Certification is a formal declaration that a certain thing, status or event is true. It must be issued by an institution, or someone, that has public authority. That is, it has to have credibility in society. This credibility may be instituted by law or the result of social acceptance. What is the first thing that comes to mind after reading this definition?
I suspect most people immediately thought of ISO. ISO is an entity whose credibility was earned through social acceptance and that, today, is synonymous with standardization and quality. But why does my company have to follow rules defined by an entity that does not force anyone to follow them? Of course, for many industries, this freedom does not really exist. However, in general, it can be said that companies choose to pursue ISO certification because they feel that it is beneficial.
According to the ISO Survey 2017, more than 1.5 million companies have some kind of certification (only the 10 most sought-after certifications were considered). Two-thirds opted for ISO 9001. Why do companies make this great effort to acquire certification?
8 reasons why your company should get ISO certified:
The goals of standardization are:
- Simplify production in different industries;
- Ensure product consistency and safety;
- Promote global collaboration and compatibility.
In general, companies experience undeniable technological, economic and social benefits as a result of standardization.
2. Satisfy customer requirements
This is a dangerous reason. Many companies want ISO certification just to satisfy a customer requirement. In other cases, the customer declares they will only do business with certified suppliers. Yes, we need to satisfy customer requirements satisfactorily, but in a plural and continuous manner. Concentrating only on this benefit, and your immediate gain, without really putting the customer above all, can cost a lot more in the long run.
3. Improve the quality of processes and products
The adoption of a standardized method, in accordance with ISO certification, is all about quality, even when the certification is not ISO 9001. The end result of an ISO certification is a higher level of quality for the whole organization, and for every process and product.
There are many definitions of “quality,” but Philip Crosby and Joseph Juran provide two of the best ones: Crosby defines it as “compliance with requirements” and Juran calls it “fit for use.” A well-designed and effectively-implemented management system will start your company on the road to quality.
4. Describe, understand and communicate your company’s processes
ISO requires you to identify and describe your processes using business metrics. The purpose is to better manage and control business processes. These goals are at the core of your system. Metrics are used to understand and communicate your system’s performance against your goals. If you make an honest attempt to qualify for ISO certification, you will learn more about your company.
5. Improve the consistency of your operations
Reducing variation in your processes is the best definition of consistency. Your customer is best served when you provide a consistent product: with the same dimensions, same weight, same tolerances and the same output.
Of course, your customers will not accept variation, and neither should you! So how do you reduce variation? By increasing control over your processes! Control comes from a clear goal: to collect data about a process and to understand how to adjust the process to keep the output consistent. The ISO requirements help in these tasks.
6. Improve efficiency, reduce waste and save money
An ISO management system is not perfect, but a well-executed system allows your company to approach perfection. As your processes improve, they become more consistent, and you are able to achieve your goals more regularly, providing tangible results. You will also reduce waste in your processes.
Waste is a result of poor quality and inefficiency, and it represents wasted money. Inefficiency is the result of variation and inconsistent processes. Reduce these variations and improve consistency and you will have less waste and more money.
7. Facilitate collaboration in business
The fact that ISO is widely accepted internationally facilitates the realization of collaborative business, research and the development of new products. Standardization allows your company to do international business with the certainty of ensuring the compatibility and invariability of a product or an input used in its process.
8. Gain international recognition
We talked about ISO credibility at the beginning of this article, and this factor can not be overlooked. Obtaining an ISO certification puts your company in a very select group. We all know that an organization’s image is a very important factor in business.
There are numerous benefits obtained through ISO certification. However, no matter how clear and obvious they are, when a company insists on acquiring certification just because of market pressures, these benefits can easily be undermined. The process, originally aimed at renovating the company, turns out to be a burden.
Focus on your goal, plan, use a good management system to assist you, and enjoy the benefits that come with the certification you judge the most beneficial for your business.