Running a small business can be stressful as it involves a small group of people simultaneously responsible for multiple work functions such as production, sales, financials, supply chains, government regulations, workforce management and quality checks.

One of the key aspects that keep small businesses from growing and becoming successful is routine quality issues. A consistent quality management system allows small businesses to focus on expanding their company without having to worry about the different business processes.

The best way to ensure consistent and high standard business practices is by getting an ISO 9001 certification. However, there is a common misconception that an ISO 9001 certification is only beneficial for big businesses. On the contrary, there are many benefits of ISO 9001 for small businesses if implemented successfully, such as continuous improvement of the various business processes, new market opportunities and better customer confidence.

Here are the key steps for a successful implementation of ISO 9001 certification for small businesses:

Step 1 — Prepare Yourself

Implementing a QMS to attain ISO 9001 certification is a complex and timely process. The first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with the process and understand what will be required from the business. The best thing to do is to consult with experienced ISO 9001 consultant such as Barile Consulting Services in Cleveland, OH to help you understand the process and guide you through it.

STEP 2 — Documentation of the QMS

Documentation is a vital part of getting your ISO 9001 certification. The company must develop documents that will describe in detail the processes it will be implementing along with KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) they will be using to measure the success of the processes.

Step 3 — QMS Implementation

Once all the documentation and planning are complete, the next step is the actual implementation of the QMS system that follows the ISO 9001 requirements. The implementation process will require the participation of all the employees in the company, along with upper management. Make sure the processes are implemented in line with what was mentioned in the documentation and provide essential training to ensure successful and effortless implementation.

A quality representative preparing an internal audit report

Step 4 — Internal Audits

The audit process can either be conducted by an internal team made up of employees that are given the role of quality representatives or by professional auditors from a professional ISO certification company. The auditors will assess the processes implemented under the new QMS system and will highlight any discrepancies or areas that need improvement to comply with all the ISO 9001 requirements.

STEP 5 — Get the ISO 9001 Certification

The final step is applying for the ISO 9001 certification after passing the internal audit. The ISO certification body will conduct an external audit to confirm the findings of the internal audit and make sure all nonconformances have been resolved. Once the certification body is satisfied with the findings, it will provide the ISO 9001 certification mark that can be affixed to the business.

Get in touch with Barile Consulting for professional assistance throughout the ISO 9001 certification process and services such as training employees, performing internal audits, creating quality manuals and applying for ISO 9001 certification.

Find out more about our ISO 9001 consulting services here.