ISO 9001: The key trends shaping quality management

ISO 9001 certification speaks volumes to customers, employees and the wider community.

Compliance shows your business is willing to go above and beyond to ensure that products, services and systems are of a high standard. It also provides credible assurance that you satisfy legislative requirements and investing in and taking practical steps to achieve continual improvement.

85% of certified companies report benefits including an improved perception of the business, higher demand for products and services and increased market share.

From occupational health and safety to environmental management, there are a wide range of ISO standards companies can get compliant with depending on their objectives and requirements. ISO 9001, the international standard for quality management, was first published in 1987 and after numerous revisions over the years it has become the most widely implemented standard.

The future of ISO 9001

More than one million organisations in over 170 countries are currently compliant with ISO 9001 – and it’s not hard to see why so many companies make quality compliance a priority.

Some of the many benefits that come along with ISO 9001 certification include improved business performance and risk management, confidence that you’re meeting legal requirements, alleviation of clunky and inefficient management systems, reduced costs and waste, improved communication and more. For example, compared to uncertified companies, organisations with ISO 9001 certification are also paid an average of 7% more.

If you’re an ISO 9001 compliant company or you plan to become one in the future, it’s a good idea to get across key trends so you can proactively manage emerging risks and opportunities.

Here are a few key trends we’re anticipating.

1. Managing hybrid workplace risks with ISO 9001

As the pandemic unfolded many people had no choice but to embrace working remotely. However, as restrictions have lifted 90% of Australians have said they want to keep working from home.

The hybrid workforce has brought plenty of benefits from better work-life balance to saving on office and daily commute costs. But with hybrid work also comes a number of new risks for quality management.

This more flexible approach to work means that employees can work from a whole range of locations and unlike the office the employer has little control over these environments.

Because of this new issues and risks can emerge, such as those associated with information technology infrastructure and cyber security.

As stated in ISO 9001, a suitable working environment includes a combination of both physical and human factors. This includes social and psychological aspects.

Companies need to ensure they establish sufficient processes and procedures for navigating this shift and maintaining quality excellence. Strategies could include:

  • Providing employees with updated cyber security training;
  • Ensuring remote employees have access to secure and fast internet connection;
  • Regularly changing passwords;
  • Using multi-factor authentication;
  • Seeking specialist advice from an ergonomic assessor and making sure employees have access to any required physical resources, such as a desk and chair;
  • Establishing routine calls between workers and management.

2. Compliance software for implementing ISO 9001

Companies are increasingly opting to manage their quality compliance in the cloud by utilising compliance software.

ISO 9001 requires continual improvement and with compliance software it’s easier and faster to collect and report on data than when using outdated, clunky paper-based systems. Businesses can also implement adjustments swiftly and avoid over-documentation that would bog employees down in busy work. Lean, low-burden cloud-based systems therefore make maintaining quality compliance easier and less time-consuming.

Security is an ongoing concern for businesses whether they’re storing information onsite or online. This is one area where cloud-based systems excel, with 94% of businesses seeing an improvement in security after switching to the cloud. When important and confidential information is safe and secure there are fewer, if any, costly data breaches resulting in less disruption to usual operations.

3. More focus on supplier and third-party management

Managing quality across supply chains to maintain positive relationships with suppliers, partners, distributions and retailers is essential for business success. ISO 9001 certification helps to build trust and credibility among stakeholders.

With robust, adaptable quality management systems companies are in a better position to navigate supply disruptions, emerging risks, product recalls and more.

Contact our ISO 9001 consultants

If you’re ready to take the first steps towards becoming ISO 9001 certified, get in touch with our team. We’re experts in compliance, and can help you reach your compliance goals quickly and effectively.

We also have experience with a range of other services and ISO standards, including ISO 14001ISO 45001, legislative services and integrated management systems. Find out more by contacting us today.

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