ISO 9001 qualifications are a valuable asset for your workplace, as they indicate the effectiveness of a product in its ability to meet customer requirements, and overall quality of the product.
They originated during wartime when a system was needed to ensure the strict regulation of standards and production of munitions and later nuclear weapons. , ISO standards today are a trusted and widely recognised system that customers use to determine whether the product meets regulatory requirements. ISO 9001 can be used for internal application by organisations, for certification and for contractual purposes.
With some extra work initially, the ISO 9001 quality system will prove well worth the investment in the long term. Once the system is in place, production costs will decrease as there will be fewer non-conforming products, therefore less re-work and rejection rates.
ISO 9001 streamlines processes and reduces frequency of mistakes resulting in a more time and cost-effective business. Newer markets now require ISO 9001 certification and registration, meaning that adding this system to your business will open up opportunities to different customers. Ultimately, customer satisfaction will increase, so not only will the certification create new business opportunities, but also it will consolidate existing ones.
Having a uniform system and consistent benchmarks can unify an organisation, allowing a greater focus on customer needs. Different departments develop a common aim, and better communication flow due to accurate and consistent documentation systems required by the certification.
New employees find clearly documented processes easier to follow, make fewer mistakes during the learning stages and become a profitable asset to the company much sooner. Overall organisational improvements can have positive impacts outside the workplace, by increasing overall market share, which improves sales and revenue.
ISO 9001 quality systems have been praised among businesses for having relatively easy and achievable implementation processes. With a large proponent of the certification able to be completed online, and required documents available on the web, business owners can begin transforming their company right away.
There are many books and resources available detailing the ISO 9001 system in simple terminology and layout, including ISO 9001: The Standard Interpretation by Leland R. Beaumont.
Praise for ISO 9001 includes the experience of a US Insolvency Advisory Service Company, describing the experience positively: “In all we feel that the experience has been a positive one and one which should be beneficial in taking us through our expansion program and into the future”.
A recent study conducted by Melbourne Monash University asked why Australian businesses implemented the system, with the majority reporting benefits, “in relations with their customers, management of business processes, management of business knowledge and information, and in organisation strategy and culture, such as improving their managerial policies and procedures.” (Source: The Implementation of ISO 9000 in Australian Organisations, Australian Supply Chain Management Research Unit, Monash University).
While the current system has proven an effective and profitable business tool so far, ISO is constantly seeking ways to improve and innovate the product. A survey of third-party certified users on the needs of future markets is currently being conducted and results will be available from www.iso.org around the end of March 2011.