What are the benefits of ISO 9001 certification?

Google ‘the benefits of ISO9001’ and you will find a whole range of potential benefits – some more tangible and practical than others.

Companies often initially seek certification for external reasons such as getting on preferred supplier’s lists, improving company image and responding to customer demands. The benefits of this are obvious – more work.

However, businesses have found that other benefits accrue from a well-implemented quality management system. These benefits include better management control and a structured foundation for improving how the business operates. Other benefits are more meaningful relations with customers, improved knowledge of the business and improved organisation strategy and culture. Businesses that implement a quality management system know what they need to be doing, how they need to do it and checking to see if they are, in fact, doing it.

The most tangible benefits are increased profits resulting from reduced costs from more efficient processes, fewer defects and product returns or rework and new work from meeting tender requirements and meeting statutory and regulatory requirements.

Other less tangible benefits include:

1. Consistency of product through well defined and documented procedures,
2. Integrated measurement of quality
3. Efficient response to defect/errors and learning from issues,
4. Proactive assessment of quality with processes to catch issues before problems occur,
5. Documented procedures help new employees understand their roles and responsibilities,
6. Employees understand what the business is trying to achieve,
7. Employees understanding what they are expected to do,,
8. Management understands quality performance and can react to changing circumstances, and
9. Certification differentiates the business and demonstrates a commitment to a quality deliverable.

The successful realisation of all the benefits from a quality management system relies heavily on the reason it was initiated. If it was just to get the quality certification, and nothing else, then it will be harder to reap all the benefits. If the reason was a genuine desire to improve productivity and quality, and there is strong management commitment to ongoing support for the quality management system, then the benefits will come.

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