ISO 9001 (for quality management) is a well-recognised Quality Management System (QMS) standard any business must have in order to thrive.
The standard was developed by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) for an international audience to break down barriers to international trade.
It was first published in 1987.
ISO conducts a review of the standard every 5 to 8 years to make sure it stays relevant to global business demands. In this way, the standard demonstrates its continual improvement cycle.
Adopting ISO 9001 standard for Quality Management Systems has greatly helped many companies and businesses achieve higher productivity and better performance.
It also has proven to be the major driver behind business growth and success.
The standard offers the best practices you need for almost any industry or business that you find yourself in. It is flexible and has benefitted many companies that implemented it.
Let’s find out more about ISO 9001 and why it’s so important to be certified in today’s context of doing business in an ever-changing global context.
What is ISO 9001
ISO 9001 is an internationally recognised standard for Quality Management Systems (QMS).
This international quality standard provides a set of principles and frameworks for businesses to adhere to so that processes are more efficient and thus improve customer satisfaction.
The standard evaluates if your existing quality management system is effective while enabling you to identify areas that need improvements.
Being certified will ensure your company stays competitive by consistently improving business processes to deliver high-quality or effective products and services.
The standard is designed to ensure continual improvement of your company’s business processes.
It is flexible and can be applied to any industry.
Be it in the manufacturing or service sectors, any organization can be ISO 9001 certified if the requirements are met.
However, it is important to note that this standard does not define product quality.
It is process-based where you use it to improve your business processes. In doing so, you produce a quality product that meets the needs and requirements of your customers and stakeholders through continuous improvement.
In other words, ISO 9001 standard can be used to demonstrate your company’s ability to consistently meet customer and regulatory requirements.
According to NQA, a global certification body, ISO 9001 is the most widely implemented standard in the world, with over a million certificates issued to companies around the world.
Importance of ISO 9001
Here are the five key reasons why adopting the standard is important for your company.
1. More efficient business processes
As ISO 9001 standard is process-based, companies must continuously improve on existing processes and adopt best practices resulting in an overall reduction of operational costs and optimization of resources.
Cost savings and wastage of resources are minimised in the process of streamlining current practices and identifying areas for improvement.
2. Improved customer satisfaction and confidence
Since the quality focus on processes and procedures is the driver behind ISO 9001, having the standard in place ensures you put your customers first.
Putting your customers first means you consistently meet customers’ needs, cater to their changing expectations, and enhance their satisfaction.
Increased customer confidence can lead to repeat customers, attract new potential customers, and increase revenue for your business.
3. Improved stakeholder relationships
Company perception with employees, customers, and suppliers improve with ISO 9001 certification. Your business has more credibility, providing stakeholders with greater confidence in what your company does.
Improved processes lead to more efficient supply chains hence improving relationships and trust with suppliers.
Improved work processes lead to reduced work errors and wastage of resources. Internal communications are improved when everyone is working towards a common agenda.
When employees are involved in designing process improvements, morale is greater.
4. Increased revenue and profits
The certification provides evidence of consistency and reliability in delivering your goods and services according to industrial standards.
Leveraging the reputation of ISO 9001, helps you win more tenders and contracts.
Increased efficiency and quality of products help to retain and attract customers and clients.
Increased efficiency in work processes leads to cost reduction and also increases revenue.
5. Business growth and expansion
If you are looking to tap into new markets, it is even more crucial to obtain ISO 9001 certification. It will show that your company has proven to deliver quality goods and services that can be relied on.
Potential business partners are easier to win over if your company is ISO 9001 certified.
Being certified establishes an overall improved work process that can benefit everyone involved. For your company, this means more savings, more profit, and more business opportunities with a higher level of stakeholder satisfaction.
Here’s one of many success stories of ISO 9001 implementation.
ACO, a world market leader in the environmental management industry which specializes in surface water drainage production, experienced company growth after ISO 9001 implementation and certification.
Here’s a quote from the Managing Director of ACO, Richard Hill.
“By challenging everyone to consider how they approach their tasks within the company’s developing environmental framework, there has been a new level of creative thinking, a greater sense of shared responsibility, and a closer, more open relationship with our suppliers and customers.”
How to achieve ISO 9001 certification
Here are 3 simple steps to get your company certified.
- Develop and set up a quality management system (QMS) aligned to the principles of the latest ISO 9001 standard
- Proceed to have an audit of your QMS by a certified auditor
- Upon successful certification, you will need to be recertified after three years and every subsequent three years
What does it mean to be ISO 9001 certified
Being ISO 9001 certified means that your company or organization has attained the requirements and standards of ISO 9001 QMS. It proves that your QMS is effective and appropriate.
More importantly, to any business owner, it demonstrates to your staff, customers, stakeholders, and the outside world that customer satisfaction is at the core of your business.
For more information and how to get started with ISO 9001, check this out: ISO 9001
Websparks is an ISO 9001-certified company
Websparks is an award-winning web solutions company. We are ISO 9001 certified and we serve to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations through the services we provide.
Consult us if you are looking for digital or web-based solutions for your company.