- ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 164 national standards bodies.
- The ISO story began in 1946 when delegates from 25 countries met at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London and decided to create a new international organization ‘to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards’.
- Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.
- ISO 9000 define an audit as a systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining objective evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are fulfilled or put simply; an audit is a means to establish the extent to which performance meets the objectives for that performance.
- There are three main types of audits – 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party audits.
- An internal audit is a 1st party audit. ISO 9000 encourages (and requires) this type of audit so that an organization can get feedback quickly from those who know the company best. However, this audit process cannot be viewed as impartial.
- Therefore, 2nd party audits allow for a consumer to evaluate the performance of an organization. As an alternative to a 2nd party audit, many companies choose to become registered with ISO 9000 through a 3rd party audit.
- For a 3rd party audit, an independent certification body conducts an evaluation of the organization, based on the ISO 9000 guidelines. If an organization meets the requirements of the standard, it becomes registered in ISO 9000 and carries a seal of quality recognized throughout the world.
- ISO 9000 is a quality management standard that presents guidelines intended to increase business efficiency and customer satisfaction.
- ISO9000 was prepared by ISO/TC 176 committee and it is one of the most widely recognized in the world.
- It is updated almost every 5 years to meet the market requirements.
- It is applicable to businesses and organizations of all types, sizes and sectors.
- The process-oriented and risk-based approach makes the standard more applicable to the market needs.
- Its general guidelines allow for the flexibility needed for today’s diverse business world.
- Smaller companies that do not have staff dedicated to quality can still enjoy the benefits of implementing the standard – ISO has many resources to assist them.
- ISO 9000 is set up as a collection of guidelines that help a company establish, maintain, and improve a quality management system.
- ISO 9000 is not a rigid set of requirements, and that organizations have flexibility in how they implement their quality management system.
- This freedom allows the ISO 9000 standard to be used in a wide range of organizations, and in businesses large and small.
- One important aspect of ISO 9000 is its process-oriented approach. Instead of looking at a company’s departments and individual processes, ISO 9000 requires that a company look at “the big picture.” How do processes interact? Can they be integrated with one another? What are the important aspects of products and services?
- Risk-based is another new change of view in ISO9000 revision 2015. Since running a business is always accompanied by many risks, opportunities and challenges, risk management requirement has been considered in the standard.
- The importance of ISO 9000 is the importance of quality.
- Many companies offer products and services, but it is those companies who put out the best products and services efficiently that succeed.
- With ISO 9000, an organization can identify the root of the problem, and therefore find a solution systematically. By improving efficiency, profit can be maximized.
- As a broad range of companies implement the ISO 9000 standards, a supply chain with integrity is created. Each company that participates in the process of developing, manufacturing, and marketing a product knows that it is part of an internationally known, reliable system.
- Not only do businesses recognize the importance of the ISO 9000, but also the customer realizes the importance of quality. And because the consumer is most important to a company, ISO 9000 makes the customer its focus.
- A Customer Focus
As stated before, the customer is the primary focus of a business. By understanding and responding to the needs of customers, an organization can correctly target key demographics and therefore increase revenue by delivering the products and services that the customer is looking for. With knowledge of customer needs, resources can be allocated appropriately and efficiently. Most importantly, a business’s dedication will be recognized by the customer, creating customer loyalty. And customer loyalty is return business.
- Good Leadership
A team of good leaders will establish unity and direction quickly in a business environment. Their goal is to motivate everyone working on the project, and successful leaders will minimize miscommunication within and between departments. Their role is intimately intertwined with the next ISO 9000 principle.
- Involvement of people
The inclusion of everyone on a business team is critical to its success. Involvement of substance will lead to a personal investment in a project and in turn create motivated, committed workers. These people will tend towards innovation and creativity, and utilize their full abilities to complete a project. If people have a vested interest in performance, they will be eager to participate in the continual improvement that ISO 9000 facilitates.
- Process approach to quality management
The best results are achieved when activities and resources are managed together. This process approach to quality management can lower costs through the effective use of resources, personnel, and time. If a process is controlled as a whole, management can focus on goals that are important to the big picture, and prioritize objectives to maximize effectiveness.
- Management system approach
Combining management groups may seem like a dangerous clash of titans, but if done correctly can result in an efficient and effective management system. If leaders are dedicated to the goals of an organization, they will aid each other to achieve improved productivity. Some results include integration and alignment of key processes. Additionally, interested parties will recognize the consistency, effectiveness, and efficiency that come with a management system. Both suppliers and customers will gain confidence in a business’s abilities.
- Continual Improvement
The importance of this principle is paramount, and should be a permanent objective of every organization. Through increased performance, a company can increase profits and gain an advantage over competitors. If a whole business is dedicated to continual improvement, improvement activities will be aligned, leading to faster and more efficient development.
