“International standards like ISO 9001 can transform the way you approach business.” This is the view recently shared by Forbes in an article that unpacks the myriad benefits of ISO 9001: 2015 in improving the cost efficiencies, quality and business operations of a company. The value of this certification lies in its ability to lower operational costs, improve finances, deliver a competitive advantage, and help organisations implement measurable change that’s both sustainable and relevant. A value that can be seen in its rapid global adoption across multiple markets with countries like China achieving nearly 350k certificates closely followed by Italy, Germany and Japan.
At its core, ISO 9001 is an international standard that specifies the requirements for a quality management system (QMS) and assists organisations in meeting the statutory and regulatory requirements related to their products while equally achieving excellence in customer service and solution delivery. The fifth and most recent version of ISO 9001: 2015 introduces a set of structures and principles that tie business objectives, customer needs and marketing strategy together and that allow for companies to embed a culture of quality throughout the business. When people know and understand the principles driving business decision-making and approaches, then they understand how their actions further these goals and are more engaged as a whole.
“The best part of the ISO 9001 standard is that it’s defined as a generic standard so it can be applied to any business, no matter its size or complexity,” says Maylee Hartzenburg, Operations Manager at WWISE. “It also adds weight to your company’s reputation because once you’re certified it means your clients know that you are committed to your QMS and to continuous improvements which means, for them, that they can trust in consistent performance and well-designed products and services.
The reason why this certification adds so much weight is because it shows that your company’s quality processes have been measurably audited against the ISO 9001 standard by an independent third-party. It also provides you with a solid foundation from which to expand your business on the global stage. As the certification is internationally recognized, it means that customers from other countries are reassured that your standards are aligned. Some organisations will only do business with companies that have been ISO certified because it reassures them that your management system is consistently assessed and approved.
There are also benefits inherent in following the steps of the ISO 9001 certification as each one helps to refine the business and its processes as a whole. Following the certification process will allow for the business to improve reporting and communications for both clients and employees and to embed more reliable production scheduling and delivery into processes and systems. As the standards are maintained by annual assessments, you’re guaranteed consistent improvements across systems while also reducing the risk of error. You can also use a gap analysis checklist to assess where your system stands against the ISO 9001 certification which will help you to align with its requirements and get the benefits at the same time.
“The QMS standard is focused on the improvement and management of systems within your organisation,” says Hartzenburg. “It draws a line under the word ‘quality’ for this is what it embeds into every crack and crevice of your business. It reassures your customers and your employees, and it gives you the confidence to engage with global markets and new clients knowing that you’re on a par with global standards.”
Every one of these steps will take the business to the next level of capability and quality management. As you move along the ISO 9001:2015 checklist, you will see how your organisation benefits from enhanced workflows, reduced waste, improved risk management, and the ability to apply root cause analysis to reduce non-conformances. With this ISO in hand, you can transform all areas of your organisation in measurable ways, and remain focused on the important areas of your business. World Wide Industrial and Systems Engineers (WWISE) is a third-party service provider that ensures your business is on track to follow the global ISO standards and principles, and we help you gain your certification while experiencing measurable benefits every step along the way.