Today, more and more organizations are deciding to adopt the ISO 9001 standard as a guideline for their quality management system (QMS). With the implementation of ISO 9001, an organization demonstrates its ability to consistently provide products or services that comply with applicable law and meet the demands of its customers. If an organization implements and maintains a successful QMS it will gain a number of benefits.
Benefits of ISO 9001 within the market:
- Improved image of products or services offered.
- Level playing field with large companies when bidding for new contracts.
- Preferential treatment from potential customers who themselves have implemented ISO 9001.
- Adherence to the ISO standards can be publicized to gain market access abroad, because many foreign buyers place a premium on these standards.
- For organizations that obtain certification, most certification bodies keep an updated list of certified companies and organizations and provide this list upon request to potential customers or other interested parties.
Benefits of ISO 9001 with customers:
- Improved customer satisfaction.
- Obtaining certification will reduce the frequency of audits of the QMS by different customers.
- Secure customers’ loyalty as their needs and expectations will be continually met, leading to more business opportunities.
Benefits of ISO 9001 for the organization’s QMS:
- Quality will be seen as everyone’s responsibility instead of being the sole responsibility one person (the quality control inspector or manager).
- Serve as a means to maintain and improve the effectiveness and adequacy of the QMS, by highlighting areas with potential for improvement.
- Increase motivation and participation of staff and improve resources management.
- QMS will provide you with a means of documenting the organization’s experience in a structured manner (quality manual, procedures, instructions, etc).
- You will generate savings, as the costs of reprocessing, rework, repeat inspections, replacing products, penalties due to delayed deliveries, customer returns, customer complaints and warranty claims will gradually fall.
The biggest benefit to be gained from maintaining a QMS from ISO 9001 is the huge savings an organization can make by considerably reducing the cost of failures. By aiming to consistently produce quality products or services, organizations will reduce waste and thus lower costs. They will have more satisfied customers who will have fewer problems with their product or service.
All these will have a major effect on sales revenue, improve market share and engender in an organization’s customers a higher level of satisfaction.
To the novice quality manager, ISO jargon can be extremely overwhelming. What is an NCR? What do you mean by OFI? Are we certified or accredited? But before you go and pull out your hair, let’s take a moment to go over some of the most frequently used terms and their definitions with regards to ISO and Management System Certification.