Your Small to Mid-Sized Service or Manufacturing business will achieve greater profits by becoming certified to ISO9001 standards. Although ISO has been around since the late 1940’s, many smaller U.S.-based companies have not embraced certification as a business advantage. Unlike in other parts of the world, many customers have not insisted on ISO certification as a prerequisite for qualification as a vendor. If your industry is increasingly competitive, hit by a recession, or your company is exploring new markets, ISO certification offers much.
What Is ISO?
ISO is taken from a Greek word meaning “equal”. It was chosen as a name (not an acronym) by the International Organization for Standardization, based in Switzerland. Any acronym would differ from country to country, based on language, so a name was chosen instead.
Although there are thousands of specific ISO standards, only a few are generic, and applicable to virtually all businesses. This discussion is focused on ISO9001. It’s concern is Quality Management. In brief, certification to ISO9001 connotes that a company conducts its business operations to a set of procedures, documents that it does so, and further has processes in place to correct defects caused both through following the procedure (bad process) and through not following the procedure (bad control). It does not address the worthiness of those procedures as to impact on the “goodness” or effectiveness of the end product or service. This has been a common excuse for companies not to opt for the certification.
The major components of an ISO9001-compliant Quality Management System (QMS) are:
Management Commitment and Responsibility for the QMS
Resource Management, including people, facilities, and equipment
Product Realization, covering how new products and services are developed and verified before being offered for sale
Measurement, analysis, and improvement (of processes and their outputs)