You may be wondering whether it’s worth the cost and trouble of getting ISO and other certification for your business. According to dozens of studies, the answer is a resounding yes! Certification under a quality management system such as ISO offers numerous benefits to business owners.
Your business generally becomes more efficient and productive, giving you an edge over your competitors. ISO Certifications also reassures customers that your business follows the highest quality standards.
Look at the various benefits and how to add value to your business through ISO certification.
- Promotes best practices: ISO standards give you access to internationally recognise best practices across your business. ISO puts a comprehensive framework that addresses all key processes throughout your company in place. This leads to quality products and services and also improved production and service provision with lower cost. Standards exist for everything from quality management to environmental performance, information security, food safety, risk management, and health and safety.
- Increased Credibility and Recognition: ISO certification is a clear indicator that a company is committed to quality. ISO certification is issued by International Organization for Standard and is accepted worldwide. Therefore, having ISO certification increases the value of your company against your competitors as well as increases your status among your clients. Standards gives your business access to new markets. For example, you may be eligible for government contracts that require adherence to certain standards. Or, maybe, you’ll be able to join the supply chain of a larger company or a megaproject.
- Greater Customer Satisfaction: Standards help keep customers satisfied by improving complaint management, quality control and client satisfaction monitoring. Research indicates one of the top benefits from certification is reduced customer complaints. If your operational processes are running more smoothly and more efficiently, and your product or service quality has improved as a result, your customers will be happier. Companies who have gone through the ISO certification process have reported that their customers are more satisfied. Increased customer satisfaction not only leads to increased customer loyalty, but satisfied customers are also willing to pay more. Increased customer satisfaction and more efficient operations will both reflect positively on the bottom line, increasing value for your shareholders.
- Fosters team commitment—Meeting ISO standards can help you foster a more engaged and productive workforce. ISO certification requires the training and development of your staff being maintained. Also, it provides the necessary tools for them to do their jobs such as procedures, instructions and metrics. As a result, your employees will be more knowledgeable of what they are doing and since they will keep getting trained. The process of certification brings together managers and employees to work toward common objectives, using consistent processes. Certified businesses report better job satisfaction, turnover, absenteeism, employee motivation and manager-employee communication, according to the market research review.
- Applies to all sizes—Certification is useful for business of all sizes, even those with only a few employees. Smaller businesses sometimes pursue certification because of supply chain requirements or when they want to adopt best practices in their operations.
- Improves revenues: Certification can help your bottom line. Customers want quality and they will reward companies that provide it. For this reason, ISO certified organizations are not only perceived as being more competent, they are paid 7% more on average than non ISO certified companies due to more demand for their products or services (According to a research by the British Standard Institute – BSI), as well as an increase in market share.
HOW TO OBTAIN ISO CERTIFICATION
As you can see, the benefits of ISO certification are well worth the investment. So how do you get your company ISO certified?
The International Organization for Standardization does not perform certification itself. ISO is focused exclusively on developing standards, not certifying organizations in those standards. Certification is done by a proper certifying organization (Which is registered with the accreditation board of the country e.g. Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON)) which will abide by the guidelines set down by ISO when auditing companies for ISO certification. Typically, the certifying organization will review the applicant’s ISO documentation and visit the applicant to audit the company’s systems in order to verify that all ISO requirements have been implemented. If there are areas that are not compliant with ISO requirements for the particular standard, the applicant will have the opportunity to correct any deficiencies prior to the ISO certificate being issued.
SOME POPULAR ISO STANDARDS
ISO 9001:2015 QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
When you certify to ISO 9001 you will join over a million organizations globally who have improved their businesses with this management system standard. ISO 9001 is the world’s most widely adopted Quality Management System (QMS) and a powerful business improvement tool, which will help you to continually monitor and manage quality across your business so you can identify areas for improvement.
ISO 14001 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
ISO 14001 helps businesses of all sizes across all sectors make their day to day operations more sustainable. It also provides guidance on how to consider multiple aspects of your business procurement, storage, distribution, product development, manufacturing, etc. so that it reduces its impact on the environment. It also drives you to evaluate how you manage emergency response, customer expectations, stakeholders and your relationships with your local community.
ISO 27001 INFORMATION SECURITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
ISO 27001 is an excellent framework which helps organizations manage and protect their information assets so that they remain safe and secure. It helps you to continually review and refine the way you do this continuously. This in turn protects your business, your reputation and adds value.
ISO 45001 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
ISO 45001 is designed to prevent work-related injury and ill-health and to provide safe and healthy workplaces. As an international standard, ISO 45001 crosses geographic, political, economic, commercial and social boundaries. This sets a single benchmark for the management of occupational health and safety. So if your organization operates or trades internationally, you can work to a single standard which can simplify your business.