(30 May 2014 by Sergio Samarelli, Planetek) Everyone, when buying a service, would like to know in advance what he or she is going to receive. Not only in terms of output specifications, but also, in general, regarding all the details of the service, starting from the on time availability of the result and including details of equal importance, such as the absence of errors in the execution.
The solution in the field of service is that we need to trust our provider. Quality can be defined as a measure of the capability to deliver the promised results. Therefore, we need a quality provider.
This is not news. For decades, the industry has put in place ways to ensure quality and one of the most adopted rules to achieve such results is the ISO 9001 standard.
The ISO 9001 standard provides all the requirements that an organization needs to be reliable in satisfying the requirements of its customers.
The ISO 9001 standard can be applied to any process as well as any kind of service provision. Moreover, some organizations can have rules in place that are verified to follow the standard, but not covering all the activities that generate the result we are interested in.
To overcome this limit, the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC), with the support of the European Space Agency, has started an activity for the definition of guidelines for the application of ISO 9001 to the provision of remote sensing services. Such guidelines help implementers to reach the maximum benefit adopting an ISO 9001 management system and giving EO service users more guaranties on the organization’s capability to satisfy requirements.
The guidelines cover all the aspects of service provision, from the need for process definition and documentation, to the availability of resources, which for many services could be skilled operators.
Planetek, as EARSC active member has embraced the purpose of these guidelines, took part in the early workshops for the definition of the methodology, and has enhanced its ISO 9001 certified organization system to ensure that all the Planetek EO activities follow the guidelines identified by EARSC for the application of ISO 9001 to earth observation data based products and services. The conformity of the Planetek methodologies has been certified by an independent certification body (SGS). Planetek is the first company to receive this certification, so actually Planetek customer can be even “surer” about the results they receive from Planetek activities.