ISO 9001 is by and large the most popular quality management system (QMS) certification obtained by businesses across the globe. With over 1 million organizations certified throughout 170 different countries – implementing ISO 9001 elevates a company’s competitive edge. Bolstering quality management processes and procedures is an essential strategy to staying current and offering customers the highest value possible. While ISO 9001 implementation is becoming a staple in the business community, regardless of company size, the first step to ISO 9001 implementation is developing an implementation plan.
The Steps for ISO 9001 Implementation
An ISO 9001 implementation plan needs to begin at the very top of the organization, and extend through the entire vertical of that company as well. The following steps can be followed to smoothly and successfully implement ISO 9001.
Senior Management: Achieving buy-in from senior management is integral for successful ISO 9001 implementation. Without senior leadership buying into the idea of obtaining ISO 9001 certification; there will be no repercussions (outside of business performance) for skipping QMS steps, or failing to meet ISO 9001 standards. The direction of a company is always steered by the senior leadership and management – making their buy-in an essential factor to implementing ISO 9001 standards throughout an organization.
Current QMS: After senior leadership buys into the idea; the real work begins. A comprehensive analysis of the companies current QMS processes and procedures should be conducted. This will provide insight into how the company already conducts their QMS, and where they differ from ISO 9001 standards. Understanding the differences and discrepancies will bring to light the exact aspects of the current QMS that are lacking – and how they can be improved upon.
An important factor in analyzing the current QMS is also reaching out to customers and consumers to seek feedback. This further helps a company cater to their individual customer-base ultimately leading to a more effective QMS.
Motivate Staff: A company may be steered by senior leadership and management; but nothing would ever be accomplished without the front-line workers. Staffing an organization with motivated people capable of maintaining the standards that ISO 9001 implementation brings is just as essential as obtaining senior management buy-in. There are strategies to assist with keeping staff focused on ISO 9001 standards; like encouraging them to train as internal-auditors, or implementing incentives for maintaining high standards.
Continually Audit: One of the most important processes with any ISO is the continual audit process. Periodically ensuring that the company or organization is meeting the standards set in place by ISO 9001 is integral to maintaining certification and easing the process of future 3rd party audits.
Implementing ISO 9001 can be a daunting task that seems overwhelming – but dissecting the process into manageable steps that culminate into a comprehensive QMS certificate is well worth the efforts. Companies that take the time to implement ISO 9001 experience higher efficiency rates, higher levels of customer satisfaction, and receive more customer acquisition opportunities. For further help implementing ISO 9001, contact Glacier Consulting, and get in touch with an expert today.