Every organization would like to improve the way it operates, whether that means increasing market share, driving down costs, managing risk more effectively or improving customer satisfaction. A quality management system gives you the framework you need to monitor and improve performance in any area you choose.
ISO 9001 is by far the world's most established quality framework, currently being used by over ¾ million organizations in 161 countries, and sets the standard not only for quality management systems, but management systems in general. It helps all kinds of organizations to succeed through improved customer satisfaction, staff motivation and continual improvement.
ISO 9000 Series of Standards
ISO 9001 is one of a series of quality management system standards. It can help bring out the best in your organization by enabling you to understand your processes for delivering your products/services to your customers. The ISO 9001 series of standards consist of:
• ISO 9000 - Fundamentals and Vocabulary: this introduces the user to the concepts behind the management systems and specifies the terminology used.
• ISO 9001 - Requirements: this sets out the criteria you will need to meet if you wish to operate in accordance with the standard and gain certification.
• ISO 9004 - Guidelines for performance improvement: based upon the eight quality management principles, these are designed to be used by senior management as a framework to guide their organizations towards improved performance by considering the needs of all interested parties, not just customers.
Who is it relevant to?
ISO 9001 is suitable for any organization looking to improve the way it is operated and managed, regardless of size or sector. However, the best returns on investment come from those companies that are prepared to implement it throughout their organization rather than at particular sites, departments or divisions.
In addition, ISO 9001 is designed to be compatible with other management systems standards and specifications, such as BS OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety and ISO 14001 Environment. They can be integrated seamlessly through Integrated Management. They share many principles so choosing an integrated management system can offer excellent value for money.
• Competitive advantage
ISO 9001 should be top-management led, which ensures that senior management take a strategic approach to their management systems. Our assessment and certification process ensures that the business objectives constantly feed into your processes and working practices to ensure you maximise your assets.
• Improves business performance and helps manage business risk
ISO 9001 helps your managers to raise the organization's performance above and beyond competitors who aren't using management systems. Certification also makes it easier to measure performance and better manage business risk.
• Attracts investment, enhances brand reputation and removes barriers to trade
Certification to ISO 9001 will boost your organization's brand reputation and can be a useful promotional tool. It sends a clear message to all interested parties that this is a company committed to high standards and continual improvement.
• Saves you Money
Evidence shows that the financial benefits for companies that have invested in and certified their quality management systems to ISO 9001 include operational efficiencies, increased sales, higher return on assets and greater profitability.
• Streamlines operations and reduces waste
The assessment of your quality management system focuses on operating processes. This encourages organizations to improve the quality of products and the service provided and helps to reduces waste and customer complaints.
• Encourages Internal Communication and Raises Morale
ISO 9001 ensures that employees feel more involved through improved communication. Continued Assessment visits can highlight any skills shortages sooner and uncover any teamwork issues.
• Increases Customer Satisfaction
The 'Plan, Do, Check, Act' structure of ISO 9001 ensures that the needs of the customer are being considered and met.