The International Organisation for Standardisation released the first ISO 9001 Quality Management System more than 30 years ago. Since then, more than 1 million companies around the world have adopted its principles and achieved certification to its requirements.

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The version of the ISO 9001 Quality Management System used today provides businesses with a complete blueprint of processes that can be used to build business processes that achieve the overall success of operational and business-wide objectives.

Businesses that use a comprehensive business management system that is trusted by customers, vendors, shareholders, regulatory agencies and others can build trust in their ability to offer products and services in a reliable manner. Simultaneously, companies also achieve better risk management.

Effective programs like the ISO 9001 Quality Management System also provide a blueprint that companies can use to achieve specific goals such as improving customer satisfaction, enhancing efficiencies, and even building the bottom line. Whatever long or short term goal your organisation has, the ISO 9001 QMS certification process can help you achieve them.

What the ISO 9001 Quality Management System Includes

The ISO 9001 QMS evens the playing field for all companies so that they all understand how they relate to each other and to their industry as a whole. In essence, it creates a common language that can be understood by everybody.

It also is extremely helpful at identifying shortcomings and building systems to improve them operationally on every level, from manufacturing to delivery to customer satisfaction and more. When problems within an organisation are identified and addressed, it usually will improve efficiencies, operations and profits.

Why ISO 9001 Quality Management System Is the Global Standard?

The ISO 9001 Quality Management System has been adopted by companies in practically every industry and in most countries all over the globe. These include factories and service companies of every size and scope – from small, family-owned storefront operations to multinational conglomerates with operations all over the world.

The reason is because ISO 9001 Quality Management system has become the most widely recognised management system standard anywhere.

Principles of the ISO 9001 Quality Management System

When it was first created more than three decades ago, the ISO 9001 Quality Management System was built upon a number of core principles that explain why it remains so widely used and popular today.

  • Being Customer Centric – Businesses need customers. So it’s critical that they understand what their customers want and what their expectations are of them. Once they know that, they can exceed customer expectations.

  • Long Range Vision – Within an organisation, ownership and management needs to create a long range vision that the company follows. This vision can then be instilled in every level of the company, from the front lines to the executive suite, so that everybody is involved in helping the company achieve its goals.

  • Getting Buy-In at Every Level – Companies usually aren’t one person. They are teams of people all working towards a common goal. Getting everybody on board and working together is the fastest and most efficient way to achieve any objective, large or small.

  • Process Improvement – Anything your company is doing right now could be done better. That’s the goal of the ISO 9001 QMS certification process: To look at your company’s processes and consider them with an impartial eye in order to enhance them and make your company as a whole better.

  • Cutting through the B.S. – Quality management systems look at hard facts through perspective that is not cluttered by history, prejudices or politics. Data and information are analyzed objectively in order to create a plan that is best for the business, not necessarily for individuals within the organisation.

  • Improving Relationships with Suppliers – When companies have a mutually beneficial with their suppliers, both parties have the ability to improve value.

These core principles have been applied successfully through the ISO 9001 Quality Management System to a wide variety of industries.

Origins of the ISO 9001 Quality Management System

The precursor to the ISO 9001 – the ISO 9000 – originally was based on a series of standards that came from the British Standards Institution and were proposed to the International Organisation for Standardisation in 1979. But its history actually began in the 1950s, with the publication of standards created for the US Defense Department.

These military standards were revised into a series of standards used by all of NATO beginning in 1969, which were then revised to become the British standards that were first published in 1974 before being revised to become the standards that eventually were presented to the ISO.

Between 2000 and 2011, adoption of ISO 9001 Quality Management System standards grew from about 457,000 companies to more than 1.1 million worldwide.

Having ISO 9001 consulting from a experienced provider can make a business more respected and trusted by its customers, suppliers and stakeholders.