How Can You Get the Most from Your ISO9001 Certification?

What is an ISO9000 certification? Nearly all individuals think that its an exercise in compiling documents for the auditor to see so that a certification would be given. This is not true. If you ask those who have worked with ISO in the past, they would say that the ISO standard then required too many documentation and focused less on the results. This is the reason why many business owners and managers believe that this was not helpful to their business and that this was simply a part of the operating expense.

Today, improving business processes and not compiling documentation for the auditor is the focus of the revised ISO standard. The result is that achievements of certified companies today have a great impact and a lot of shareholders, workers, customers and even the top management see this. Efforts to improve both the business and customer needs of a business have been made in this new "Process Approach".

Through working with a lot of companies each year in attaining ISO9000 certification since 2000, our consultants have used three basic rules for implementing ISO in order to achieve measurable, meaningful results from the investment:

For companies that implement ISO for the initial time, it is a mistake to make it very complicated. Job training, procedures and records no one will look at could be the result of this error. You see individuals who implement the system would rather be "safe than sorry" since they really do not know what the auditor would look for. Besides not adding to the value of the business, this would also increase the current ISO certification expense. ISO9000 for Small Business

That is the reason why focus should be more on those specially required by both the business and the standard and less on the documentation.

Staying focused on improving the procedures of the company is the next rule because this could also improve performance for both the business and the customer. This means that anything that is implemented should be scrutinized to be sure it is aligned with your company's operations and the needs of your customers. Businesses could still comply with the certification's intention because they could use the general language of the ISO standard to tailor their QMS to specifically meet their needs.

You should first find out if a specific requirement you are working with is helping your business.

For the third rule, make sure that your reason for implementing something is not just to show it to the auditor. If you have no other reason to implement something but to show the auditor then it is essential to apply rules one and two. The system that you develop and implement should suit and add value to your business while meeting ISO requirements. You should focus on adding value to your business and simplifying your ISO procedures and documentation. If you do so, the auditor will surely be pleased.


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