What is ISO 9001 and Why is it Important?

With decades of combined experience in the ISO and health and safety industries, we’ve seen first-hand the positive difference that ISO 9001 accreditation can make to a business. From increased products to improved productivity and efficiency throughout the workplace, obtaining your ISO 9001 accreditation comes with many advantages.

So, if you want to impress your customers and streamline quality management processes, then we bet that you’ll be eager to find out more about ISO 9001 and what it means for your business. Luckily, we can help. Below, we answer a wide range of questions that you might have when it comes to achieving your ISO 9001 accreditation – including how much it costs, how long it takes and why it’s so important for a range of businesses.

What is ISO 9001 Accreditation?

ISO 9001 is the internationally recognised standard for quality management that details the various set requirements of a quality management system (QMS). Regardless of whether you manufacture products or provide a particular service, ISO 9001 focuses on regulating and improving the processes you currently have in place in order to maintain a high standard throughout the business.

Although not a legal requirement for UK businesses, ISO 9001 accreditation is widely recognised as an important or even essential certification, ensuring it’s widely sought-after throughout the working world. As a result, one million companies and organisations in over 170 countries have already obtained their ISO 9001 accreditation.

If you’d like to find out more about how you can achieve your ISO 9001 accreditation, then please feel free to get in touch with the team of expert consultants at Candy Management Consultants. We have the knowledge, experience and expertise to help our clients achieve the latest ISO 9001 registration (2015) as efficiently as possible. Why not give us a call today to discover how we can help?

Which Businesses Need ISO 9001 Accreditation?

Put simply, ISO 9001 accreditation is not a legal requirement and is therefore not necessary for businesses. However, this doesn’t mean that ISO 9001 isn’t worth it for a wide range of different businesses – ISO 9001 is actually applicable to any business that provides a product or service. ISO 9001 can be used by practically any organisation regardless of its size or industry to help them operate at maximum efficiency.

Typically, quality management is most beneficial to companies that specialise in manufacturing or are based around their customers. Some examples of sectors that could benefit significantly from ISO 9001 accreditation include construction, engineering, technology services, the hospitality sector, community services and the health industry.

What are ISO 9001 Standards?

There are seven ISO 9001 standards (also referred to as principles) that were officially published by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization). They’ve been specially designed to work in unison with one another to accomplish their shared aim – the production of high-quality products and services that benefit the customers, staff and key stakeholders of any business.

When implemented together, these seven principles are designed to ensure consistency in quality throughout the business. This means that when certain processes are performed, they create the same consistent results every time. We explore what each of these ISO 9001 standards means in a little more detail below.

Strong Customer Focus

No matter the industry that your business supplies or operates within, a strong customer focus is essential to securing return custom and satisfaction. Any steps that you decide to implement when it comes to ISO 9001 quality management must therefore always be made with the customer and their satisfaction in mind.

Motivation and Implementation of Top Management

As with the majority of businesses, the implementation of processes and even the adoption of the Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) mindset starts with leadership and top management. If top management is motivated enough by the benefits of ISO 9001 accreditation, then they should be able to clearly communicate this vision with staff throughout the rest of the company. This principle is therefore designed to focus everyone on the same goal while also providing support when it comes to the engagement of staff, too.

Process Approach

The process approach is exactly as it sounds – it emphasises the role that processes play in a business environment. As processes are used to achieve a certain result and can be both controlled and repeated, this is a great approach to adopt in order to focus on increasing the rate at which these results can be achieved. Implementing the process of Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) across a business can also encourage the entire company to adopt this same approach.

Continual Improvement Strategies

Many businesses will already have this goal in mind, but a dedication to constant improvement is a key component of ISO 9001 and an effective QMS. Ensuring there is a process in place that encourages staff to question whether something can be carried out more efficiently (faster or for a better price), supports this standard. Any inefficiencies or room for improvement can then be remedied.

Factual Approach to Decision Making

This principle refers to the use of data, facts and evidence to make well-informed business decisions. Any information that is gathered should be accurate as possible and available to both staff and key stakeholders within the business. This will allow these team members to have input in decisions using the most recent and accurate information.

Not to mention, evidence-based decision-making is often used to assign budgets, technology and human resources to different areas of a company. This same approach to decision-making can be applied to many other areas of the business, helping it to decide which processes require a rethink and which are working at maximum capacity.

Relationship Management

Many companies know that the relationships they form with both their vendors and suppliers can make or break their business. This principle of ISO 9001, therefore, focuses on how companies build positive relationships with suppliers and vendors using a combination of both trust and communication.

