Improve your Company Through ISO Certification
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How Can You Get the Most from Your ISO9001:2008 Certification?
Lots of individuals think that the ISO9001 certification is just a process that puts documents together to show an auditor in order to obtain the certification. This is a common misconception. In the past, the ISO standard concentrated less on the outcome and needed too much documents. This is according to people who have worked with ISO for lots of years. So do not blame the many managers and business owners for believing that this was just an added expense and was not beneficial to their business at all.
The good news is that the focus on the revised ISO standard is more on the improvement of business processes and not on compiling documents for the auditor. The outcome is that achievements of certified companies nowadays have a great impact and lots of shareholders, workers, customers and even the top management see this. This new "Process Approach" is a sensible way to align improvement efforts throughout the company with real business and customer needs.
Here are three basic guidelines our consultants have implemented each year in helping lots of companies attain ISO9001 certification since 2000:
It is a mistake for a company to make implementation of ISO for the initial time very complicated. As a result, there are records, procedures and job training that are truly not necessary. Since people who implement the system do not truly know what auditors look for, they take the "better safe than sorry" approach. This will lead to an increase in the present ISO certification cost while the value of the business has not increased.
Instead, a conscious effort should be made to keep the number of documents to a minimum and concentrate on implementing those specifically required by the business or needed by the standard.
The second guideline to implement is to focus on driving genuine improvement in the company's processes in order to improve performance for the customers and the business. Therefore, you must implement everything to support the needs of the customers and according to the company's operations. The ISO standard utilizes general language and companies can modify their QMS to specifically meet their needs and comply with the certification's intention. ISO9000 for Small Companies
It is important to work with a specific requirement that is aligned with your management approach. Then find out if this would help your company.
For the third guideline, make certain that your reason for implementing something is not just to show it to the auditor. During a discussion of an ISO requirement, if you say that you are implementing something so that you can show the auditor then apply guidelines one and two. Though you certainly have to develop a system that meets the ISO requirements, each requirement is flexible to be implemented in a way to suit your company - and to add measurable value to it. You must concentrate on adding value to your company and simplifying your ISO processes and documents. The auditor would surely be pleased if you do so.
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