ISO 9001 is a business standard that is used by over a million organisations worldwide. It helps businesses achieve optimum operational efficiency by dealing with the fundamentals of quality management systems.
The requirements for ISO 9001 certification can be found in a 30 page document, when the organisation has implemented these requirements they are deemed fit to be issued with the certificate.
An ISO certificate is useful to businesses of any size. A recent survey conducted by QMS found that most of the respondents were from smaller companies of 1 – 49 employees, but they also found significant numbers in the medium category (50 – 499 employees) and that larger companies of over 500 employees had ISO 9001 certification. ISO Certificates also benefit both B2B and B2C organisations, the same survey found they were both 46% of respondents were B2B organisations, 45% were B2B and B2C, the remaining 9% were B2C.
Globally, the numbers of ISO 9001 is seeing a steady yearly increase as more and more companies receive the certification. In 2010 the top three countries that held the most certificates were China with almost 300,000, Italy with 139,000 and Russia with 62,000 certificates. This increase in popularity is because it can offer the following advantages:
– Gain new customers and more business
– Increased customer satisfaction and more effective customer communication
– Improved quality management processes
– More effective management reviews
– Improved supplier performance and increased profits
– Reduced waste and increased productivity
In addition to these benefits, companies also seek ISO 9001 certification to gain a competitive advantage and to help enhance operations internally. Clients are also increasingly expecting their suppliers to have the certification, so organisations often seek the ISO 9001 to meet client demand and tender requirement.
The survey also found that once company’s invested in an ISO 9001 they tend to renew the certificate. This demonstrates that businesses value the certificate and willing to regularly reinvest. The results found that more than half of the organisations had held their certificates for over five years and a huge fifth of respondents held the ISO 9001 for over 10 years and more.
Most organisations hold their ISO 9001 certification in very high regard, this is reinforced by the fact that over 75% of the companies questioned in the survey believe that the certificate should be officially recommended by their trade or industry.