ISO 9001 – Quality Management Systems
ISO 9001 is the ultimate global benchmark for quality management and a critical tool for boosting your company’s success, profitability and market potential.
How are other businesses using ISO 9001 to their advantage?
“Having ISO 9001 proves to potential clients that we are serious about delivering quality services in demanding markets. More and more customers are requiring an ISO certification and we are prepared to meet that need.”
What is ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 sets out the steps necessary to adopt a quality management system. It is designed to help organisations ensure they meet the needs and expectations of both customers and other interested parties, based on internationally recognised quality management principles set out by the International Standards Organisation (ISO).
At the heart of the standard is a quality policy and set of systems and principles that tie together business objectives, customer needs and your marketing plan. When this approach to quality is embedded across the business every employee understands how their actions create a better customer experience and processes are put in place to continually review and improve that customer experience.
ISO 9001 is what is known as a ‘generic standard’ – this means it can be applied to any organisation no matter its size or complexity.
How will ISO 9001 help my business?
By focusing on your customers’ experience, ISO 9001 will better equip your business to meet their needs, improving the customer focus throughout the business. The impact of this can fundamentally change your business:
- Internal processes are streamlined, improving efficiency, cost containment and savings, whilst improving accountability and traceability
- A recognised mark of quality opens your business up to larger clients, both at home and abroad
- Staff motivation is improved through greater clarity and focus on business objectives – time and resource is spent on what really matters to the business
- A customer focus inevitably improves your customer service and referrals
- Better internal processes and customer services, ultimately improves competitiveness leading to a higher profit potential
Perhaps the most important element of the standard however, is that it is not a one-off exercise. Regular reviews keeps quality at the forefront of the business, with continuous improvement processes driving the way the business develops to better meet customer needs.
This is perhaps why ISO 9001 is one of the most widely used management tools in the world, with over 1 million organisations certified.
What is ISO 9001 certification?
Certification shows that your organisation’s quality processes have been audited against the ISO 9001 standards with third party certification bodies offering independent confirmation that an organisation’s management systems meet the requirements of the standard.
How does my business gain ISO 9001 certification?
To achieve certification an organisation must show that it has a robust management system and a ‘process approach’ to apply that system. The management system is based on seven principles that international experts agree at the heart of operational excellence:
- Customer focus
- Engagement of people
- Process Approach
- Evidence-based decision making
- Relationship management
How can IMSM help my business gain ISO 9001 certification?
Our role is to support and guide your business towards certification. Our experienced assessors will help your business audit and improve its quality management systems, offering training and support where necessary. The standard is designed to be generic, so can flex around the organisation – our assessors are there to help you identify what is relevant for your business, whatever its size or turnover.
We strive to make ISO certification as simple as possible for our clients. With a fixed fee and a flexible approach, we work with your business to make the process of gaining ISO 9001 as painless and yet as beneficial as possible.
A process approach means having a step-by-step sequence of actions:
- “Say What It Does” – document day to day operating procedures and systems
- “Do What It Says” – work in accordance with those procedures and systems
- “Prove It” – with a certification audit which confirms, from records, that the procedures and systems meet the requirements of ISO 9001 and are operated in accordance with the standard.
Certification is how you show that your business has implemented this approach but this is not the end point, the process of implementing the 8 principles using a process approach is what has been proved time and time again to transform businesses.
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