In any professional business, it’s important to ensure that the required standards of your organization are properly being met. This is why many businesses today may be using a system called IS0 9001.
Since ISO 9001 was last updated in 2015, is it still relevant today? As the economy changes and evolves, ISO 9001 has been working to change and evolve right with it. This system works to meet specific principals, objectives, and goals for their business.
Since this system is a little bit complicated for some companies to understand, I’ve decided to lend you a hand with this by breaking down what exactly ISO 9001 is and why many businesses today still see it as very relevant.
The ISO 9001 is known to be one of the top standards for quality management systems and recognized globally for its efficiency with businesses.
It works to help your organization grow and meet its different goals by structuring and planning out the execution for you accordingly. As the requirements and rules of your business change and grow, the plans set out by ISO 9001 will change and evolve right along with it. It works to help your business truly accomplish and achieve its goals.
Many businesses all around the world still use this system. There were approximately 187 countries that gained a certificate, which equals to around a million certificates being earned just in the year of 2013. What’s even more impressive is that this standard doesn’t even require a certificate to use the service, so there were even more companies that decided to use the standard altogether without pursuing a certificate.
There are a lot of companies that will only work with your business is it has the ISO 9001 standard. So, this is why it would be a good idea for your business to pursue this if you’re hoping to gain more customers and professional stakeholders for your business.
Since ISO 9001 is considered a quality management system, it’s important to learn more about what exactly a quality management system is. A quality management system is known as being a system with a specific formula that keeps track of different company’s procedures, quality policies and how the business will meet them.
It also includes other processes to help achieve different goals and objectives of your business.
As a business, you’ll have different regulatory and overall customer requirements and needs that must be met. A quality management system ensures that you are doing this by helping your business gain better efficiency and effective business needs consistently and continuously.
A QMS always helps your business make sure it’s doing what needs to be done in order to see success and continues to stay on the same beat of your business. It also ensures your company is sticking to the routine needed to keep up with the various changes and standards.
Below are the more specific purposes a quality management service will continuously serve to complete for your business. This is also what you’ll expect to see from using this standard:
When hearing about all of these different factors of the ISO 9001, it’s easy to become a little intimidated and expect it to be a complicated and strenuous process. They actually work to give your company a fairly simple system to make everyone in the organization’s lives at least a little easier. If implemented and handled correctly, you can actually find a system that improves all the different areas and departments located within your organization.
Below are a few ways your business can be improved by using this system:
Since ISO 9001 has been around for a fairly long amount of time, it’s very well known and widely recognizable to several different people: especially your customers. Once they see your business and notice that you’re ISO certified, it could be something that stands out to them and differentiates your company with others.
This can be a huge benefit for you when a customer is deciding between using your business and others.
Additionally, using ISO 9001 helps your customers by decreasing any mistakes that could be made and it helps provide effective deliveries by creating schedules that are more reliable. The ISO 9001 also distributes annual assessments for your company to make sure the specific business standards are constantly being met and maintained.
Customers are aware of this so they know that if you’re ISO 9001 certified, then it could mean you’re up to date with the required standards.
The ISO 9001 is known as a quality systems management program, so this means it works to make sure there are minimal mistakes made by your company. Customers will also be aware of this fact, so they will be more attracted to your service because of this.
When it comes to ISO 9000 and ISO 9001, people don’t quite understand the differences. While they, of course, share similar names with each other, there are some key differentiating factors between the two that should be kept in mind.
This is known as a family, or series called by others. These are standards that are quality management-related and upheld by the overall standards of quality management. It’s also the owner of individual standards that work to display the vocabulary and fundamentals of QMS.
It works to inform others of the different factors to quality management and describes the different standards that are involved in the ISO product. The IS0 9000 gives the tools and guidance needed for businesses to stay on top of the requirements needed for their services as well as their product
The ISO 9001 helps maintain accuracy and works to meet requirements set by the business’s customers and helps ensure that their performance is always being improved.
Since ISO 9000 is the overall series of the quality management system, ISO 9001 is the set standard that is located inside of this family or series. This, of course, lays out the requirements and criteria to meet the standards, but this is the main software that contains the actual certification.
This is the actual software and service you’ll be using that’s a part of the overall 9000 system. It’s the system your business will be getting certified in and following the guidelines of.
There are several strategic principals the ISO family focuses on when it comes to making quality management decisions for each specific company. Each of these specific principals is prioritized in order to help each business grow and develop as a whole.
Below are the seven principles of quality management that managers on a senior level of each company are encouraged to follow in order to encourage positive development and improvement within their business.
By focusing more on customers and their specific needs, satisfaction is provided to them every day. ISO 9001 works to require businesses to link their objectives to the certain needs of their customers and see what they need to develop personal relationships with their customers.
