activities align with customer requirements and expectations.
8. Responsive Customer Service: – Ensure that customer support teams are responsive and accessible to address customer needs and feedback promptly.
9. Feedback Documentation: – Maintain records of customer feedback, responses, and actions taken to address feedback for accountability and analysis.
By integrating customer requirements and feedback into post-delivery activities, organizations can build stronger customer relationships, enhance product or service quality, and demonstrate a commitment to meeting and exceeding customer expectations. This customer-centric approach is vital for long-term success and customer loyalty.
6) Post-delivery activities can include actions under warranty provisions, contractual obligations such as maintenance services, and supplementary services such as recycling or final disposal.
Post-delivery activities encompass a wide range of actions and services that an organization provides after delivering its products or services to customers. These activities often include:
- Warranty Provisions:
- Managing and fulfilling warranty agreements by addressing defects, malfunctions, or issues with the product or service during the specified warranty period.
- Providing repairs, replacements, or refunds as per warranty terms and conditions.
- Contractual Obligations:
- Fulfilling contractual commitments, which may include ongoing maintenance, support, or service agreements.
- Adhering to service level agreements (SLAs) and performance expectations outlined in contracts.
- Maintenance Services:
- Offering regular maintenance services to ensure the continued optimal performance and reliability of products or services.
- Conducting preventive maintenance to proactively address potential issues.
- Technical Support:
- Providing technical assistance and troubleshooting to customers who encounter problems or have questions about using the product or service.
- Offering a helpdesk or customer support hotline for inquiries and issue resolution.
- Training and Education:
- Offering training programs, workshops, or online resources to educate customers on how to use products or services effectively and safely.
- Training customers on advanced features or capabilities.
- Software Updates and Patching:
- Releasing software updates, patches, and bug fixes to enhance product performance, security, and functionality.
- Ensuring customers can easily access and install these updates.
- Recycling and Disposal Services:
- Providing options and guidance for customers to responsibly dispose of or recycle products at the end of their life cycle.
- Implementing take-back programs or assisting with eco-friendly disposal.
- Product Upgrades and Enhancements:
- Informing customers about new features, versions, or upgrades available for products or services.
- Offering incentives or discounts for customers to upgrade.
- Sustainability Initiatives:
- Implementing sustainability practices, such as reducing environmental impact, using eco-friendly materials, or minimizing energy consumption in post-delivery activities.
- Educating customers about the eco-friendly aspects of products or services.
- Customer Feedback Collection:
- Actively seeking and encouraging customer feedback on product or service performance, usability, and areas for improvement.
- Using feedback to drive product or service enhancements.
- Complaint Resolution:
- Establishing procedures to address and resolve customer complaints efficiently and to the satisfaction of the customer.
- Implementing corrective actions to prevent recurring issues.
- Performance Monitoring and Reporting:
- Monitoring the performance and usage patterns of products or services and reporting on key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Using data to optimize post-delivery activities and improve customer experience.
- Customer Loyalty Programs:
- Implementing customer loyalty programs, rewards, or incentives to encourage repeat business and strengthen customer relationships.
- Legal and Regulatory Compliance:
- Ensuring that all post-delivery activities comply with relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards.
- Managing compliance documentation and reporting.
These post-delivery activities are essential for maintaining customer satisfaction, ensuring the longevity and reliability of products or services, and building strong and lasting relationships with customers. Organizations that excel in these areas often enjoy higher customer retention and enhanced brand reputation.
Documented Information Required
In ISO 9001:2015, Clause 8.5.5 focuses on the control of changes, and it does not specifically mention post-delivery activities. However, it is essential to maintain records and documents related to post-delivery activities to ensure that customer requirements are met, and products or services continue to perform as expected after delivery. Here are the typical documents and records that organizations may need to maintain in the context of post-delivery activities:
- Post-Delivery Service Agreements: Contracts, agreements, or service-level agreements (SLAs) outlining the organization’s commitments for post-delivery services, such as warranties, maintenance, or technical support.
- Customer Feedback Records: Records of customer feedback, including complaints, comments, and suggestions related to post-delivery activities. This information can help identify areas for improvement.
- Maintenance and Service Reports: Documentation of maintenance or service activities conducted on products or services, including details of the work performed, dates, and any corrective actions taken.
- Warranty Records: Records of warranty claims, including customer requests for warranty support, investigations, resolutions, and any repairs or replacements made.
- Product or Service Performance Data: Records of performance data, such as reliability, durability, and safety assessments, to evaluate and ensure the continued satisfaction of customers.
- Training and Education Records: Documentation of training programs or materials provided to customers to educate them on product or service usage, safety, and maintenance.
- Product Upgrade or Enhancement Records: Documentation of product or service upgrades, enhancements, or modifications made to address customer feedback or changing needs.
- Recycling and Disposal Records: Records related to recycling, disposal, or take-back programs, including guidelines for customers on responsible disposal or recycling options.
- Technical Support Records: Records of technical support provided to customers, including inquiries, troubleshooting, and resolutions.
- Records of Communication: Documentation of communications with customers regarding post-delivery activities, such as notifications of updates, recalls, or product improvements.
- Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Records of customer satisfaction surveys, results, and analysis to assess the effectiveness of post-delivery activities and identify areas for improvement.
- Corrective and Preventive Action Records: Documentation of corrective and preventive actions taken in response to customer feedback, complaints, or issues related to post-delivery activities.
- Regulatory Compliance Records: Documentation of compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards in the context of post-delivery activities.
- Product Lifecycle Records: Documentation related to the expected lifecycle of products or services, including plans for end-of-life management, recycling, or disposal.
- Audit Reports: Records of internal audits or assessments related to post-delivery activities to ensure compliance and effectiveness.
- Management Review Records: Documentation of management reviews focusing on post-delivery activities, performance, and continuous improvement.
It’s important to note that the specific documents and records required can vary depending on the organization’s industry, the nature of its products or services, and the applicable regulatory requirements. Organizations should establish a robust document control system to manage and retain these records as evidence of conformity and continuous improvement in post-delivery activities.
Example of Procedure : Post-Delivery Activities Procedure
- The purpose of this procedure is to define the process for managing post-delivery activities associated with our products and services to meet customer requirements, address potential issues, and continually improve customer satisfaction.
- This procedure applies to all post-delivery activities conducted by [Organization Name] and covers products and services delivered to customers.
- The [Department or Team] is responsible for implementing and maintaining this procedure.
- [Key Personnel] are responsible for specific tasks within the procedure, as outlined below.
4. Procedure Steps:
4.1. Customer Feedback and Complaint Handling:
- [Key Personnel] shall monitor and collect customer feedback, including complaints, comments, and suggestions.
- [Key Personnel] shall document all customer feedback in the [Feedback Tracking System].
4.2. Feedback Analysis:
- [Key Personnel] shall analyze customer feedback regularly to identify recurring issues or trends.
- [Key Personnel] shall categorize feedback into areas such as product defects, service quality, or usability.
4.3. Corrective and Preventive Actions:
- In response to customer feedback, [Key Personnel] shall initiate corrective and preventive actions as needed.
- [Key Personnel] shall maintain records of these actions in the [Action Tracking System].
4.4. Product/Service Maintenance and Support:
- The [Support Team] shall provide technical support to customers via [Support Channels], including phone, email, and chat.
- [Key Personnel] shall track and document support requests and resolutions.
4.5. Warranty Claims Management:
- [Key Personnel] shall receive and review warranty claims submitted by customers.
- [Key Personnel] shall coordinate repairs, replacements, or refunds as per warranty terms.
4.6. Maintenance Scheduling:
- [Key Personnel] shall schedule regular maintenance activities for products or services with maintenance requirements.
- [Maintenance Team] shall perform scheduled maintenance and maintain records of service activities.
4.7. Communication with Customers:
- [Key Personnel] shall maintain open lines of communication with customers, providing updates, notifications of product enhancements, and responses to inquiries.
4.8. Training and Education:
- [Training Team] shall develop and offer training programs, materials, and resources to educate customers on product or service usage and maintenance.
4.9. Product Upgrades and Enhancements:
- [Product Development Team] shall identify opportunities for product or service upgrades based on customer feedback.
- [Key Personnel] shall communicate upgrade options to customers.
4.10. Recycling and Disposal Services:
- [Key Personnel] shall provide guidance to customers on responsible recycling or disposal options for products.
- [Recycling Team] shall coordinate recycling or disposal programs.
5. Records and Documentation:
- All records related to post-delivery activities, including customer feedback, corrective actions, maintenance reports, warranty claims, and training records, shall be maintained and documented in the [Record Keeping System].
6. Performance Monitoring:
- [Key Personnel] shall regularly monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) related to post-delivery activities, such as response times, customer satisfaction scores, and resolution rates.
- [Key Personnel] shall use KPI data for performance evaluation and continuous improvement.
7. Management Review:
- The management team shall conduct periodic reviews to assess the effectiveness of post-delivery activities, identify areas for improvement, and allocate resources as needed.
8. Revision and Review:
- This procedure shall be reviewed, updated, and revised as necessary to reflect changes in post-delivery activities, customer requirements, or regulatory requirements.
- Employees involved in post-delivery activities shall receive training on this procedure and related processes.
10. Compliance: – All post-delivery activities shall comply with relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards.
11. Communication: – This procedure shall be communicated to all relevant personnel within the organization to ensure its effective implementation.