At Zaun, we have recently passed the ISO 9001 audit with flying colours. Achieving an ISO 9001 certification is something to celebrate; not only is it a form of quality control, but it can also lead to better products and services, more efficient processes, and happier customers.
But what is ISO 9001, and what will it mean now the company has passed its audit? Here, we explain how ISO 9001 certification will greatly improve our business.
What is ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 is an international standard for creating and running a company’s quality management system (QMS). It is used across geographies, industries and company types to demonstrate the ability to produce services or products that can meet customer requirements. Companies with an ISO9001 certification not only meet the minimum standards of quality; they also demonstrate they have the means to improve products in line with market developments continuously.
Typically, companies will apply for ISO 9001 certification entirely, but occasionally, they will apply for the standard in one particular department. The company’s size doesn’t matter; anyone can apply for ISO 9001 certification, and you can serve literally any industry or consumer group.
What does ISO 9001 control?
ISO 9001 does not control the quality of a product – it controls the process through which that product is made. The idea is that once the process meets a certain high standard, so will the products that it makes.
What is continuous improvement, and why is it important?
Continuous improvement is what a company commits to when it becomes ISO9001 certified. This is part of the ISO9001 audit because it’s important to customers; as the world changes, it assures them that they will continue to get products and services that meet their evolving needs.
For example, the machinery we use to fabricate our fencing systems may be the highest grade factory equipment to make our fencing. However, later developments in technology mean that there are now better production methods available, and they must upgrade their machinery to meet new customer expectations.
Benefits for employees
Not only does continuous improvement benefit customers – it is good for employees too. Companies with ISO 9001 certification have better processes, leading to better staff morale and increased job satisfaction. In addition, once a company receives ISO 9001 certification, it commits to upgrading its equipment and its processes – so expect to see further positive change upon a passed audit.
Benefits for the company
ISO9001 certification has great benefits for the company too. Of course, happier staff and customers mean a more successful company. In addition, improved quality control processes mean a significant reduction in organisational running costs. As a result, the company will benefit from better energy efficiency, reduced waste and savings in resources and time.
There are also environmental benefits from becoming ISO9001 certified. For example, those in manufacturing are likely to produce less waste due to using more advanced machinery. They’re also likely to use less energy, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint and better company eco-credentials.
In conclusion, an ISO9001 certification is highly influential and essential to running a respected and credible business. It’s a standard that many new and improving companies aspire to and is a great way to show your industry and your customers that you have invested in creating, implementing and running a high-quality quality management system. In addition, it’s a great competitive advantage to have achieved ISO 9001 certification – customers and stakeholders are far more likely to engage in and do business with a company that’s taken the time to achieve the standard.
All in all, achieving ISO9001 certification is a huge step for any company and a significant milestone to celebrate.