In 1992 the US Air Force’s Air Combat Command’s Project Management Squadron was responsible for performing supplier quality audits. The process was laborious, and each audit would reveal between 200 and 250 deficiencies. The Air Force quickly realised that frequent inspections had turned the PMS into a quality control function for their suppliers. Something had to change.
By insisting on compliance with ISO 9001 standards from their contractors, the Air Force was able to reduce critical defects to just three by 2005. As a result, the number of audits themselves was gradually reduced, lowering the audit costs from $1.4m in 1995 to $700,000 in 2005.
While the ACC and their suppliers were thrilled by the decline in defects and savings in time and money due to ISO 9001 certification, it’s important to remember the real-world applications. Radar uptime was increased significantly, helping the Air Force in their role in combating drug trafficking. Real lives were saved as a result.
What is ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 is the International Standard that specifies the requirements for a Quality Management System (QMS). This standard is used by Organisations to demonstrate their ability to deliver products and services that meet both consumer and regulatory standards.
ISO 9001 was first introduced in 1987 by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) in an effort to improve the framework for consistent quality in the provision of goods and services.
The ISO 9001 certification is based on 7 QMS principles:
• Customer Focus
• Process Approach
• Evidence-based Decision Making
• Relationship Management
Does my organisation need ISO 9001?
While there are no legal requirements to be ISO 9001 certified, having the certification is highly beneficial for any organisation.
How will ISO 9001 benefit my organisation?
Having an ISO 9001 certification can benefit your organisation in several ways:
• Preferred supplier status
• Competitive advantage
• Qualify during the tender process
• Demonstrates a commitment to high standards
• Improves brand reputation
• Attract new customers
• Increased Revenue
• Improved Efficiency
Currently, over 1 million organisations in 160 countries have the ISO 9001 certification. Each one has a significant advantage over any non-accredited organisation. so while being ISO 9001 certified is not a requirement, not having the certification may put you at the back of the queue for supply chain contracts.
How does ISO 9001 work?
There are several steps that each organisation must take in order to get ISO 9001 certified:
• Understanding the ISO 9001 standard
• Implementing and Documenting
• Review by an Auditor
• Receive the Certification
Once your organisation understands what is involved in an ISO 9001 certification, it can really begin the process. Full implementation can be an enormous undertaking, so it may well be in your best interests to hire a consultant.
Where can I obtain ISO 9001?
Obtaining an ISO 9001 certification couldn’t be simpler. Synergos Consultancy can help you develop a compliant quality management system with all the required policies, procedures and documentation your organisation will need. Simply get in touch here, and Synergos Consultancy will do the rest!