Running your business keeps you busy from morning to night. That fact alone prevents many business owners from tackling ISO certification. After all, it’s hard to think about adding a months-long project to your already overpacked schedule.
But what you may not have considered is that you could leverage new opportunities when you prove that your business complies to relevant industry standards. But before we dive into the details, let’s look at the basics.
What is ISO?
Let’s start with the letters, “ISO.” Most people assume they stand for “International Organisation for Standardisation.” In English, the abbreviation would be “IOS,” but remember that this is an international organisation. In French, the abbreviation would be OIN (for Organisation International de Normalisation). To avoid confusion, the organisation decided to use a derivative of the Greek “isos,” which means, “equal.” So, no matter where you go, from Sydney to Slovakia, you’ll always recognise ISO.
The organisation is a network of international standards institutes. A Central Secretariat coordinates the system of 162 nations from the headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It’s been around since 1947, and it’s important to remember that ISO is not a governmental organisation, even though many of its members hold government positions in their home countries.
ISO certification ensures that a management system, service, manufacturing process, or documentation procedure meets recognised standards for quality and best practices. And since ISO is international, businesses that certify know they’re inline with similar companies all across the globe.
ISO has developed certifications for many areas of industry, from energy management to medical devices. Each certification has separate criteria and a numerical classification.
What is ISO 9001?
ISO most recently updated the standard in 2015, so is referred to as ISO 9001:2015. It provides internationally recognised standards for quality management systems.
What are quality management systems? As defined by ISO 9001, quality management systems provide the foundation for quality assurance activities, and addresses policies, processes and procedures that meet customer and regulatory needs.
Does Your Business Need ISO 9001?
Achieving ISO certification requires time and resources, both of which are in short supply for many companies. How do you know if certification will benefit your business in the long run?
Let’s take a look at key questions to ask as you make your decision.
Do you want to tender for government projects?
If you want to provide goods or services to the government, you’ll often need to achieve ISO 9001 certification. Did you know that the current NSW Government Budget represents the biggest infrastructure commitment ever by an Australian state government? They’ve allocated an incredible $93 billion over four years from 2019-2020 to 2022-23.
If you’ve never before considered tendering for government projects, now may be your best opportunity. The sooner you get certified with ISO 9001:2015, the sooner you can begin submitting tenders.
Do you want to impress potential clients?
The government isn’t the only organisation that prefers to work with ISO-certified companies. Your business may have top-notch management and excellent standards. However, these qualifications may not be sufficient to bag a contract from clients that require only ISO-compliant suppliers or collaborators.
Such a policy might sound unreasonable, but let’s face it: an ISO 9001 compliant customer would certainly want to deal with an organisation that meets or exceeds the same standards. So give them what they want, and ascend to a new playing field.
Does your business have inconsistent standards?
As you adopt innovations and hire new personnel, you may find that your processes and policies become inconsistent and mismatched over time. When you go through the certification process, you bring every aspect of your organisation into harmony with best practices and standards.
If you’re seeking consistency, look no further. With ISO 9001, every member of your organisation, from business owner to lower echelon workers, will have to maintain consistent quality and operational standards.
Would you like to improve your customers’ satisfaction?
Businesses that meet globally accepted standards are positioned to offer superior products and services. Since ISO 9001 covers the whole spectrum of operations, your products will surpass those produced by non-ISO compliant businesses.
Additionally, ISO 9001 compliance also covers customer care, so your post-sales service will improve, leading to happy clients from beginning to end. Excellent customer satisfaction creates a positive cascade effect. Increased loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals may help you to garner new clients without much advertising.
Do you want to lower your attrition rate?
Low attrition rates plague businesses everywhere. Employees leave their positions for several reasons: lack of job satisfaction, low pay, and the feeling of being under-appreciated.
As an employer, you can lower your attrition rate by reaching ISO 9001 certification. With seamless operation procedures, you lower the chances of friction among colleagues. And job satisfaction levels can be higher among compliant businesses, leaving owners more time to train and mentor the existing pool of employees.
Getting certified to ISO 9001:2015
As you can see, there are several benefits of ISO certification. But what does it take to bring your business in line with international standards?
Reach out to us at Compliance Council to request a proposal and learn more about our methodology and deliverables. We can reduce your load by guiding you through the process from start to end. Before long, you’ll have what it takes to tender for government jobs, impress potential clients and lower your attrition rate. We look forward to talking with you.