How Can You Get the Most from Your ISO 9001:2008 Certification?
ISO 9000 certification - What is an ISO 9001 certification? Nearly all individuals think that its a process of compiling documents for the auditor to see so that a certification would be given. This is not true. Those individuals who have worked with ISO for several years remember earlier versions of the ISO standard that needed inordinate documentation with little focus on actual results. A lot of business owners and managers considered this just a basic overhead cost to the business with no measurable benefit.
ISO 9000 certification - More current revisions of the standard have restructured the need to concentrate more on improvement of business processes and have less focus on putting documents in place for the benefit of the auditor. This new method has had a significant effect on the outcome achieved by certified companies as seen by customers, shareholders, top management and workers. This new "Process Approach" is a practical technique to align improvement efforts throughout the company with real business and customer requirements.
Through working with a lot of businesses each year in achieving ISO 9001 certification ever since the year 2000, our consultants have developed three basic guidelines for implementing ISO in order to attain measurable, meaningful results from the investment:
For companies that implement ISO for the initial time, it is a mistake to make it too complicated. This mistake can result in unnecessary procedures, records and job training. The reason behind this is commonly because of the implementers of the system taking a "better to be safe than sorry" approach because they do not truly know what the auditors would look for in the audit. All this does is (inadvertently) increase the present cost of the ISO certification without adding value to the company.
On the whole, effort should be made to limit the documentation and concentrate more on the implementation of those specially needed by both the company and the standard.
Staying focused on improving the processes of the company is the second guideline as this can also improve performance for both the company and the client. Thus, you must implement everything to support the requirements of the customers and according to the company's operations. Companies could still comply with the certification's intention because they could utilize the general language of the ISO standard to modify their QMS to particularly meet their requirements.
You must first find out if a specific requirement you are working with is helping your business.
The third rule is based on an understanding that the worst reason to implement something is just to show it to an auditor. You should apply guidelines one and two if while talking about an ISO requirement you say that you have implemented something to show an auditor. You could develop and implement a system which would suit and add value to your business because ISO requirements are flexible. You should concentrate on adding value to your business and simplifying your ISO procedures and documents. The auditor would certainly be pleased if you do so.