Stumbling blocks to ISO9001:2015 for manufacturers and how to overcome them

ISO 9001 Stumbling blocks

For UK manufacturing businesses, there are many challenges and obstacles that thwart their continued growth and success. Efforts to face these challenges mean turning to certification such as ISO 9001:2015, but this is not without its challenges. What are they and how can a manufacturing business overcome these stumbling blocks?

The challenges are many and varied – Brexit, stockpiling raw materials, investment, issues over cyber-security… the list of challenges that face the British manufacturing industry are many. In amongst all these, businesses will be keen to optimise and improve quality management.

In any industry, quality of product and service are essential but in the fast-paced and competitive world of manufacturing, one small glitch can affect the entire stock. Recalls of products are never a good look.

ISO 9001:2015 is the quality management standard that many manufacturing businesses rely on but, being as stringent as it is, there are stumbling blocks.

  1. Lack of awareness across the company

From small to large, global businesses, it is important that everyone has an awareness and understanding of what ISO 9001:2015 is and what it sets out to achieve. When people have little or no knowledge, they don’t accord it the importance it deserves.

  1. Terminology and application

This quality management standard is not specific to manufacturing. It can be applied to educational establishments, security companies, retail and more. The same can be said for other standards too but for a business with a specific focus, such as manufacturing, fighting through and applying terminology to their specific business can be difficult.

  1. Resistance to change

A significant stumbling block is when people resist change. Why change something, they may say, when it isn’t broken? It may not be broken but how about improving it so that chances of your quality management system are less likely to fail. If a business stands still, the gulf between it and the modern marketplace and consumer will continue to widen.

  1. Time, money and resources

Every business is a busy place. There are orders to fill, new clients to chase, materials to source, deals to be struck, vacancies to fill… every day, there are new and fresh challenges. For many manufacturing businesses, lack of time is a stumbling block to ISO 9001: 2015, as is being confident that money and other resources put into it yield results.

  1. Commitment throughout the company

Opting to obtain an important standard such as this for your company is a worthwhile step. It sends a clear message to your current trade partners and new ones, as well as showing your competitors you have a streamlined, responsive quality management system. However, if the commitment from top management through to shop floor is not ‘on-board’, implementing lasting changes will be difficult.

Manufacturing companies have specific external challenges to face. ISO 9001:2015 won’t make these challenges go away, but it can equip a business with the system and abilities to minimise them whilst optimising opportunities. And we can help!

How can we help you?

If you’re in need of assistance with any aspect of ISO certification, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions about the path to certification or are looking for advice and support to maintain an existing standard call 01484 666160 or email and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.

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Jenny Kilburn
Jenny Kilburn
Completed my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 2012 I was looking to start my own business. With over 10 years improving and streamlining business systems, I grasped an opportunity to assist a local business to improve their quality and communication processes by researching the requirements of a quality management system based upon ISO 9001 and conducted my first internal audit that resulted in 97 improvement recommendations. After a successful outcome, I was recommended again and again with glowing reviews and in February 2014, Synergos Consultancy was born. I now have the role of regularly reviewing and planning the strategic direction of the business to ensure that Synergos continues to develop, whilst at the same time, still actively working closely with some of our clients. In my spare time I love to attend the theatre to watch musicals, dance productions and plays. In 2019, I attended the theatre a whopping 24 times. I follow a plant-based diet which I absolutely love. A keen tick-tock follower, I have picked up a lot of interesting recipes. A firm favourite is Brussel sprouts and sriracha sauce baked in the oven. Delicious!
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