Engagement of Staff, Stakeholders and Customers

One of the easiest ways to ensure the implementation of ISO 9001 is taken seriously by the people that support your business (staff, stakeholders and customers) is to improve their understanding of ISO 9001. By ensuring that there is clear communication when it comes to ISO 9001 and how it could benefit the company, you are likely to see employees taking a more active role when it comes to improving business operations.

Ultimately, these ISO 9001 principles are designed to work in unison with one another, so you may see some overlap in the areas that they affect and are applicable. They are also designed in such a way that businesses are constantly encouraged to review their processes and spot areas for improvement, with the ultimate goal of ensuring these processes are the best they can be.

iso 9001 accreditation

Why is ISO 9001 important?

ISO 9001/quality management has many benefits, but its primary function is to streamline operations and meet customer expectations through a process of constant assessment and improvement. To accomplish these aims, ISO 9001 focuses on creating a productive and efficient workforce and ensuring customers and satisfied with every business interaction.

A major advantage of gaining ISO 9001 accreditation is that many corporations will only do business with suppliers that have achieved this independently certified standard. This is because it guarantees that they will receive a certain level of both customer service and quality in the products/services that the supplier provides. As a result, this influential standard can be an essential accreditation for countless companies when it comes to winning more tenders and building fruitful business relationships.

Additional benefits of achieving your ISO 9001 certification include the prompt identification and resolution of problems, the consistent documentation of processes and the assessment of both risks and opportunities for your business. If you’d like to find out more about how your company could stand to benefit from ISO 9001 accreditation, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the expert advisors at Candy Management Consultants.

How Long Does it Take to Become ISO 9001 Accredited?

Unfortunately, achieving your ISO 9001 accreditation is by no means a quick and easy process that can be done overnight. Instead, it will often take anywhere from three to six months to achieve this certification. The exact length of time it will take for your business to obtain this accreditation will also vary according to both the size and complexity of the required QMS.

However, if you choose to support your ISO 9001 goal with a dedicated consultancy company, you could significantly expedite this process. This is because ISO consultancy businesses like Candy Management Consultants come fully prepared with both the knowledge and experience to ensure a smooth and fuss-free accreditation process.

How Much Does it Cost to Become ISO 9001 Accredited?

Just like the length of time it takes to become ISO 9001 accredited can vary based on the size, complexity and industry of your business, so can the cost. The number of both sites and employees can also play a role in deciding the cost of becoming ISO 9001 accredited.

In the UK, however, the typical cost of attaining ISO 9001 accreditation is between £3,000 and £6,000 which includes certification body audit fees. Both certification costs and implementation costs should also be included in your budget – this might include ISO consultant costs and software costs, for example.

At Candy Management Consultants, for example, we ensure that our expert ISO 9001 consultancy services remain both affordable and straightforward with set day rates and flexible payment plans. Plus, our 100% success rate to date gives our customers confidence in our ISO 9001 knowledge and expertise in this area.

While using a dedicated ISO consultancy may seem like an additional expense, it can make achieving this goal both faster and easier. Furthermore, these costs of obtaining ISO 9001 accreditation must also be weighed up against the numerous potential advantages and opportunities that your business could stand to benefit from once ISO 9001 certified.

Find a Quality ISO 9001 Consultant

Ensure your business receives only the best ISO 9001 advice by choosing the team of experienced ISO consultants at Candy Management Consultants. Each one of our expert ISO 9001 consultants has an impressive ten years of experience in the ISO and health and safety industries, so you can rest assured that the ISO 9001 accreditation for your business is being guided by a wealth of both knowledge and experience.

Customer satisfaction is one of our highest priorities at Candy Management Consultants which is why we ensure all our services are provided within the specified timeframe for a set price. We offer both a set day rate and affordable payment plans to support businesses of all shapes and sizes with their search for ISO 9001 accreditation.

On hand every step of the way, we offer tailored support throughout the process and are able to provide both quick and detailed answers to any ISO 9001 questions you might have. Boasting an impressive 100% success rate to date when you follow our exact ISO 9001 guidance, why not get in touch to find out how we can help your business achieve its ISO 9001 accreditation?

If you’d like to discuss your ISO 9001 requirements or your quality management system in more detail, then please feel free to get in touch with our knowledgeable team. You can either give us a call on 0161 470 7929 or submit your enquiry by emailing us at info@candymc.co.uk. To contact us outside of opening hours, you can also use our handy online contact form. Simply fill in this contact form with your basic contact details as well as your enquiry and once we’ve received your enquiry, we’ll ensure a member of our staff gets in touch shortly

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