What is ISO 9001?
Most organizations develop a quality management system because –
There is a need to assure their customers that the organization has the capability to produce products / services that meet the customers as well as legal requirements. A certification to ISO 9001 will provide that confidence to the organization’s customers.
The organizations need to keep on improving internally so that they are able to achieve customer satisfaction. An application of ISO 9001 offers a framework to the organization where continual improvement process is established thereby giving the customers a consistent as well as an ever enhancing experience in terms of product / service delivery.
ISO 9001 helps the organizations build a strong customer focus and ensures consistent top management commitment. It also brings in a risk-based thinking coupled with the process approach wherein the risks to the processes in the system are managed for building efficiency and effectiveness.
The benefits that an organization may get out of the application of ISO 9001 and its certification are mostly based on the management’s intentions of selecting this standard. However, following examples provide some direction about what the ISO 9001 can give the organizations in terms of its benefits.
An ISO 9001 certified organization is considered to be more reliable than the other similar organizations that are not certified. The certification is globally accepted and is gained by large as well as small organizations hence bring an equality in terms its positioning of brand reliability per say. The certification adds up to the brand recognition.
There are many organizations who give preference to ISO 9001 certified suppliers. For example, in India, most Government Organizations prescribe ISO 9001 certification as one of the pre-qualification for bidding to their tenders. So, if your organization is certified to ISO 9001, you may be able to bid for many tenders that specify such criteria. If your organization operates in a developing country, then your opportunities for exporting your product/ service to customers from developed countries increase since these customers invariably demand such certification. Non-certified organizations lose out on such opportunities. The certification to ISO 9001 gives a competitive advantage.
The criteria prescribed by the ISO 9001 standard requires organizations to develop processes that bring consistency in operations. The continual improvement efforts are mostly focused towards building efficiency in these processes. Over a period of time the organization witness improvement in the consistency within the business processes as well as the overall efficiency
Interested parties of an organization include its customers, owners, employees, suppliers, bankers, etc. All these have certain expectations in terms of the performance of the organization. Due to the improved consistency of the organization after application of ISO 9001 based quality management system, the organization performance becomes more and more reliable. As a result the trust level and confidence of all these interested parties get a boost.
The need to improve demands careful monitoring and analysis of errors, deviations within the processes of a quality management system built with reference to ISO 9001 requirements. Most organizations do not realize but such errors and deviations cause financial losses due to its direct or indirect impact. After application of ISO 9001 based processes for corrective / preventive mechanism, the errors / deviations reduce considerably thus giving a lot of cost savings for the organizations.