ISO 9001 is an international quality standard for Quality Management that is specifically written so that it can be applied to all types of organizations, regardless of industry or size. The standard was issued by the International Organization for Standardization and is recognized throughout the world.
Many companies require their suppliers become ISO 9001 certified, and many others prefer it. So, achieving ISO 9001 certification provides a tremendous marketing tool for your business. ISO 9001 can help you structure your company, build equity value and provide the proof of best practices needed to attract larger companies. It’s one thing to tell companies you are a well-run business, it’s quite another showing them proof. ISO 9001 is a system that provides a customer/potential customer with precisely that.
Being ISO 9001 certified will help an organization improve its efficiencies. This equates to enhanced productivity, reduced costs and establishing accountability throughout the organization. Company personnel will have clear roles and there will be standardized lines of communication to improve management.
ISO 9001 certified companies are required to have a company manual that defines how the business operates. This will be independently audited to ensure it matches the actual practices taking place. Once the system is fully implemented (the ISO quality manual completed, procedures and forms implemented) and an internal audit has been performed, a company must pass an initial audit. To maintain its certification, companies are required to pass periodic surveillance audits (typically once per year).