ISO 9001 – Quality Management Systems
The quality standard, that goes straight to your bottom line. ISO 9001 is the ultimate global benchmark for quality management and a critical tool for boosting your company’s success, profitability and market potential.
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.
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