What is ISO 9001?

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ISO 9001 is an international standard for quality management systems.  A quality management system is a set of policies and procedures that document company quality processes. This post explores the aims of ISO 9001, why your customers might want you to have it and why you might want it. 

The aim of ISO 9001

The aim of the standard is to ensure companies that implement it are:

  • customer focused
  • committed to continuously improving
  • addressing the risks and impacts associated with the provision of their products, services and the maintenance of their management system
  • establishing requirements for their products, services and management system measuring them against those requirements
  • maintaining appropriate records to prove conformance
  • maintaining appropriate documentation to preserve knowledge

These are all great things for a company to do, but most of the time these activites will go unnoticed by their customers. The following identifies why your customers want you to have it.

Customer benefits

From a customer’s point of view working with an ISO 9001 certified company means that those companies:

  • check their products and services for conformity with requirements before providing them
  • respond to customer complaints
  • are able to trace the reason for any nonconforming product or service
  • have a process for correcting nonconforming products or services
  • are able to trace all nonconforming products and services previously provided and take appropriate action

Most customers would like to think that their suppliers can do this.  Certification to ISO 9001 proves it.  Certification involves independent checks that a company can meet these requirements.

Benefits to the Organisation

Companies that are ISO 9001 certified:

  • open up markets that they may have previously been excluded from
  • are on the increase. There are now over a million organisations certified in over 175 countries
  • are generally more successful – click here for wikipedia article detailing studies of the benefits
  • are in a better position to evolve rather than stagnate
  • engage workers in the evolution of the company which is good for worker morale and the success of the organisation

Rob Kellock Business Consulting help you achieve and maintain your certification through providing management systems and auditing services.  And we can help if you have certification, but don’t feel you are getting anything out of it. Contact us to find out more.

Of course you may prefer to have a go at it yourselves and we’ve written an easy to read version and guidance for ISO 9001 which you may want to look at.

Download a free copy of our Risk Register


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A word from the Managing Director: “We aim to establish long term, mutually beneficial working relationships, helping organisations grow and avoid the pitfalls that many fall into. Too many organisations feel their certification is a burden. We want to help organisations realise the business benefits of certification apart from meeting a statutory or customer requirement”