Things to think about before going for ISO 9001

If you are looking to make fundamental changes within your business, getting ISO certified is a great start. Achieving such accreditation doesn’t just look good on paper, done properly and for the right reasons; you could reap the benefits year after year, both in a financial and business improvement sense.

Is ISO 9001 for my business?

ISO 9001 is a quality management standard that applies to all functions and processes within an business, including facilities, people and training. The standard provides a framework to achieve, maintain and record quality levels across all business operations, regardless of the size of the company. Being ISO 9001 certified has many advantages; the most common one, which attracts many businesses, is that certification helps to satisfy requirements that customers might have, especially potential customers who you are looking to retain for the longer term. There is no harm in this being the sole reason you pursue accreditation, since depending on the size of your business you can be ISO certified in a matter of days, but it would be a short fix.

Any changes made in this manner would not address key inefficiencies or get to the bottom of underperforming processes. The question needs to be why do you want to be ISO certified? What is the ultimate aim? If the goal is to achieve end-to-end improvement with meaningful staff engagement it would be advisable to read on.

Time for change

Time is money but you would be wasting a lot of both if you didn’t give due attention to adopting changes that will support your claim for certification. Your processes may already be ‘best practice’, and tightly controlled but working towards ISO certification will need your time. The journey is very much dependant on the effort you put in.

Staff won’t take any announcements about quality management seriously if management are not seen to be leading by example.  It is not enough to be talking about quality; you have to be seen to be doing it, whether that is putting yourself forward for audit or getting involved in undertaking processes, demonstrating how it should be done correctly. Although ISO certification is everyone’s business, consider having an ISO champion; this individual should be senior management level and have remit to make decisions and take the necessary actions to achieve required results.

Always measure progress

Embarking on the road to ISO certification must be a game changer. Set down some clear measurable targets that get to the root of what you want to achieve in quality terms? Being clear about the why, as explained previously will help to define measurable outcomes, whether that is an increase in number of sales or a reduction in customer complaints. The person best placed to do this is you. No one else will have an appreciation of the daily operational challenges and the related necessary improvements.

If you need help

Getting ISO 9001 certified can be an overwhelming experience, one of the things you may want to think about is hiring a consulting agency to help you achieve your goals in the most cost effective, time sensitive and business minded way. If you’re looking to improve customer satisfaction, grow your business, empower as well as motivate staff and improve operational performance, you can’t afford to not be ISO 9001 compliant. Contact Synergos Consultancy on 01484 817444, email or click here to find out more about how we can help you through ISO 9001 accreditation and management, giving your business a chance to grow and improve, year on year.

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