ISO 9001 helps you better understand the needs of just your current customers, but of the customers you’re hoping to gain in the future as well. It also helps you develop a system that can effectively line up the objectives and goals set by your company and make sure they match well with the expectations, wants and needs of your customers.
There are also requirements your customers need and want to focus on when it comes to what they desire in a company. Being ISO 9001 certified helps you achieve this by learning their requirements, then working to meet them.
You can also measure the satisfaction of your customers as well to learn what your business is doing correctly and incorrectly and how you can improve.
If you’re a business professional, you’re well aware of the impact different people in leadership roles can have on the company and, most importantly, its employees. This is managed with the ISO 9001 by ensuring that leadership is making the resources given by ISO 901 available and easy for all employees to access.
It also encourages leadership to communicate the mission, strategy and vision of its company to all of the employees.
Employees in a leadership role are encouraged to direct the organization with different challenging goals they must overcome. The ISO family ensures that leadership should work to establish trust within the company and create values within the organization that everyone must follow.
Leadership should also work to empower their employees and be well aware of the certain contributions being given by their employees while on the job. With ISO 9001, leadership is given better direction to do all this in an efficient and well-thought-out manner.
When people see that a company is ISO 9001 certified, they will see that this company cares about leadership values which will make a future employee eager to work there or a customer eager to work with a company that values its employees, meaning they could value their customers.
ISO 9001 encourages companies to empower their employees to engage and be motivated and involved while at the company. This makes everyone there want to learn more and collaborate as a team together.
With the use of this software, it helps create different functionalities and create guidelines for leadership to make sure their employees’ abilities and talents are properly utilized and valued as well. People are encouraged to participate in employee activities and different participation opportunities.
ISO 9001 also works to enable the sharing of knowledge to its employees and also help give them a chance to learn more. Employee engagement is an important factor in the ISO 9001 equation which makes more people value the importance of getting certified.
When putting a system in place to help a company run efficiently, a process approach is set in place. ISO 9001 does this by measuring and managing the different processes and their activities.
It also works to identify how these activities link and fit together to learn what can be improved within the company itself. From there, these opportunities can be properly prioritized and improved in an efficient manner.
This can be done by using the process view of work and the process analysis tools section of the software.
This aspect of ISO 9001 is to encourage businesses to dedicate their time to improving their organization, as well as align their external and internal values and performances with their customers.
It helps encourage employees to work to improve themselves and measure their improvements accordingly in order to take it into account and receive encouragement for this improvement.
With ISO 9001, evidence can be gathered that is data specific to analyze and gather important information for businesses to learn what they need to improve upon. This also helps them decide what they can do next to begin meeting these improvements.
Using practical experience that was utilized earlier, different newer methods can be implemented in order to find factors within the company to change or improve upon.
By using ISO 9001 to find specific suppliers, your costs within the business can be maintained and managed. This helps determine what resources can be utilized and optimized in order to build and create value for your customers.
If you establish relationships with your customers now, you have a greater chance of continuing to keep these relationships for the long haul which builds up the retention of your customers. Not only are you developing relationships with your customers, but relationships are being created with your partners and stakeholders as well.
This helps you see the success of not only your own company but the success of your suppliers as well. With this certification, you share your plans, resources, expertise, information and more with partners, suppliers and even customers if you desire.
There are specific industries and sectors that use this series to provide their business with a strong and effective company to ensure it’s running well. Below are the sectors that you will find ISO 9001 works with to develop applications for their specific industry:
ISO 13485:2016 Medical (or any company selling medical devices)
ISO 18091:2014 Law, Administration or local government
ISO/TS 29001:2010 Natural Gas and/or Chemicals
ISO/IEC 90003:2014 Software Engineering
ISO/TS 22163:2017 Railway Organizations
As businesses change, the creators of ISO 9001 have realized the need for their software to change and grow as well to keep up with the evolving standards of these companies. As businesses become more complex as well as our economy, ISO 9001 works to keep up with that so they can remain consistent as well as still relevant today.
The newer version has focused on building a system that works with managers to help them collaborate better with the members of their organization to best fit their specific needs. Along with this, the newer version has made it a requirement for leaders and others working at the higher levels in the company to stay involved constantly when it comes to business development and strategy.
Additionally, the updated ISO 9001 is using core text and structure as it works to enhance more of its management standards to bring more functionality and improvement to an organization.
This service works to constantly improve itself in order to remain relevant and always consistent with the constant changes that are happening in the economy and the world overall. In order to continue with a strong strategy for your business, this could be a great tool to help with that.
It’s also helpful to have this listed in order to let your customers know of your commitment to them and to running a business that goes above and beyond to meet various standards.
Written: 30th July 2019
Author: Richard Keen
Richard is our Compliance Director, responsible for content & product development.
But most importantly he is ISO's biggest fanboy and a true evangelist of the standards.
Learn more about Richard