Why are we certified for ISO 9001:2008, and why might going through that process make sense for any organization?
ISO 9001 is a standard established by the International Organization for Standardization (with the confusing acronym ISO) – a body that creates voluntary technical guidelines for international business and technology, founded in 1947 in Geneva, Switzerland. The ISO 9001 standard is straightforwardly entitled “Quality Management Systems” (QMS).
Although people often think of the ISO standards as a way for tech companies to prove their credibility, they are helpful for any type of business, yours included. If you do decide you want to get certification for the standard, you would need to get audited by a registrar that would come out and physically check your systems and processes.
Here are 10 reasons to answer the question above: why it might be relevant for your organization and is especially important for choosing IT service providers.
Ability to Meet Needs
First, let’s focus on some of the reasons that this standard is helpful for IT vendors. Sometimes a customer will say that they can only work with an organization that is certified for ISO 9001. The service provider goes out and gets audited – but they aren’t always philosophically invested.
“The problem with these companies [that get the certification for superficial reasons] is that they’re looking for a short-term payoff,” explains management coach Chris Anderson, MBA. “They don’t embrace the concept of quality through continual improvement. They don’t understand that continued customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal of a QMS.”
You want any company with which you work to be truly dedicated to quality management rather than just in it for demonstration purposes.
Sure, ISO 9001 helps any company get business with organizations that list the standard as a baseline requirement – a legitimate reason for certification.
Better Organization and Stronger Service Quality
Is this about showboating or integrity? Hopefully the latter. “[O]f course, one result of adopting a QMS should be an improved level of quality for the entire organization — every process, and every product,” says Anderson (emphasis his). “A well-designed, effectively implemented ISO 9001 Quality Management System will put your company on the Road to Quality.”
Everyone knows what happens when quality improves: you put genuine smiles on your customers’ faces. Why? The ISO 9001 QMS standard helps you better understand their expectations and strengthens your provision of services to meet those expectations.
Identification of Your Processes
When you are certified for Quality Management Systems, you must analyze your processes via metrics for improved management. By measuring your goals and actual operations, you can better define how well you are truly aligned with your quality objectives.
Clearer Responsibilities for Employees and Better Workplace Culture
ISO 9001 makes everything simpler for your workforce: better sense of goals and individual roles, descriptions of specific actions, and a quick sense of how they are doing via metrics. These guidelines limit confusion and imbue your entire organization with professionalism.
Consistency to Better Predict Your Trajectory
These days, everyone is obsessed with predictive modeling and predictive analytics – using big data as the fuel to figure out what customers need, how the market might change, and how the business will grow. To understand your own organization and make sure your numbers are correct, consistency is the foundation.
Consistency is also critical so that your customers know that they are getting the same thing every time. According to Anderson, consistency is achieved through control. In turn, “[c]ontrol comes from having a clear target to shoot for (objective), collecting data on the process (metrics), and understanding how to adjust the process (procedures and work instructions) to maintain the target output,” he says. “If your ISO 9001 QMS is working, you should be increasing operational…and product…consistency.”
Stronger Direction for Workforce
Implementing the tools described by ISO 9001 is generally positive to help everyone in your organization zero in on the correct path forward. However, a clear target often fades over time.
Recognizing the tendency of organizations to gradually shift away from newly adopted quality mechanisms, the ISO 9001 QMS standard includes regular auditing so that companies don’t stray too far from their objectives.
An Attempt at Perfection to Minimize Waste
When I was a kid, I had a shirt that said, “If nobody’s perfect, then I must be a nobody.” It got a lot of laughs because the idea of individual perfection is preposterous – as is the idea of organizational perfection.
However, Anderson points out that you will get closer to perfection with the standard, in part by minimizing process waste.
“Waste results from poor quality and inefficiency,” he says. “Inefficiency results from variation and inconsistent processes. Reduce variation, improve consistency, and you’ll have less waste…and more money.”
Joining a Credible Worldwide Group
By getting certified for ISO 9001, you will be recognized as one of the almost 1 million companies globally that use this quality standard. You won’t just be credible in your own nation but anywhere on the planet.
Want ISO 9001:2008 Certified Hosting Systems?
In business since the 1990s, Superb Internet knows how to establish strong, consistent, high-quality infrastructure for your business. That’s especially important when considering the public cloud. See our certifications & compliances.
By Kent Roberts