June 29, 2017

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Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Understanding ISO Certification

Following the article: “Understanding the value of ISO for your business“, this article will explain ISO CertificationISO Certification indicates that a recognised independent registrar has examined a company’s quality system and found them to be compliant with ISO standards.
ISO Certification
The process of developing and implementing a good, solid, quality management system that is also compliant is time consuming and expensive.  So, does ISO hold enough value to justify these efforts?

The ISO certification process serves as a vehicle for improving all major interrelated systems that affect product quality, customer service and company performance.  Therefore a company-wide effort is necessary to implement the process, which drives value through every level of a business.  Company culture is at the heart of any business, and industry experts have cited that the most important component to ISO improvements should be attitudes within the company.

ISO Implementation

To get the most out of ISO implementation, training and awareness programmes work by way of getting employees involved.  It is important that all levels of management buy in to the ISO process and be actively involved to derive maximum benefit.

The employees will be working with quality management systems on a daily basis and need to understand the effect it will have on their jobs.  With significant input during the development of the procedures, the ISO certification process becomes much more meaningful to them, increasing the likelihood that they will embrace the process.

Value from within a business is fine and this value and pride in a business will naturally reach your customer base.  As a measurement of value with any business, an ISO helps you to deliver, which is what your customer requires.

Successful implementation takes place when the ISO standards are developed to fit the company and not the other way around.  IMSM works with clients to create a tailored implementation so that it can be worked in to the company culture without disrupting what is already in place, cohering employees to ensure that there is no resistance or the “way we have always done it” attitude.

ISO as a Step in the Quality Management Process

The value of ISO is very dependant on the company involved and how they view the ISO certification.  If a company regards the certification as just a goal, once certified much of the work and improvements that went in to the achievement cease to continue.  The companies that derive value from ISO see it as a step in the quality management process.  The process often drives a “cultural change” that spurs them to look for ways to build on their new quality management system.

Such a cultural change within a business has a positive effect on numerous elements of productivity such as, the approach to product development and manufacturing, communication with vendors, and relations with customers and employees.  As a result, the company will experience positive returns such as improved production, customer satisfaction and loyalty and employee enthusiasm and commitment.  This payback will far exceed the original investment in ISO certification, and deliver to you far more layers of value and satisfaction than first thought.

Certification can be obtained from a company such as IMSM who only work with Assessors that have been successfully trained to the highest standard by an IRCA or equivalent approved training body, who have a wealth of experience, to guarantee that their clients will receive first class consultation throughout their ISO journey.

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ISO: Understanding the Value of ISO for your Business

Definition of ISO

ISO, the acronym for the International Organization for Standardization, is an international standard setting body composed of representative from various standards organisations.

Source: Wikipedia

Understanding ISO
Before you can understand the value of an ISO, you really need to know what ISO is.  ISO standards specify the requirements for operating procedures and systems, together with conformity practices and assessment. ISO standards operate in 176 countries across the world; they speak to business and trade on an international level.

The question of value is always with the purchaser.  Each business will have their individual and specific reasons as to why they require an ISO.  As with the majority of business decisions it will be taken in relation to increasing revenue, profit, growth or market status.

ISO Certification

ISO certification may be a daunting prospect for any business to take on, however once in place, the standards can improve faltering business processes.   Common motivators include:

  • Improving business processes resulting in more accurate work and reduced costs,
  • Saving your business money
  • Reducing your carbon footprint
  • Helping to deliver your company aims and aspirations
  • Using the certification to differentiate from competitors thus providing a competitive edge.
  • Certain business sectors require, as a prerequisite, ISO certification, as they will only do business with ISO certified companies.

The external auditing process also delivers to any supply chain the reassurance that all processes and procedures are thoroughly and regularly reviewed.  The certificate alone will not improve processes, but implemented correctly, the standards add real value.

Value of ISO

Value is initially derived from a clear understanding of what standard is most appropriate to a business and also the supply chain they operate within.  It is important to understand which standards are needed for your business to deliver on business goals.  It is important to know that the Assessors you will be working with meet the required levels of expertise for the standard in order to trust their guidance.  There is no substitute for experience and knowledge.

However experience comes from working in the field, being able to put theory in to practice and have the experience first hand of how solutions work.  Real value of an ISO is not found in a text book exercise, but part of the continual improvement model –

PLAN – DO – CHECK – ACT

For more information about ISO standards and what it can mean for your business, contact IMSM who is worldwide industry leading consultants delivering on the implementation of ISO standards.

Please subscribe to the RSS to receive more information about ISO Standards and what benefits they have for your business.

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