Very different results, however, can happen as well. Poor product, service and customer experiences can lead to damaging word-of-mouth, negative news, ravaged reputations, even cratered business.
Organizations have a proven path to quality, customer satisfaction, continual improvement and positive results: the ISO 9001:2015 quality management standard. The internationally recognized set of standards is used in more than 200 countries and provides a common, objective framework for governing and administering quality. Pursuing a Quality Management System (QMS) delivers systematic improvements to processes and operations. Benefits of a well-run QMS can include:
- Employee alignment to a common quality standard
- Pervasive and positive accountability across management
- Increased operating efficiencies gains
- Improved product and service quality
- Boosts in customer satisfaction and advocacy
- Competitive differentiation
- Cost reductions based on fewer defective products and product returns
- Enterprise-wide internal process and communication optimization
- Decreased time-consuming customer audits
- Strengthened trust with customers.
The ISO 9001 Context and Credential
Organizations also have experienced increased market share and brand equity by association with ISO, given its continuous improvement heritage and the international body’s reputation. ISO 9001:2015 is part of family of quality management systems standards created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a federation of national standards bodies based in Geneva, Switzerland.
In terms of support and ISO alignment, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is an ISO member body representing the United States. ISO standards are sanctioned by the European Union (EU), making ISO 9001 registration and compliance essentially a prerequisite for doing business in its member countries. Globally there are more than one million sites that have been certified based on the ISO survey for 2018.
The ISO 9000 quality management standards are not specific to products or services but apply to the myriad processes used to develop, deploy and improve products and services. The standards are generic so they can be implemented in manufacturing and service industries worldwide. First released in 1987, ISO issued a limited revision in 1994. Then, in 2000, ISO 9000 underwent a major overhaul. In 2008 interpretations were added to the ISO 9001:2000 standard. In 2015, the standard was again updated to reflect current business practices and to more easily integrate its systematic approach with other ISO standards. The 2015 version also is less prescriptive and more performance focused than previous versions.
ISO 9001:2015 basically consists of a group of process precepts compiled for use in an organized fashion. While business, quality management and technology leaders may find some ISO 9001 expertise within internal resources, many turn to external resources. Without significant distraction or draining precious internal talent, these ISO 9001 expert advisors assess and devise just how to bring the 2015 standard to life, with a QMS approach best suited to the organization. Further, the advisors can help organizations develop practices to continually maintain ISO 9001, and to sustain and even improve the gains. Bringing on ISO 9001:2015 specialists may be the best, most effective path for all organizational types pursuing a culture of quality, but particularly for small and medium-sized businesses that may not have the resources and bandwidth to get a QMS firmly established and efficiently operating.
Alchemi Advisory Group Applies ISO 9001 Experience
Whether an organization is building a custom ISO 9001 quality management system from the ground up or seeking to enhance and strengthen an existing QMS, Alchemi Advisory Group has the expertise and a proven approach. Leveraging experience gained in implementing quality management systems for over a quarter century, and with first-hand knowledge of the evolving set of ISO 9001 standards and applications, Alchemi Advisory knows the certification requirements in fine detail. The Alchemi process is collaborative, by learning extensively about its clients’ business, then rigorously defining, developing and testing a customer-specific quality management solution. With Alchemi Advisors, organizations achieve standards-based quality and performance that demonstrate a commitment to quality improvement and purposeful customer focus and deliver greater operational efficiency and increased profitability.