How can you define product quality? This term can be interpreted in different ways depending on the country or region you live in, but perhaps the most crucial variable that determines what quality represents is the unique set of quality objectives integrated by a company.
In a nutshell, quality refers to all actions taken to meet consumers’ expectations; therefore, a quality management system (QMS) refers to the compilation of processes that such companies use to maintain customer satisfaction by implementing quality objectives and quality policies. When a company establishes a matured QMS, an intricate network of resources, procedures, and policies is set to guide them towards one simple goal: deliver the very best version of their product.
Quality management systems have such an essential role in today’s marketplace that no modern company is likely to survive without one. They integrate several internal policies that eventually provide the company with a process approach to project execution. Simply put, it enables businesses to identify, control, measure, and improve what they do to boost their performance.
What the ISO 9001:2008 Standard Represents
One way companies can ensure high-quality standards is by demonstrating to accredited organizations that they can fulfill specific QMS requirements. Founded in 1947, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is in charge of promoting and setting worldwide guidelines for propriety, commercial, and industrial standards.
Currently working with over 160 countries, ISO has become the world’s largest promoter of international standards and a reference in almost every sector of the manufacturing industry.
Created in 1994, the ISO 9000 family is a series of QMS standards designed to help companies meet both customers and stakeholders’ needs while at the same time meeting specific product statutory and regulatory requirements. Specifically, ISO 9000 lays down the fundamentals for every QMS, including the seven fundamental quality principles upon which the whole family is based. However, only the ISO 9001 exposes the requirements that companies wishing to fulfill the standard must meet.
The 2008 update made to the ISO 9001 standard, commonly referred to as ISO 9001:2008, outlines the main modern quality management principles and requirements companies’ must meet to emphasize customer satisfaction, including business motivation and continual improvement. Using ISO 9001:2008, companies focus on providing high-quality services and products to their customers and with over 1 million certifications worldwide, it is currently one of the most broadly used QMS tools available.
The first step to becoming ISO 9001:2008 certified involves initial assessments of the company’s quality system, defining the areas that comply and those in which improvements need to be made. Once that’s been resolved, and everything has been set by the standard, a certification body will then conduct a number of audits to ensure conformance with the requirements. If approved, the company then have to subject to a three-year surveillance cycle. As you can see, the certification process can take as long as over a year, yet any company that understands its value knows it is worth enduring this process.
Don’t be Afraid of Internal Audits
Internal audits can be a real nightmare for most companies; however, they’re essential in order to truly examine how quality management systems perform. Because of this, they are also a considerable part of the ISO 9001:2008 certification process. While some may be reluctant to them, it’s important to keep in mind not only what they can provide to your business, but what it says about it if you avoid them. A few benefits of internal QMS audits include:
- Increase in your business’ revenue
- Valuable feedback that strengthens your QMS
- Promotion of a positive company culture
- Greater product quality
- Better communication and consistency of your company’s processes
- Boost in workplace morale
- Increase your reputation as a company
- Achieve international quality recognition
Why Businesses Opt for ISO 9001:2008 Certified Companies?
Imagine you’re choosing a new supplier. You will likely look for someone with the following traits:
- Delivers results consistently
- Possess great problem-solving abilities
- Provides a significant return on investment (ROI)
Companies that become ISO 9001:2008 certified already have voluntarily proven all these traits by actively being held accountable for the quality of their processes and operations. The certification also tells future clients they can expect the same high-quality results each and every time. To expand on this, here are the main benefits of working with an ISO 9001:2008 certified company:
ISO 9001:2008 certified companies ensure a consistent workflow process every time you choose to work with them. You can even evaluate this by taking a look at the low variation rates these companies offer, which directly translates to product and ordering consistency.
Fast Problem Resolution
Be sure that if any problem arises while collaborating with an ISO 9001: 2008 certified company, the policies and processes integrated into their QMS will quickly enable a fast resolution of the issue. But the ISO standard doesn’t end with that, it also makes sure the QMS includes a way of collecting and analyzing customer feedback and initiating effective corrective actions. Rather than waiting months for a resolution, an ISO 9001:2008 certified company would already have procedures in place to manage any potential problem that may arise.
Meeting Customers’ Expectations
As we stated before, this is the primary focus of the ISO 9001 standards. Certified companies will know the importance of adopting a QMS that ensures continued quality through the application of preventative measures. When implemented correctly, a good QMS is able to ensure every customer is satisfied while also complying with any regulatory requirements.
An ISO certification is not a lifetime membership. Each ISO 9001:2008 certified company is regularly audited to ensure their compliance with the QMS standards. This ongoing process of continued scrutiny actually increases their effectiveness and helps improve final product quality, making these companies an incredible option to work with.
By assuring regular audits, the ISO 9001:2008 standard also guarantees that companies evolve and find new ways of addressing different types of issues in order to improve over time. Continual improvement means that all processes must be run efficiently, all policies must be monitored continually, and results must always get better and better.
The ISO 9001:2008 Certification is only given to businesses capable of proving efficient management systems, therefore, companies who work hard on achieving this certification show prospective clients that all of their services and products meet and exceed the highest level of international standards. To run a business in today’s world not only means that you have to deal with a high degree of competition, but also with sky-high customer demands. That’s why complying with ISO 9001 standards has become such a huge advantage right now it can actually make or break the future of your company.
GlobalVision can proudly say it belongs in this group of organizations that offers products specifically built to endure the highest quality standards. We implement and maintain ISO guidelines as a testament to our commitment to our customers and the quality in which we develop all of our systems. Because our main line of business is to provide quality control services for others, we take our own product’s quality very seriously, that’s why our final goal is to assure our clients we keep their specified requirements in mind at all times.