What is ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 is the internationally recognised standard for a Quality Management System (QMS) designed to be a robust business improvement tool. The 9001 certification is awarded to companies of any size, within any industry, who can demonstrate their ability to consistently provide services and products that meet regulatory and customer requirements and demonstrate continuous improvement. The standard gives the toolkit to grow and succeed through the documentation and record keeping for processes that are integral to the operation of the company.
What benefits can it bring?
- Increased process control
It encourages risk-based thinking and a more proactive culture of identifying issues before they arise, to enable the prioritisation of tasks to advert any problems from materialising. If a service or product is unsatisfactory, there will be processes in place to enable the problem to be dealt with effectively, so that it does not reoccur. Additionally, businesses need to identity opportunities for improvement or business growth, which could often lead to new services, products or partnerships.
- Increased efficiency and Lower Operating Costs
Through recognising areas for improvement and targeting action to reduce any problems, the business can reduce inefficiencies and lower operating costs. The focus on continually reviewing business performance and constantly reducing inefficiencies and streamline operations, where necessary, will help the overall quality, profits and success of the company.
- Customer Satisfaction
An important part of the standard is tracking customer feedback, responding to complaints and taking customer satisfaction seriously. Evaluation of client feedback can highlight areas where the organisation can improve, strengthening the reputation of business as well as leading to further business.
Also, the updated standard encourages you to consider the specific needs of current customers, potential clients in the future who influence the business and how you will satisfy their expectations. This will assist the company to maintain a good reputation and facilitate a wider customer base.
- Employee Morale
ISO 9001 requires all employees to have defined roles and responsibilities and provides a structure for training and communication, making all employees involved in the system and improvement of the organisation. Processes and procedures within the workplace are more efficient and well understood, and this clear workflow enables employees to recognize and report any issues that may arise. When employees feel more engaged in the wider business development, their performance and productivity levels also improve which also boosts staff morale.
- Access to new markets, win more business and compete in tenders
Certification to ISO 9001 signifies that a business takes quality and customer satisfaction seriously and is a credible and reliable business partner. Having the ISO 9001 certification is often a requirement of a public or private sector tender specification and may help a business to secure an important contract.
The combination of the business improvements outlined above builds a resilient, sustainable organisation that is proactively improving operations. A well-maintained management system can provide a solid foundation for improvements that can be obtained within months of implementation. It is clear to see why ISO 9001 is implemented by thousands of businesses worldwide.
WRM have successfully guided customers through the establishment of a QMS as well as supporting the review, audit and certification process.
Please contact Beth Watson for more information.
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