International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent and non-governmental organization that defines the international quality standards. As per the ISO principles, every organization must adhere to the prescribed guidelines for quality deliverables and obtain the certification. Though organizations, especially mid-size and small businesses often look skeptical about going for ISO certifications, many companies have reaped the benefit of being ISO certified.
As the current market is not limited to the state or national boundary, the need of an internationally accepted set of regulations for delivering quality products and services. International quality management standards and guidelines have earned a global reputation as a basis for establishing effective and efficient statutory guideline for buying or selling in the international market. Moreover, following the ISO guidelines and obtaining the ISO certification not only gives an organization an edge over its competitors but streamlines the internal process for exponential benefits in the longer run.
Significance of ISO Standard
In the business context, standard means the agreed process outcomes that reflect how companies are committed to providing quality, service, and product to their customers. ISO family of standards is the ideal best practices or the base set of rules for organizational practices. When a business house starts their operation, they focus only on how to establish their business to gain more and more profit out of it. However, in this process, businesses usually forget customers’ need and the core business ethics to provide the agreed deliverables in terms of the product quality, delivery timelines, and customer support.
ISO suggests to reduce these irregularities in the business and strive to satisfy your customers to achieve greater returns by continual improvement of internal and external operations. As continual improvement is a never-ending process, ISO also suggests organizations to follow the prescribed policy and quality objectives that are updated periodically.
Base Principles of ISO Standard and Their Applicability
To lead and operate an organization successfully, it is necessary to direct and control it systematically and transparently. Managing an organization encompasses quality management amongst other management disciplines. There is a very close match between the eight quality management principles and the Business Excellence Model used by British Quality Foundation and the EFQM. The Excellence Model consists of nine criteria that are used to assess the overall strengths of an organization and measure its progress towards becoming the best in the industry.
This model focuses on three major areas – Customer satisfaction, Employee satisfaction, and the impact of the business on the society. This can be achieved by principle-driven leadership, company policies, people management, processes, partnerships, and resources. Like this, there are the nine criteria and supporting these are eight fundamental concepts that have some similarity with the eight quality management principles to gain financial benefits yet staying ethical.
Motivational Factors Behind Becoming ISO Certified
In addition to the customer requirement, many companies have indicated other reasons, such as competitive advantage and becoming a better brand value as the motivational factors for maintaining their ISO certification. These reasons have helped organizations in selling goods or services internationally, which is a jolly good prerequisite for doing business, continuous improvement, and to produce high-quality products.
Interestingly though, it was noted that the primary reason behind maintaining the ISO certification was a requisite from the customer, especially in the B2B model. According to a study carried out by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (1993), the major percentage of organizational benefit come from the external sources. The results showed that a whopping 69% of the managers believed that the ISO certification enabled them to improve their project performance and has allowed them to bid for more valuable projects which were not possible otherwise.
Coming Decade will be Even More Demanding
With every passing year, as the world of business is getting more and more competitive, the organizations will also have to bring in stricter processes to stay in line with the customers’ requirements. Certification is not the only motto behind the ISO certification, nor it is encouraged by the standard. It is however encouraged by the government and semi-government agencies. This is where the real goal of getting certified comes up for organizations which include ISO certification alongside better product standards in their purchasing strategy so as to raise the standard of quality in the national and international trade.
Role of ISO Certification Consultants
Many organizations still believe that they can streamline their processes through self-assessment, which can be a good idea, but not an effective one from several observations over the years. For unbiased audits of the internal and external delivery processes, certified ISO consultants play a crucial role. Not only assisting during the certification process, but also training your employing, implementing the changes, and documentation, as well as suggestions to stay your business compliant, are some of the other necessary benefits.
So, it is always better for the organizations if they can consult authorized ISO consultants, the Reach ISO Company for their ISO certification requirements because it’s cost-effective and managed by experienced people. Also, companies focus their core businesses on improving service and quality etc. Certification bodies were also in competition, and this has led to the auditors spending quality time conducting the audit which is actually needed.