Quality management consultants

What does certification to ISO 9001:2008 mean and what can it do for your business

In an earlier era, many larger corporate and government organisations took on the role of examining the performance of their suppliers themselves. They would regularly turn up at the front gate, often unannounced, and proceed to examine the intimate details of a business and its product.

This process was necessary from the customer point of view to ensure compliance to individual customer requirements. However, it was very time wasting to a supplier who had numerous customers to contend with and would often have their quality manager dealing almost full time with customer representatives rather than adding value to the business.

The International Organisation for Standardisation recognised this and in 1994 published the first series of ISO 9000 Standards. These were replaced in 2000 by the “Process Approach” ISO 9001 Standard which addressed the bureaucratic nature of the first edition. The latest is ISO 9001:2008, a minor technical update of the 2000 edition.

The new standard specifies the requirements for a Quality Management System which can be used for internal application by organisations, or for certification, or for contractual purposes. In the case of certification, a QMS can be examined by an independent third party certifier, who is a member of the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand and if that QMS meets the requirements of the standard, certification is awarded.

Once certification is obtained a business can demonstrate, beyond doubt, that they have a QMS which meets internationally recognised criteria and therefore the need for the business inspections mentioned above is redundant. Corporate and government departments will almost always recognise certification and it is a great marketing tool. In fact certain State Governments and Departments consider ISO 9001 certification a precursor for doing business with them.

One has to ask, “If tenders are submitted by two companies both of whom can meet the requirements of the tender, their pricing is similar and within the required range but one has an ISO 9001 certification, which company is going to get the job?

So in summary, “What can an ISO 9001:2008 certification do for your business and what are the advantages?”

  • Government Contracts are often unavailable to Non Certified Companies
  • Allows entry to new and international markets
  • Certification shows the business is “Fair Dinkum”
  • Increases customer satisfaction and retention
  • Display the 5 Ticks Logo on advertising and documents (when certified by SAI Global)
  • The Implementation Process leads to increased efficiencies
  • The business processes, procedures and data are recorded
  • Reduces risk of Litigation
  • A culture of Continual Improvement must exist
  • Increased awareness by employees to report and solve problems
  • Improved Teamwork in the workplace
  • Entering into the project demonstrates to employees that Management Means Business
  • Once ISO 9001 is gained, ISO 14001 (Environmental) and AS/NZS 4801 (OH&S) are relatively easy to accomplish

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw