Is Your Business Up to Standard? Why You Should Consider ISO 9001 Certification
If you want to be certain your business adheres to international quality standards, being ISO 9001 certified is the answer. You may have heard of ISO, or the International Organisation for Standardisation, but what does it really mean to be ISO 9001 certified?
Imagine a world without quality management systems. Products would fail, services would disappoint, costs would rise and everyone, your customers especially, would be grumpy.
ISO 9001 certification sets out a framework for enhancing the quality and establishes standards for meeting the expectations and requirements of customers and other parties. 9001 is just one standard; ISO has developed 23,217 international standards for, amongst other things, air, water and soil quality, emissions of gases and radiation, and the environmental performance of products.
DSS is currently working through the ISO 9001 certification process. We think it’s worth the effort. It will show our customers and other stakeholders that we’re serious about meeting international standards for quality and risk. For some customers, certification is a prerequisite for engaging a vendor.
Implementing an ISO 9001 Quality Management System will help your organisation focus on its most critical activities and improve efficiency in them. The processes that you develop can lead to manifold benefits. Here’s how the ISO lists them:
- Improved processes
- Better decision-making
- More revenue and profit
- Support for other industry-specific standards
- Better credibility and improved perception
- Eligibility for government contracts
- Reduced costs
- Smoother ordering and customer interaction
- Greater customer satisfaction
- No need to reinvent the wheel
ISO 9001 certification will give DSS a hand up in many of the areas that matter to us: Improving efficiency, customer and staff satisfaction, and adopting industry best practices. Certification will change the way we work; it will help us to be more customer-focused, establish stronger leadership, increase the engagement of our people, make our processes more coherent, make sound decisions based on facts and evidence, and strengthen our relationship with all sorts of external parties.
How do you get certified?
To put it simply, you get certification by establishing a quality management system that meets the ISO 9001 standard and is audited by an ISO 9001-certified auditor. For the details, head to iso.org/certification.html.
If successful, certification is usually valid for three years, after which your organisation will have to be recertified.
Our own certification process covers a workflow including a customer satisfaction survey and our processes for client complaints and staff reviews. Costs vary depending on the time devoted to certification by our staff, which in our case is approximately six months of preparation by multiple teams. Auditors and consultants range from at around USD4000 to USD10,000. Not cheap, certainly, but we expect certification to pay off handsomely over time.
What DSS Certification Means
Simply put, if you work with an outsourcing provider like DSS that has invested in ISO 9001 certification, you’re dealing with a partner that values quality, understands the needs of its clients and employees, and has committed itself to a systemic process designed to improve all of those things. And who doesn’t want that? Partner with us today!
By Anthony Moore, client delivery director for DSS.