Grow Your Small Company Through ISO 9000

How Can You Get the Most from Your ISO 9001:2008 Certification?

Although a lot of people think this, the ISO 9001 certification it is not merely a process of putting together documents for the auditor to see before giving a certification. In the past, the ISO standard focused less on the outcome and required a lot of documents. This is according to people who have worked with ISO for a lot of years. A lot of business owners and managers considered this merely a basic overhead expense to the company with no measurable benefit.

Nevertheless, revisions were recently made to the ISO standard. This time, the focus is more on the improvement of business processes rather than on putting together documentation for the auditor. Because of these revisions, clients, top management, shareholders and employees of certified companies see the positive outcome of their achievements. This new "Process Approach" is a sensible technique to align improvement efforts throughout the business with real business and customer needs.

Since the year 2000, we have helped a lot of companies attain ISO 9001 certification each year. To attain great outcome from the investment, there are three basic guidelines implemented by our consultants:

Companies that implement ISO for the initial time make it too complicated and this is a common mistake. This mistake could result in unnecessary procedures, records and job training. The "better be safe than sorry" approach is applied since people who implement the system do not truly know what auditors look for. Besides not adding to the value of the company, this will also increase the current ISO certification expense. ISO 9000 for Small Business

That is why focus must be more on those particularly required by both the company and the standard and less on the documents.

The next rule to implement is to stay focused on driving genuine improvement in the company's processes in order to improve performance for the clients and the company. Make certain that you implement everything to support the company's operations and the needs of the clients. Because of the general language in the ISO standard, companies could specifically modify their QMS to meet their unique needs while still complying with the intention of the certification.

You must first find out if a specific requirement you are working with is helping your business.

For the third rule, make certain that your reason for implementing something is not merely to show it to the auditor. If an ISO requirement is being talked about during your implementation and a comment is made such as "I don't know why we are implementing this but we need to do it to satisfy the auditor", then return to guidelines one and two above. So as to meet ISO requirement, a flexible system must be developed and implemented to suit and add value to your business. Make certain that your ISO processes and documents are simple enough to add value to your business. If you do so, your auditor will certainly be pleased.

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