ISO 9001 is one of the most used quality management systems in the world today. Thousands of companies worldwide have used these processes to establish quality management systems that work for them.

Thinking About Taking The ISO 9001 Journey

  • This set of standards have a reputation on a global scale. It is the set of standards on which many companies have based their quality management processes.
  • Pursuing an ISO 9001 certification is not enforced, this quality management process is voluntary in nature, however, the benefits should not be ignored.
  • You do not have to have ISO 9001 certification to use the set of standards in your daily business. Any company can implement processes based on the standards and guidelines in order to improve their quality management systems.
  • Many countries all over the world have implemented the ISO 9001 and the numbering system as their country standard.
  • It doesn’t matter what company you are, what product or service you deliver, you can use the ISO 9001 quality management procedures to implement, maintain and improve the quality management system of the company as a whole.
  • The focus on continued improvement with emphasis placed on customer satisfaction will always lead to improvements in business performance. With goals in mind, the company can soar to new heights.
  • ISO 9001 specifies what a company should do but it doesn’t dictate how they should reach that goal. This allows flexibility and adjustment according to your particular business, the size, and the service or product rendered. The process does not specify goals, that is left to the discretion of the management. ISO 9001 only provides guidelines with which you are able to obtain your goals and achieve results. How you implement the guidelines is a company decision.
  • Although some additions were made to the initial ISO 9001 guidelines to incorporate specific guidelines for industries like the motor industry, the basic guidelines were not amended.
  • By obtaining a certification through a recognized certification body, you gain the confidence of your customer base. You are more likely to attract new customers and business interest when there is proof that you can supply consistently high-quality products or services.
  • Obtaining the ISO 9001 certification through a certification body opens up international avenues for business. Many companies worldwide place a huge emphasis on these standards and the values that accompany them.

 

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Business and ISO 9001

In a world where business is becoming increasingly competitive, any edge you can gain over your competitors in the market is worth obtaining and implementing. Gaining customer confidence will improve sales overall. If a customer is guaranteed consistency in the product purchased, chances are they will keep purchasing it, however, if each time they purchase they aren’t sure of what they’ll get, they are more like to seek other avenues and suppliers. What is so effective about ISO 9001 is that they are only guidelines rather than hard and fast dictated rules that must be followed to the word. Flexibility is paramount these days with many companies having to think of the move in an attempt to go forward and mark their place in the market.

In past years it was only the owners or managers who took responsibility, complaint or compliment for the effectiveness of any process, leaving the staff feeling useless and without a voice. ISO 9001 has changed this and in doing so given the staff a new lease on life, with productivity increasing almost immediately. By allowing staff to take responsibility for their actions and to be held accountable for their decisions it has promoted a way less flippant approach to work. The staff have purpose. Regularly complimenting or commending staff who are doing their part adds to the good vibe and productivity levels. Allowing the staff to be involved in identifying areas that need improvement and listening to their suggestions on how to implement improvements does give them a sense of self-worth and a feeling that they are needed in the business. This may sound shallow, but as human beings, everybody wants to feel needed and that is the best way to get the best out of anybody. Think of it this way, someone who is constantly put down or ignored is less likely to try or contribute constructively than someone who is praised and who offers suggestions that are actually heard.

With ISO 9001 training is provided in the processes ensuring that everybody is on the same page, everybody knows what is expected, why the process is being implemented and the results and goals that are required. It is no longer management who dictates but rather a team effort of all involved. After all isn’t it true that many heads are better than one. Often you will find that somebody may suggest something that has never been considered, however, it is a flash of brilliance in boosting change and improvement.

Regular internal auditing allows the staff to understand where processes are working effectively and where change is a necessity. By revealing the results, rather than keeping them for management only, the staff can more easily adapt the areas and offer on the job suggestions of where improvements are best implemented for the greater good of the company.

The aim of any business is to make money. The only way to do that is to have a workforce that is happy and productive and a product or service that is consistent, high-quality and cost-effective. Quality management systems reduce waste. Waste equates to money down the drain. Can you imagine the implications of a company who has a workforce of productive staff members who have increased quantities while still maintaining quality but without the loss through waste. Now that is a perfect scenario and completely attainable with the ISO 9001 implementation.

Change is difficult for anybody, however, once the benefits become apparent you will wonder why it took you so long to get on the ISO 9001 bandwagon as such. Climb on now and let the process improve your business and your customer satisfaction levels.

 

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