Ready for improvement and change, businesses will have the flexibility to react quickly to new opportunities.
- Factual approach to decision making
Effective decisions are based on the analysis and interpretation of information and data. By making informed decisions, an organization will be more likely to make the right decision. As companies make this a habit, they will be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of past decisions. This will put confidence in current and future decisions.
- Supplier relationships
It is important to establish a mutually beneficial supplier relationship; such a relationship creates value for both parties. A supplier that recognizes a mutually beneficial relationship will be quick to react when a business needs to respond to customer needs or market changes. Through close contact and interaction with a supplier, both organizations will be able to optimize resources and costs.
- When problem solving, it is important to find the cause of problem in order to develop a solution. Sometimes, the most obvious cause is not the right one. This is why ISO 9000 stresses the importance of finding the root cause(s) of a problem. There may be multiple, subtle reasons why a process isn’t working correctly, and finding the actual causes will lead a company one step closer to a solution and implementation of corrective actions.
- The goal of finding root causes is to improve the way problems are managed. Becoming adept in recognizing the root causes of a problem will lead to a reduced impact, a containment of error, and the prevention of recurrence. Identifying and correcting root causes will also lead to the reduction of unnecessary efforts which in turn will lower the cost of maintaining quality. As more and more corrective actions are taken, processes will become more stable, and continual improvement will face less interruptions.
- ISO 9000 is the standard for a quality management system that closely resembles many other management systems. These other systems, based on health, safety, the environment, and business continuity, can be integrated into an overarching business management system.
- Benefits of this system include aligned interests, reduced costs, and improved efficiency. With one of these systems in place, it is easier to implement any of the others; many documents required for a different standard are already prepared, and personnel are already accustomed to the audit process.
- Using multiple standards will not only increase the efficiency of an organization but, increase the integrity of its operations.
- ISO 9000 is a standard created to make the attainment of quality, consistent products easier by providing specific steps for development of an organization’s quality management system. This quality management system is meant to monitor the progress of a product or service as it goes through each stage of production, from development to testing to assembly to customer feedback.
- One cornerstone of ISO 9000 is continual improvement. No company should ever be satisfied with the conditions of a process at the given moment; they should always be looking for ways to make these processes more efficient and effective. ISO 9000 was written with the business world’s insatiable desire for excellence in mind. This is why continual improvement is a requirement of the standard – to inspire progress and the pursuit of perfection.
- ISO 9000 is an internationally recognized standard, and that may seem daunting for some smaller businesses. How are they going to implement the same standard adopted by multi-national corporations? Quite easily, actually. ISO 9000 is a flexible standard that lays down requirements for an organization to follow but, allows the organization to fulfill these requirements any way they choose. This increases ISO 9000’s scope of effectiveness, allowing a wide range of companies to create quality management systems that match their needs.
- ISO 9000 is seen in every sector of the business world, and its success is a testament to its worth. With a focus on customer satisfaction, products and services improve and flourish under ISO 9000’s quality management system. With a combination of continual improvement and corrective actions – tenets of ISO 9000 – a business will create processes that run smoothly and efficiently.
- A good foundation builds a good business. And ISO 9000 builds a good foundation for businesses especially for small businesses that want to expandtheir market.
- By introducing a quality management system like ISO 9000 to a small business, the quality of processes will increase and costs due to inefficiency will decrease.
- In addition, a small business will be able to advertise their use of the internationally recognized ISO 9000.
- This may create business opportunities that were not available before an objectively verified quality management system was in place.
- LC understands the difficulties of the small business owner. We hear all the time, “ISO 9001 is a nightmare! It’s so much work!” Our goal is to provide a friendlier, stress-free approach to registration.
- LC auditors have an understanding of small business, how they operate, and the resource constraints that business owners have to deal with.
- LC auditors think outside the box and appreciate that there are different ways to meet the standard requirements.
- LC conducts risk-based surveillance audits, targeting the areas to best assist our clients in improving their systems.
- LC auditors are human beings. They understand that shop floor employees at a business may feel intimidated by the audit process
- LC provides an official Notice of Pending Registration upon signing registration agreement, which communicates that the organization’s registration journey is underway. LC Small Business Program
- LC is always conscious of travel cost and we try to save customers money at every turn.
- LC offers the option of conducting the Stage 1 audit “offsite” to defray travel costs.
- LC provides a Project Manager who looks out for the best interest of the small business owner. We take the time to get to know your business.
Having management systems in place, such as ISO 9000, will also help when selling a business. The integrity and value of a small business will be apparent with well-documented processes and proof of quality. ISO 9000 will ensure the reputation of your business in any situation.