By Tony Seng, Nextracker
The International Organization for Standardization, better known by its acronym ISO, is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 165 national standards bodies. The ISO family of thousands of standards covers pretty much all aspects of technology and manufacturing. One of the more familiar of those myriad families of standards is ISO 9000 and ISO 9001 in particular, which focuses on quality management systems (QMS). Getting ISO’ed is a big deal, and I’m proud to have helped lead the charge at Nextracker to achieve certification for ISO 9001:2015.
As I said in our press release about earning the ISO certification, every Nextracker solar tracker is designed and built to the highest quality standards. Our ISO 9001:2015 accreditation is confirmation of our demonstrated and ongoing commitment to reliability, quality assurance, the environment, and safety. Although that quote puts a nice bow on things, it doesn’t do justice to the heavy lift that was involved by my teammates across the Nextracker organization to get to the ISO finish line.
After kicking around the idea for a long time and knowing many of our biggest customers were pushing for us to get ISO’ed, we officially began the process in November 2020. We knew we were pretty far down the road to compliance and meeting the needs of our customers with our existing QMS, but we needed fresh independent eyes to assess our efforts and to make sure everything we were doing was best in class.
In December, we conducted “gap assessments” in our own systems and found some gaps associated with certain specific requirements of ISO 9001:2015, such as risk assessment and risk mitigation processes that we did have in place but didn’t have properly documented. One of the keys to the ISO process is “say what you do, do what you say,” which means having