How Can You Get the Most from Your ISO 9001:2008 Certification?
ISO 9000 - Lots of people believe that the ISO 9001 certification is merely a process which compiles documents to show an\the auditor in order to acquire a certification. This is a popular misconception. Based on those who have worked with ISO for lots of years, the ISO standard before concentrated less on the results and required too many documents. This is the reason why a lot of business owners and managers believe that this was not helpful to their company and that this was just a part of the operating cost.
ISO 9000 - Nevertheless, revisions were recently made to the ISO standard. This time, the focus is more on the improvement of business processes instead of compiling documents for the auditor. The outcome is that achievements of certified companies these days have a great impact and lots of shareholders, employees, customers and even the top management see this. Efforts to improve both the customer and business requirements of a company have been made in this new "Process Approach".
Through working with dozens of businesses each year in achieving ISO 9001 certification since 2000, our consultants have developed three basic guidelines for implementing ISO in order to attain measurable, meaningful results from the investment:
The most common "mistake" we've seen businesses make in implementing ISO for the first time is to make it too complicated. This results in procedures no one looks at, records nobody needs, training that does not impact the job. The reason behind this is usually because of the implementers of the system taking a "better to be safe than sorry" approach because they don't really understand what the auditors will look for in the audit. Other than not adding to the value of the business, this will also increase the present ISO certification expense.
Instead, a conscious effort must be made to keep the number of documents to a minimum and concentrate on implementing those specially required by the business or needed by the standard.
Staying focused on improving the procedures of the company is the second guideline because this can also improve performance for both the business and the client. Make certain that you implement everything to support the company's operations and the needs of the clients. Companies can still comply with the intention of the certification because they could use the general language of the ISO standard to modify their QMS to specifically meet their requirements.
You must first find out if a particular requirement you are working with is helping your company.
The third rule is based on an understanding that the worst reason to implement anything is only to show it to an auditor. If an ISO requirement is being talked about during your implementation and a remark is made such as "I don't know why we are implementing this but we have to do it to satisfy the auditor", then return to guidelines one and two above. You could develop and implement a system which will suit and add value to your business because ISO requirements are flexible. Be certain to review your ISO procedures and documentation with an eye on keeping it simple and adding business value. The auditor would surely be pleased if you do so.
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