A Quality Management System (QMS) is a vital component of any business wanting to ensure customer satisfaction by delivering high quality products or services to their clientele. But how do you keep track of quality and how do you ensure consistent quality throughout your organisation?
The answer – ISO 9001.
According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), “ISO 9001 sets out the criteria for a quality management system and is the only standard in the family that can be certified to (although this is not a requirement). It can be used by any organisation, large or small, regardless of its field of activity.”
Let’s take a look at what ISO 9001 is and the benefits of getting certified.
What is ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 is an internationally recognised standard for Quality Management Systems. It sets out criteria for a QMS and is based on several quality management principles, namely:
- Customer focus
- Engagement of people
- Process approach
- Evidence-based decision making
- Relationship management
The standard is applicable to any organisation, regardless of its type or size, or the products and services it provides. ISO 9001:2015 is the most recent version and focuses on performance while emphasising a risk-based thinking approach.
The Value of ISO 9001 Certification
The American Society for Quality writes that, ‘Because ISO 9001 specifies the requirements for an effective quality management system, organizations find that using the standard helps them:
- Organize a QMS
- Create satisfied customers, management, and employees
- Continually improve their processes
- Save costs.”
The value of the certification can be broken down into:
- Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: With a focus on quality, ISO 9001 helps businesses meet customer needs, improving both product performance and customer service, and leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction.
- Operational Efficiency: The standard provides a framework for streamlining processes, reducing errors, and increasing productivity.
- Improved Stakeholder Relationships: ISO 9001 can help businesses establish positive relationships with stakeholders through consistent and improved quality.
- Global Recognition: Being ISO 9001 certified shows that your company values quality and is committed to maintaining globally recognised QMS standards. This can open doors to new markets and business opportunities.
Who Needs to Implement ISO 9001?
The beauty of ISO 9001 is that it is applicable to any organisation, no matter its size or the sector in which it operates. The standard is designed for organisations that want to ensure their products and services consistently meet customers’ requirements while striving for continual improvement.
Industries where ISO 9001 is commonly implemented include:
- Construction Management
- IT Services
- Healthcare Industry
- Community Services
This, however, is not an exhaustive list and there are many more industries that can benefit from ISO 9001.
An Essential Business Standard
ISO 9001 implementation might seem daunting, but its benefits in terms of efficiency, reputation, and profitability are well worth the investment. By adopting this internationally recognised standard, businesses can embed quality into every layer of their operation and demonstrate their commitment to excellence to their stakeholders and customers alike.
For any organisation seeking to improve quality, customer satisfaction, and performance, ISO 9001 is not just an option—it’s an essential business standard.