ISO 9001 represents the fundamental standards of quality management for products and services, and the advantages of becoming certified are numerous. Here are just some of the benefits:
The Quickest Route to Functional Quality Management
ISO 9001 gives businesses a ready-made, streamlined framework for quality management and control. Even for small and medium enterprises, developing processes in-house may take years, with much effort spent in trial and error. By using ISO 9001, companies can grasp and implement proven quality management standards relatively rapidly – they don’t need to re-invent the wheel, and can hit the ground running. The efficiency can also rub off on other areas of the business. A mastery of quality management processes builds transferable in-house knowledge and fosters a “systems” culture that can help businesses improve their operations in areas quite apart from quality management.
You’ll Be Preserving Your Most Precious Resource
Time is the most valuable thing your company owns. If it is managed poorly then the effects of that negligence will become transparent quickly. ISO 9001 will force your business to define what needs to be done, when, how, and by whom. Instead of improvising, you’ll be applying proven methods that work.
As a result of this:
1. Your services/products won’t fail as often
2. Your staff will be following clear objectives – so will feel more motivated
Your reporting will give you a clearer overview of your business
Opens up New Lucrative Markets
When a business becomes ISO 9001 certified, it often finds itself able to access companies and customers that previously were unavailable. Many larger suppliers, retailers and service businesses only deal with entities that are ISO 9001-certified. Opportunities for new deals, partnerships and contracts suddenly present themselves after certification. ISO 9001 certification is also extremely valuable for companies that want to do business in the public sector. The Civil Service and local authorities often highly value the ISO 9001 standard, and many government contracts are only awarded to certified bidders.
Research recently conducted by Asian economists confirmed that purchasers preferred working with ISO 9001 accredited companies because their performance was superior to that of non-accredited suppliers. There are therefore two main benefits of having ISO 9001 that end up benefitting your customers:
1. That you improve the overall efficiency of your operation
2. That in doing so, you improve the service or product delivered to the end-customer.
Creates Security in the Business
Effective quality management sidesteps a number of pitfalls that can be the downfall of a growing company.
No matter how innovative or valuable your product, if your quality management processes are lacking, your business can be squashed before it gets off the ground. The UK has strict laws governing trading standards, and clamps down on businesses that deliver unreliable products or deal with customers in a sub-par manner. Well-implemented ISO 9001 standards also greatly reduce the chances of incurring litigation for adverse events or accidents caused by a quality issue. As such, ISO 9001-certified businesses also enjoy better deals on insurance.
Those are a selection of the benefits of ISO 9001 certification – and the list is by no means exhaustive. Many companies report ISO 9001 as being one of the most rewarding investments they’ve made in their business, in terms of both their internal processes and external success.