The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems (QMS) consists of various standards that enable organizations to adopt efficient and effective practices. It helps organizations meet and exceed customer needs and stay aligned with the statutory and regulatory requirements. Within the 9000 family standards, ISO 9001 is the only standard that various organizations can obtain certification for. The standard defines a framework to demonstrate continuous improvement and support the organizational goals.
ISO 9001 standard outlines various guiding principles to align and streamline processes throughout the company. It helps reduce operational costs and create new opportunities for growth and revenue. Companies of any size and industry can opt for this certification, including the smaller ones which do not have access to dedicated Quality resources. ISO regularly reviews and updates the standards to match the current market trends. Since the global supply chain’s size and complexity are increasing, and the marketing landscape has changed, ISO revised 9001 in the year 2015 to meet various new requirements.
Published in September 2015, the revision is called the ISO 9001:2015 version and is one of the most widely adopted standards. The revised version places a keen emphasis on leadership and management commitment. Some of the essential definitions within this standard include
- Customer property: It has been expanded to include the processes that the customer owns. It typically refers to products and services provided by the customer.
- Continual improvement: The revision implies getting better outcomes by enhancing performance.
- Risk-based thinking: It has replaced the term “preventative action.” It adopts a proactive approach to identify, monitor, and reduce risks in operations
The core principles of ISO 9001:2015 includes the following seven quality management principles:
- Customer focus
- Involvement of people
- Process approach
- Evidence-based decision making, and
- Relationship management.
ISO 9001:2015 Structure
- Clauses 0 to 3: Introduction, Scope, References, Terms, and Definitions
- Clause 4: Context of the organization
- Clause 5: Leadership and commitment
- Clause 6: Planning for the QMS
- Clause 7: Support & resource management
- Clause 8: Operational planning and control
- Clause 9: Performance evaluation
- Clause 10: Improvement actions
Benefits of obtaining ISO 9001 certification
The ISO 9001 standard identifies guidelines to design and implement a successful QMS. A QMS has four core elements. It includes a plan, do, check, and act. The Plan-do-check-act (PDCA) approach helps create a continuous improvement cycle. It enables organizations to provide better customer satisfaction and exceed their requirements. The cycle supports risk-based thinking, clarified documentation requirements, and leadership participation. Certifying to ISO 9001 can help organizations in various ways:
- It enables them to increase their market share and profit potential.
- ISO 9001 certification helps leverage data points to make data-driven decisions and improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
- It enables efficient resource management to save time.
- It helps reduce and eliminate recurring problems and anomalies.
- It enables organizations to meet customer requirements and build brand image and credibility consistently.
- It supports manual work with process automation and integration.
ISO 9001 certification enables organizations to set up and operate a QMS to bring consistent, good-quality products to customers and support business growth. This standard will allow organizations to increase employee motivation and productivity and optimize resource usage.