Daunted by the prospect of auditors rifling through your files? Does the thought of having to adhere to strict ISO guidelines give your management team anxiety? Fear not. Where there’s a will there’s an ISO way, and it doesn’t have to involve certification.
Adopting ISO standards – even without certification – can transform your business.
The most widely implemented and universally recognised of all standards, ISO 9001 has benefitted hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide for over 30 years.
1 million Businesses in 178 Countries can’t be wrong.
An ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS) is a framework designed to streamline business operations through the documentation and establishment of, and adherence to a code of quality-driven practices and processes the aim of which is to achieve operational excellence.
A Quality Framework for Sustainable Growth.
A recent survey of ISO adoptees worldwide attests to the fact that since rolling out the practice of quality management, they have seen a sharp rise in not just operational standards, but also in productivity, morale, and innovation.
ISO 9001 can be a great starting point on which to build your business.
Getting to grips with the operational setup can be a bit of a nightmare. By taking the time to work through and establish ISO-based processes and systems, businesses can quickly architect an operations hub working to the highest quality principles. This strategic approach will not just reap results in terms of service excellence, it will also simplify the route to sustainable business transformation.
The ISO 9001 Quality Management System is built on seven pillars. These are:
- Continuous Improvement
- Customer Excellence
- Evidence-based Decision Making
- People Engagement
- Process-Driven Approach
- Relationship Management
A well-researched thought out and documented QMS will help you and your management team to both achieve and maintain the highest standards of services and product. When properly designed and implemented, a QMS can result in increased efficiencies, growth in profits as well as client satisfaction levels, and other benefits such as waste reduction and improved productivity levels.
In addition, its inherent risk-based, process approach, can help businesses of all types and sizes to structure their business process framework in a data-driven, streamlined and systemic manner that will help them effortlessly arrive at sustainable outcomes.
How will an ISO 9001 QMS benefit my business?
Getting certified to ISO 9001 will naturally result in the benefits of enhanced industry and market reputation along with improved commercial and financial status, as well as the potential for new business opportunities in both existing and emerging markets. It will open doors to the public/government procurement/tendering process, as well as grant your organisation access to regulated industries such as Construction, Engineering, and Pharma.
What if my business is not in a regulated industry? Do I still need to get ISO certified?
While preferable, an ISO 9001 certification is not essential for operating successfully in an unregulated industry. That said, an organisation can still avail of the benefits of ISO standards without the need to go through the certification process.
If, however you do decide to get your business ISO certified, a number of factors will come into play such as:
- Cost – this will be dependent on the size and scale of your company
- Training Requirements – employee numbers, location, competencies, experience, etc
- Technological Requirements – software, hardware, impact on IT
- Scope of the Quality Management System
- ISO Certification & Internal Audit
Do bear in mind that most reputable ISO Consultancies will tailor a services package to suit your needs and budget. Whether or not you decide to go down that road one thing is clear; implementing a robust Quality Management System will undoubtedly result in reduced overheads, increased profit margins, and greatly improved levels of productivity, morale, and service excellence.
If there is one thing an ISO 9001 Quality Management System can promise, it is a high return on investment (ROI), and there isn’t any board, leadership team, or group of shareholders that don’t want a good yield on their investment.
How can an ISO Consultancy help my business?
Don’t have the time, inclination, or patience to work your way through the nigh-on 40 pages of wordy documentation? Don’t worry. Most other business leaders and owners feel the same.
Cue a reputable and well-established ISO Consultancy.
Cutting-edge ISO consultancy houses such as CG Business Consulting can take the onus of researching and understanding the very detailed requirements of the ISO standard from your business shoulders. An experienced ISO consultant will not just carry the load in terms of system and project planning, they will also assist with documentation, training, audit preparation, and performance management.
Having a non-partisan third party to lead the project will ensure you implement an optimal QMS, receive clear and unambiguous feedback, and are fully equipped to move forward with expert tips on how best to manage and continuously improve your Quality Management System. This will guarantee that going forward, any potential risks and indeed opportunities will be quickly identified and appropriate actions are taken.
If you do decide to go down the certification route, do bear in mind that an independent external auditor won’t have any insider knowledge of your business and as such, will have to do an intense deep dive in order to gain 360 insights into your operations. Only by drilling down into your day-to-day processes will the auditor be able to glean sufficient information to identify gaps and determine your overall performance.
What if I go it alone?
If you decide to implement the QMS without professional guidance, there are online resources and tools you can access for information and support. However, as with all things new and unfamiliar, there are risks involved and steep learning curves to climb before we can reach the summit of the mountainous ISO path.
Depending on the availability of time and resources, competency, and motivation, it might prove easier, faster, and more economical in the long run to go down the route of calling in the experts. Their professional guidance will not see you wrong.
While it won’t hurt to dip your toes into the pool of ISO waters, in the end, working with a professional ISO consultant will quickly help you and your team to gain sufficient understanding of and familiarity with ISO 9001, the machinations of a successful Quality Management System and the essentials necessary to build a sustainable business model for your organisation.
For more information on ISO 9001 Quality Management System standard and ISO 9001 QMS implementation, contact the CGBC team at [email protected] or by phone at 01 – 620 4121.