ISO 9001 FAQ
Why should my organization implement ISO 9000?
To keep customers - and to keep them satisfied - your product (which may, in fact, be a service) needs to meet their requirements. ISO 9000 provides a tried and tested framework for taking a systematic approach to managing your business processes (your organization's activities) so that they consistently turn out product conforming to the customer's expectations. And that means consistently happy customers!
Why does ISO 9001 use 'continual' improvement vs 'continuous' improvement?
This issue was debated very strongly during the development of the 9000:2000 standards.
From a pure quality philosophy, we would encourage organizations to seek continuous improvement. However, it was recognized that not all organizations are able to demonstrate an incessant set of improvement actions, whereas they are able to demonstrate discrete improvement actions.
For this reason continual was used in preference to continuous improvment.
Every organization would like to improve the way it operates, whether that means increasing market share, driving down costs, managing risk more effectively or improving customer satisfaction. A quality management system gives you the framework you need to monitor and improve performance in any area you choose.
ISO 9001 is by far the world’s most established quality framework, currently being used by over ¾ million organizations in 161 countries, and sets the standard not only for quality management systems, but management systems in general.
It helps all kinds of organizations to succeed through improved customer satisfaction, staff motivation and continual improvement.
ISO 9000 series of standards
ISO 9001 is one of a series of quality management system standards. It can help bring out the best in your organization by enabling you to understand your processes for delivering your products/services to your customers. The ISO 9001 series of standards consist of:
- ISO 9000 – Fundamentals and Vocabulary: This introduces the user to the concepts behind the management systems and specifies the terminology used.
- ISO 9001 – Requirements: This sets out the criteria you will need to meet if you wish to operate in accordance with the standard and gain certification.
- ISO 9004 – Guidelines for performance improvement: Based upon the eight quality management principles, these are designed to be used by senior management as a framework to guide their organizations towards improved performance by considering the needs of all interested parties, not just customers.
Some of the benefits of ISO 9001 are
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- Competitive advantage
- Improves business performance and manages business risk
- Attracts investment, enhances brand reputation and removes barriers to trade
- Streamlines operations and reduces waste
- Encourages internal communication and raises morale
- Increases customer satisfaction