Why are You Really Implementing ISO9001:2015?
When an organisation makes the decision that they need to achieve the ISO9001:2015 certification there are normally a number of factors that influence the decision, because let's face it, it's not a small decision, it's one that really needs to be considered carefully since you are about to fundamentally change how your organisation functions.
The driver for the decision tends to come from a very few number of sources:
A requirement from current or potential customers for a company to have ISO9001 in place is often the largest driver for any business, which is a shame as it really shouldn't be, but we'll discuss that shortly. A great many organisations demand their suppliers have ISO9001 because they believe that because they are ISO certified their suppliers must be as well. They don't, it's not true. If your customer is certified and they conduct audits of your organisation for example, then that is all that is required for their certification. Of course, if they have written into their processes that all tier 1 or 2 suppliers must be ISO Certified then that's their decision and a restriction they have put on. That said working with an ISO9001 certified organisation should give you comfort that there are controls in place to run the business well and deliver a quality product or service.
Improved marketing Options
Possibly the worst reason in the world but there are some who believe that having the ISO certification will help marketing and so the sales team to access clients, it may but if that's' the only reason you do it then those potential clients will see through you pretty quickly, as will the market place.
Your Competition Has It
Another frequently listed reason is that all your competitors have it, so you think you need to get it as well. You are losing market share because of it; they mention it to all your customers hoping to lure them to their side. Let's face it however, if your organisation delivered great quality on time, every time and you were easy to deal with, would it matter? This one is right up there with the old 'Timmy has a red sports car, I want one too" pitch you made to the bank manager before getting shown the door. Don't get me wrong implementing the requirements of the standard will help your organisation but just because your competition has it isn't a good enough reason to commit the resources needed.
The Organisational Culture and a Desire to Improve
This is the single best reason to obtain ISO9001. It's the desire to continuously improve your organisation to develop people, processes and systems that will deliver outstanding products and services to your clients. You care about how you design your products and services, what you sell, you care about your people. You understand that having a proper system and documented processes where needed is the way to building consistency into your operation. As a result of that consistency and improvement focus you can stabilise and tune your processes, removing waste and accelerate delivery of your product or service. You can gain insightful feedback from your clients and staff on where you need to improve, and you'll apply those insights since that the type of organisation you are. You want your teams to feel ownership of what they do and empowered to change the process for the better any time they find a way to do that. You want the a way that helps support and develop your company culture, a way of communicating one single version of the culture and how you do things, you want to deliver only the very best service or product to your clients since you understand that's how you grow a business.
Importantly you understand that by doing this, you develop a long-term strategy for your organisation to succeed.
So before jumping in and deciding to commit the resources required to implement and maintain an ISO9001 system you must really consider why you are really doing it and what you really want to get out of it since that will determine the approach you take.
Making the decision to obtain ISO9001:2015 certification should be something you carefully consider as an organisation. What are the benefits and what are the risks of doing so? You should communicate this thinking to the wider organisation to ensure that you all have the same understanding, you are all aligned otherwise we can guarantee that you will all end up at a different end destination.
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