There are nearly 20,000 individual ISO standards, and the most well known and widely implemented is ISO 9001. ISO 9001 is the universal standard for quality management, and is used by millions of organisations around the world.
Why get ISO 9001 certified?
Each day, we make about 35,000 decisions. While some of these decisions are relatively straightforward like what to have for dinner and which clothes to wear, others can hold a bit more weight – such as many of your business decisions.
If you’re tossing up whether getting ISO 9001 certified could be a strong choice for your organisation – and if you should have a quality assurance consultant by your side for this process – getting more information gets you in the position to make a decision you’re happy with.
As an overview, through compliance with ISO 9001, businesses can develop lean and maintainable management systems. This subsequently leads to more efficient and adaptable operations, which is essential in a fast-paced business landscape.
When working towards certifications, organisations determine clear, realistic and time-based objectives. Importantly, these goals are also measurable, which gives businesses the information they need to continually improve systems.
By strengthening processes, organisations can improve their risk management and their ability to take preventative measures. This is often referred to as “closing the loop” – which essentially means risks that could threaten the quality of your products and processes are constantly being identified, minimised and mitigated.
While some may consider ISO 9001 compliance ‘going the extra mile’, it has the added benefit of helping ensure you sufficiently meet legal requirements and any minimum obligations in your sector.
ISO 9001 certification is a marketing asset, and can be leveraged to make your company a consumer preference. This, along with all of the benefits mentioned, can improve your business’ competitiveness and give you a winning edge.
How a quality assurance consultant can help
1. Helps you better satisfy customer requirements
Meeting customer needs is a main requirement of ISO 9001. Effectively doing this relies on you first understanding what the wants and needs of your customers are and knowing how best to meet them.
With years of industry experience, a quality consultant has the knowledge and expertise to help you do just that.
Rather than finding unreliable quick fixes, they set up solid foundations and systems designed to save you time and help you continue to meet customer expectations even as they evolve over time.
2. Improve your reliability and product quality
ISO 9001 is the standard for quality management, so it comes as no surprise that ensuring your products, services and systems are all quality-driven is an essential requirement of certification.
Quality assurance consultants work with plenty of businesses in your position, so they know the expected standard of quality and how best to get there.
They start by systematically evaluating the quality processes used to produce your existing products and services, using an ISO gap analysis. With the information they find, a consultant then moves onto determining areas of improvement and establishing a plan for suitably addressing them.
This is not only a thorough approach, but also one that saves you time in the long run because you don’t end up making changes you don’t actually need, have clear direction throughout and understand why you’re doing everything you’re doing.
3. Restructure management systems
By evaluating your current processes against standard requirements, a quality assurance consultant can efficiently identify non-conformances.
With this information, they can restructure management systems and establish lean and effective processes that can be easily up or downscaled over time and adjusted as your business grows and your circumstances change. At this stage, there’s also the opportunity to introduce cloud-based systems, which streamline systems further.
All of this helps you increase your chances of passing an ISO internal audit and in turn getting ISO 9001 certified.
4. Improve your workplace culture
With ISO 9001, management stepping up to become strong leaders for the company and encouraging employees to become active participants in change is crucial.
A quality assurance consultant helps you build strong lines of communication and can facilitate interactions between management and staff as an unbiased third party.
Improved communication between organisational levels can help build a better work environment and improve employee satisfaction, because employees feel they are valued business members.
5. Save money and reduce waste
By identifying inefficiencies your consultant can pinpoint opportunities to reduce waste and save you money – without cutting corners or compromising on other aspects of your business.
Speak with a quality assurance consultant
If you’re ready to take the next step, getting help from a consultant is a great way to do just that. Check out our blog ‘how to choose a quality assurance consultant’ for more information, or get in touch with our team.
We help businesses across a wide range of industries develop lean, low burden systems. Our team can help you get compliant with ISO standards such as ISO 14001, ISO 45001, and ISO 27001 and AS 9100. We can also assist with compliance software, integrated management systems, ISO internal audits, compliance audits and ISO gap analysis and more.