It’s fair to say that ISO 9001 isn’t loved by all, and a major part of that is down to the quality management standard’s predecessors. Those who worked with BS 570 and the early ISO 9000 standards are perhaps still buried in a room full of paperwork!
However, there was a sea of change with the launch of ISO 9001:2000 which replaced the previous three standards and radically reduced the amount of documentation required. It also became compatible with other management standards, such as ISO 14001.
Another important aspect of the revision was top-level involvement as a requirement of the standard. This led to organisation’s realising that, in fact, involvement of all staff was important for successful implementation. By engaging them and keeping them informed, staff are able to bring forward issues that management may be unaware of, helping to reduce mistakes, unnecessary re-work and potential damage to the organisation’s reputation. This engagement leads to increased staff motivation and retention. As a side note, results from a Harvard study showed that employees at ISO 9001 certified firms were of a higher competence and were paid better. They had to be, because implementation of the standard had resulted in a turnover increase, which in turn meant more work.
So, whilst Felix Baumgartner may not be seeking a copy of ISO 9001 for his next adrenalin fix just yet, we’re not quite done!
The overriding benefit of ISO 9001 is that it levels the playing field. By being a generic, process based standard, it is applicable to any size organisation, in any sector. It allows a three person company in Swansea to be on par with a multi-national, billion dollar turnover rival. How many opportunities like that exist for SMEs?
A Dun & Bradstreet study supports this, with 85% of those taking part citing external benefits such as improved company perception, greater demand and increased market share. Revisiting staff engagement, 95% also reported internal benefits such as greater employee involvement and increased operational efficiency.
In summary then, ISO 9001 has been proven to help organisations:
- Reduce costly mistakes
- Improve their image
- Increase market share
- Enhance employee involvement and motivation
- Improve operational efficiency
How could anyone not be excited about that?!
And yet, despite ISO 9001 being implemented by well over 1 million organisations worldwide, it is still a mystery to many. However, consumer perception of ISO 9001 is increasing, with those who recognise the standard believing that:
- Products produced by an ISO certified company would be of a higher quality
- They would be more likely to contact a company if it uses the standard in the marketing
- They had more trust in companies who displayed the ISO logo
Ready to get excited about ISO 9001? Then start the process today by contacting our award winning team via our contact form, or by calling us free on 0800 404 7007. For more information on the standard, take a look at our ISO 9001 Beginner’s Guide.