ISO 9001 – Why?

I often get asked the following questions about ISO 9001:

  • what will it do for my business?
  • why do I need it?
  • why is it important to the future of my company?
  • why are buyers demanding I become certified?

ISO 9001 is a standard. It’s a standard for quality management. Quality is the extent to which you meet the needs of your customers. There can’t be too many companies out there that don’t have customers, so ISO 9001 is of interest to all businesses, of all sizes, in all sectors.

Because ISO 9001 is a standard, and it is focused on quality, any company that meets the requirements of it and becomes certified, is sending a powerful message to its stakeholders. Certification means that the company has been independently assessed – and they have shown evidence that they meet the requirements of the standard.

Certified businesses have processes in place to understand and meet the needs of their customers. That’s not a bad thing is it?

So being certified means that you are providing confidence¬†in the abilities of your business to meet the requirements of your customers. Now, if a prospect is looking at 2 or 3 companies as potential suppliers, and 1 is certified to ISO 9001, it’s a fact that they are more likely to instigate discussions with that company rather the other 2. Why? It’s all about confidence.

More and more organisations are demanding certification from their supply base because they need confidence that they will get what they ask for.

Any organisation looking at winning tenders must have ISO 9001 certification – you won’t get past the first phase without it. It is used as a filter to identify the best suppliers.

So ISO 9001 is a business development tool. But it’s also a business improvement tool. ISO 9001 defines the requirements for a quality management system. A management system defines the controls needed to run your business. Again, that’s not such a bad idea is it? By creating a system to manage quality, you are starting to build a business management system that could be invaluable to the success of your business. Consider this – would your business continue in exactly the same manner if your key players were taken out of it? The system should run the business, not the other way round.

ISO 9001 provides a framework to:

  • manage suppliers
  • manage people
  • identify and eliminate problems
  • measure performance

So I hope that you can see that ISO 9001 is all about good, common sense business management. It isn’t a magic wand, but it can be the¬†difference between winning and losing new business, and help manage a company more effectively.

Not being certified to ISO 9001 is barrier to growth, as it means:

  • New contracts of interest will be won by companies who are certified
  • Tender bids don’t get passed the 1st stage
  • Complaints or returns could be high and poorly managed; reputation can be tarnished
  • Repeat business may suffer as customers lose faith
  • Funding or investment isn’t an option without confidence in the business
  • problems and fire-fighting isnt managed effectively

If you have any further questions get in touch and I will do my best to respond as quickly as possible.

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