In a crowded and competitive world, the value of being exceptional has increased in leaps and bounds. Competitive advantage is what sets a business apart.
Whatever sector you operate in, or the goods and services you offer, the ISO 9001:2015 certification – the standards that a company's quality management system must achieve in order to be certified – ensures that you can consistently meet customers’ expectations.
According to ISO (International Organization for Standardization), “this standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement…Using ISO 9001 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good-quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.”
Every business can gain from the consistency in quality and output that results from a well-designed and managed quality management system in line with ISO 9001:2015. Documenting processes helps your organization become more efficient, decrease errors, and maintain a high standard of service delivery, in addition to giving clients top-quality goods and services. It gives your company the ability to create and maintain records that serve as proof of adherence to standards and show how well the quality management system is functioning.
The Benefits of Certification
Especially in uncertain times, customers will lean toward companies they can rely on. The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report concluded that “trust is the new brand equity”, and that consumers insist it is more important for them to trust the brands they purchase today than it was in the past. Trust determines which brands they will use.
According to ISO, the ISO 9000 quality management systems are the most widely known quality management standards globally and are suitable for organizations of all sizes. Adhering to standards that generate trust requires companies to clearly define, document, and monitor their business processes, enabling them to set objectives and measure their progress.
Standards help keep customers satisfied by enabling businesses to improve complaint management, quality control, and client satisfaction monitoring. This, in turn, leads to better business performance and may open up more opportunities, increasing business in both current and new markets across the country.
Achieving ISO standards can lead to more engaged and productive employees, improved job satisfaction, reduced attrition and absenteeism, and improved communication between managers and staff. Any issue that disrupts business operations can be quickly identified and remedied at the source, minimizing business interruptions within the organization.
How ISO 9001:2015 Certification Works
The objective of ISO is to promote international cooperation and compatibility, maintain consistency and safety of products, and streamline production and services across a range of industries. Whatever your line of work, you can obtain an ISO certification to prove that it operates to a high standard.
An external specialist is brought in to observe the management system and the processes, providing unbiased evidence of the company's adherence to quality and international standards. These outside auditors have the benefit of having observed numerous other processes, both comparable and distinct, which frequently sheds light on possible problems and leads to additional process and product improvements.
Key processes are developed and enhanced as data is gathered. As staff receive training in the ISO standard, quality becomes more constant, and a strong ethos of improvement is developed, with a greater emphasis on meeting client expectations. Decisions are based on factual information rather than assumption, which boosts satisfaction and decreases errors. Additionally, training and practices that are recorded speed up the learning process for new employees.
A Certification Checklist
In the process of choosing an ISO Certification Body, it is important to evaluate the records of different ISO agencies. Reputation, accreditation, specialization, and experience are all key factors. Ensure that the body you select is credible and recognized by ISO. Additionally, be sure they have a track record of certifying companies in the same sector as your business.
Selecting the appropriate certification organization could provide your management system a new, outside perspective that adds value. Because of this, it's crucial to perform your research and pick the certifying body in accordance with what your company values.
Bear in mind that once you have selected a certification and body, the actual process of applying for certification begins. This can be a lengthy exercise that may take up to six months to complete.
Accreditation Opens New Avenues
If implemented well, ISO certification can increase efficiency, staff and customer satisfaction, communication, and processes. That’s why business owners need to view ISO standards not just as a badge of compliance, but as an opportunity for new companies to develop systems that are more resilient, efficient, and productive.