For most people who have an understanding of ISO certification and the various standards, they tend to associate ISO 9001 with its application towards product based businesses such as manufacturing or those that involve making or producing physical products that are then sold.
However, ISO 9001 certification is extremely effective and just as beneficial for service based companies and helps to bring about improvements that can positively impact customers, clients, employees and shareholders.
What Is ISO 9001 Certification?
The ISO, otherwise known as the International Organisation for Standardisation is an independent international agency which develops standards for services, systems and products to demonstrate fulfilment of the expected safety, quality and efficiency requirements.
As the world’s most recognised Quality Management System (QMS) standard, ISO 9001 provides the vital framework that helps organisations to deliver consistent, quality goods and services to ensure that the needs of their customers and shareholders are met.
ISO 9001 requires the involvement of top management and has a strong focus on the drive for continual improvement, development and delivering the highest levels of customer services. The standard is based around 7 quality management principles which are;
1 – Customer focus
2 – Leadership
3 – Engagement of people
4 – Process approach
5 – Improvement
6 – Evidence-based decision making
7 – Relationship management
ISO 9001 And The Service Industry
When it comes to ISO 9001 applying to your service based business, you have to think of the service you are providing as the ‘product’. Any product you provide or sell needs to be consistent, high quality and deliver the very best for your customers.
Establishing a quality management system is commonplace in the manufacturing and production based industry, but service based organisations can miss out on the many potential benefits by failing to see how it can positively impact their businesses and the real value that it can add.
Implementing a robust quality management system using ISO 9001 can help service companies to;
Establish Procedures – Based around a ‘plan, do, check, act’ system, ISO 9001 uses process orientated methods when it comes to documenting and reviewing critical business structures, processes, procedures, systems and responsibilities. This positively affects all aspects of the business by making processes and systems more efficient which also helps owners and managers have greater control over their business.
Proactive Rather Than Reactive – A lot of organisations fall into the trap of believing that they are effective at resolving issues when they arise because of the plans and procedures they have put into place. The reality is that with the time, effort and standards of ISO 9001, companies are converted from ‘reactively’ responding to problems that have already occurred to proactively preventing them from happening by addressing potential issues in the earliest stages.
Monitor and Measure Progress – The simple, easy to follow and structured systems and processes that are put into place make it not only much easier to monitor and measure progress but to use this information to help identify key areas where there is potential for growth, expansion or new opportunities. It also can provide real, tangible evidence of what is and isn’t working that can be used to help shape the future of the business for the better.
Identify Potential Issues – Being able to easily identify potential problems, gaps, risks or shortfalls before they become an issue is invaluable and gives businesses the chance to resolve the problem quickly and effectively, without the customers even noticing.
Quality Checks – Quite often this is only seen as something that happens in the production of goods or manufacturing industries, but service based companies are missing out by not using this to their advantage. ISO 9001 helps to put into place quality checks throughout the processes which works to ensure that customers receive the service that they paid for.
Happier Work Environment – ISO 9001 can have a hugely positive impact not just on the business but the employees themselves. Organisations which invest in certification to this standard can benefit from staff that have increased job security and job satisfaction, have a clearer understanding of what is expected of them and what they need to do and boosted morale from improved training and success in their roles.
Customer Services – When it comes to services, the customers happiness is key, especially if you want to benefit from returning business. As ‘effective’ as your process may be for handling customer complaints and reviewing customer satisfaction, the chances are that they can be not only improved, but the processes for them structured in a way that makes it easier to manage them and affect change if necessary. ISO 9001 can help to establish methods in which to gather this vital information as well as how to analyse and review it and resolve any issues.
ISO 9001 Certification For Your Service Business
If you have been considering ISO 9001 certification for your business but are unsure of how it can be applied, where it can benefit your organisation and what it entails, then the experts at JR Consultants are here to help.
Get in touch today and one of our friendly, knowledgeable advisors will be happy to answer any questions you may have and talk you through some of the many ways that ISO 9001 can improve all aspects of your service based company.
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