Quality is a never-ending journey, and it’s important to have a system in place to ensure that you’re always moving forward. That’s where ISO 9001 comes in. This quality management system standard is designed to help organizations of all sizes improve their quality processes and achieve better results.
Israel has been a leader in the adoption of ISO 9001, and the country’s businesses have seen great benefits from using it. In a survey of Israeli companies that have implemented the ISO 9001 standard, nearly all reported improved quality and customer satisfaction, as well as reduced costs and improved efficiency. Continue reading this blog to learn more about the ISO 9001 standard and how it can benefit organizations.
What is the ISO 9001 Standard?
ISO 9001 was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to provide organizations with a framework for improving their quality processes. There are many different types of standards that are used in various industries around the world, including ISO 9000 family standards, which are often called “quality management” or “quality assurance” standards. Organizations that implement a quality management system (QMS) according to ISO 9001 requirements is a valuable tool for increasing efficiency and improving performance.
What is ISO 9001:2015?
The most up-to-date version of ISO 9001 is ISO 9001:2015. The ISO 9001 2015 standard was published in September 2015 by ISO, and it replaces the ISO 9001 2008 standard. The main changes in the updated ISO 9001 2015 standard are related to risk management, process management, and the inclusion of a requirement for continuous improvement. The purpose of revisions to ISO 9001 is to ensure that the standard is up-to-date with current business practices and other relevant standards.
Why is ISO 9001 Important?
ISO 9001:2015 is an extremely valuable tool for organizations of all sizes because it provides a framework for continuous improvement. Implementing ISO 9001:2015 results in improved efficiency, reduced waste, and increased customer satisfaction. It can also improve an organization’s ability to innovate by allowing employees to utilize their creativity. For example, Brentwood Industries began using the QMS standard ISO 9001 in 2013 to help the company implement Kaizen, a lean manufacturing process that encourages employees to think critically about the workplace and find ways to improve their processes.
ISO 9001 is important for companies that want to expand internationally because it demonstrates that they have implemented an effective QMS system. Organizations with ISO 9001 certification also gain a competitive edge in the global market. In fact, a recent study found that nearly 60% of buyers would prefer to do business with an organization that has ISO 9001 certification.
What Does ISO 9001 Cover?
ISO 9001 is a generic quality management standard that can be applied to any type of industry. It comprises 10 key principles:
- Customer Focus – Involves understanding customer needs and expectations, as well as identifying opportunities for improvement.
- Leadership – Addresses the qualities that leaders need to effectively implement an organization’s quality management system (QMS).
- Involvement of People – Addresses the human aspects of quality and how employees should be engaged in an ISO 9001:2015 QMS.
- Process Approach – Focuses on understanding and improving processes rather than products (with the goal to improve product/service quality).
- System Approach to Management – Explains how an organization needs to view its overall ISO 9001 quality management system.
- Continual Improvement – Encourages organizations to identify and implement improvements to their ISO 9001:2015 QMS on an ongoing basis.
- Fact-based Decision Making – Helps organizations make better decisions by relying on data and information rather than intuition or assumptions.
- Preventive Action – Encourages organizations to take action before problems occur (rather than after the fact).
- Applying Metrics – Explains how organizations can use metrics to determine whether or not they’re achieving their goals and continually improving their ISO 9001 quality management system.
- Documented Information – Outlines the records and documentation that need to be maintained as part of an ISO 9001 QMS.
Where to Find ISO 9001 Quality Management System Standards?
ISO 9001 is a popular standard, and there are many places where you can find it or purchase an electronic copy. You can visit the official ISO website to perform an ISO 9001 download and get a digital copy. Otherwise, you can visit Amazon.com to buy a physical copy of the ISO 9001 standard. ISO 9001:2015 to download is also available through ISO consultancies and certification bodies. For organizations that implement ISO 9001, it’s generally a good idea to keep an electronic copy of the most recent version on hand for use by employees and other stakeholders. ISO 9001 Hebrew is also available if an organization requires it.
Who Can Benefit from ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 is not just for large organizations. In fact, the standard can be adapted to any size business, and it has been successfully implemented by businesses of all sizes and types around the world. The main benefits of the ISO 9001 standard are realized when the standard is properly implemented and followed, so it’s important to partner with an experienced provider who can help you get the most out of the standard.
How Does ISO 9001 Benefit Organizations?
It’s important to remember that ISO 9001 is not a quality certification. Rather, it’s a framework for implementing a quality management system. ISO 9001 can benefit organizations in a number of ways, including the following:
- Improved Quality and Customer Satisfaction – Implementing an ISO 9001-based QMS can help organizations improve the quality of their products and services, as well as their customer satisfaction levels.
- Reduced Costs and Improved Efficiency – Implementing ISO 9001 can help organizations become more efficient and cost-effective in their operations.
- Increased Competitiveness – Being certified to ISO 9001 can give businesses a competitive edge in the marketplace.
- Enhanced Image and Reputation – Achieving certification to ISO 9001 can enhance an organization’s reputation with customers, stakeholders and other key audiences.
- Compliance with Regulatory Requirements – Organizations in highly regulated industries, such as medical devices and pharmaceuticals, are required to implement a QMS that meet ISO 9001 requirements.
How Can My Organization Implement an ISO 9001 QMS?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the implementation of an ISO 9001 QMS will vary depending on the size and type of organization. However, there are some general steps that can be followed for implementing an ISO 9001 QMS:
- Assess your organization’s current quality management system and identify areas for improvement.
- Develop a quality policy and quality objectives that reflect your organization’s goals and values.
- Implement procedures and controls to meet the requirements of ISO 9001.
- Train your team members on the new quality management system.
- Monitor and improve your quality management system on an ongoing basis by conducting periodic internal audits.
Is ISO 9001 Right for My Business?
ISO 9001 is not the right fit for every business. Organizations should carefully consider the benefits and costs of implementing an ISO 9001 QMS before making a decision. It’s important to have buy-in from senior leadership and other key stakeholders throughout the organization, so begin by assessing support for a quality management system at your organization. Some questions to ask when determining if ISO 9001 is right for you include:
- Do we have an interest in improving our quality processes?
- Do we have a culture of continuous improvement?
- Are our quality processes causing customer complaints or problems?
- Do we have difficulty meeting customer or regulatory requirements?
- Do our quality processes need improvement in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, ISO 9001 may be a good fit for your business. For more information on ISO 9001 and how to successfully implement an ISO 9001 QMS at your business, reach out to IAS today.