With customer satisfaction being more crucial than ever before, it is no surprise that an increasing number of companies are looking to align with ISO 9001. In fact, more than one million organisations worldwide have achieved ISO 9001 with the rest of the ISO certifications library also proving popular within global markets.
A quality management system considers people, processes, stakeholders, and technologies, proving how relevant it is to various organisations. ISO 9001 is the best-known compliance standard that helps businesses implement and adhere to these tools for prolonged improvements.
Deciding to achieve ISO 9001 and reaching the standard are two very different things, with lots of hard work and application needed to become compliant. Do you want to know how you can achieve quality management excellence? Continue reading to find out.
What is ISO 9001?
What is the ISO 9001 accreditation, we hear you ask? ISO 9001 is an international quality management standard that allows companies of all sizes to adopt a globally recognised working method. The standard facilitates product and service improvements, focusing on customer expectations and company performance.
This compliance standard is popular as it can be easily tailored to suit individual company needs. Each of the measures included is designed to create transparent and repeatable processes that each department can use to ensure consistent quality is produced. ISO 9001 also allows companies to maintain efficient operations through periods of change, such as scaling and personnel updates. By having one clear set of steps to follow, issues can be identified and resolved before they are shown to customers.
What Are the Steps to Achieving ISO 9001?
As with any ISO compliance implementation process, the steps to becoming ISO 9001 certified can be complex. With the process of becoming ISO 9001 certified taking 3 – 6 months, each phase should be handled with detail and precision to ensure that your company can benefit from this compliance measure as soon as possible.
The process for becoming ISO 9001 certified is as follows:
- Select a professional IT support agency to help you through the process..
As the process for becoming certified can be tricky and requires strategy alignment from every person and department in a company, it is recommended that you bring in dedicated support for the project. The Creative Network ISO 9001 service includes complete management of the configuration, application, and long-term adherence stages to ensure that businesses pass the first time.
Every business will start with its operations in a different place than where they need to be. Hiring someone to join your team or outsourcing the work to a third party will ensure you gain this full picture quickly to ensure your application is completed on time.
- You will need to undertake a strategic analysis of what current procedures you have in place and what needs to be improved to be ISO 9001 worthy.
ISO 9001 is a compliance standard that spans an entire business. From the customer service records that sales teams keep to the manufacturing audits, which operations are responsible for, everyone will have a role to place in keeping standards higher. Before you start the assessment process and start the timed element of the application, it is a good idea to put all of your strategic ducks in a row.
During this process, you must assess your quality management documents and records. With the help of your designated support, you can then configure processes and implement the monitoring and resolution systems needed to be ISO 9001 compliant.
- The next step is starting the official assessment process.
ISO does not complete audits itself. Instead, you will need to select an awarding body. This process then involves multiple internal and external audits to prove that the correct systems are in place. This stage involves checking that reporting systems are working and understanding the resolution process.
Companies must provide proof of their systems and personnel, so every person within a business should be included in the application at some point.
- Ongoing audits and compliance checks once a certification is received.
ISO 9001 is a brilliant quality management standard to align with as it includes follow-up measures which must be met. Ongoing internal assessments and process testing are required to obtain the certification. If you do not meet the standards long-term, you may find that your award is taken away, or you find it difficult to renew your status.
How Can I Improve My Chances of Passing ISO 9001?
Choose a Professional Agency
The processes that you implement are directly related to the chance of succeeding. By choosing a professional agency with proven experience working with ISO 9001, you have peace of mind knowing that you have the best chance of passing. The cost to obtain ISO 9001 can range from a few hundred pounds to thousands depending on the size of your organisation. By working with an expert, you will experience strong ROI and have the tools needed to pass more rapidly.
Educate Your Teams
ISO 9001 requires consistency across all departments. Each team must adhere to the systems implemented to ensure they work correctly. Including your employees in the process is a great way to achieve this.
With only 36% of employees being engaged in the workplace, it is clear that organisations have their work cut out for them. The best way to approach the challenge is to inform everyone in a company about the benefits of ISO 9001. By educating your teams and affirming the importance of this standard, you will have a better chance of passing the certification.
Listen to Customers
66% of customers expect a business to understand their needs. This is the point that ISO 9001 is hinged upon, with the customer experience and feedback being the central reason for implementing quality measures.
By genuinely caring about your customers’ experience, everyone within the company will be more motivated to operate according to the compliance measures. Additionally, paying attention to your customers at the start of the process can help you implement successful systems that work well for your business.
Do Your Research
By understanding the reason for ISO 9001 and its benefits, your business will stand a better chance of meeting the standards. You can do this by speaking with ISO 9001 experts, such as the Creative Networks team, and by reading about the latest update to the standard, ISO 9001:2015. After all, knowledge is power in business!
Is It Worth Getting ISO 9001 Certified?
Yes, we definitely think that all companies should achieve ISO 9001! The benefits include the following:
- Companies benefit from improved competitive potential within new and existing markets.
- They can also obtain better consistency across an entire business which is essential for improving efficiency and productivity.
- There will be more chances of winning new business and being able to enter into international tender processes. Although ISO 9001 is not a legal requirement, it is still considered the pinnacle of quality management worldwide. By having the certification, you show that your business is ready to compete professionally.
- More robust levels of customer satisfaction bring with them many other advantages. Companies will also benefit from having fewer issues and spending less on disaster recovery when things go wrong.
- Happier employees! If teams feel they are doing a good job, their work satisfaction and engagement levels will be higher.
How Can Creative Networks Support Me in Passing ISO 9001?
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how you can prepare for and pass ISO 9001.
The Creative Networks ISO 9001 service is proven to help companies improve their operations to the standard ISO requires. Alongside our popular ISO 27001 and ISO 22301, we are proud to have a successful track record of making a difference.
To learn more, contact us today.