ISO is a ubiquitous, internationally used designation for businesses, but it is not always well understood. It can be intimidating and difficult to read about and understand what ISO is. In this post, we'll cover a basic explanation of ISO 9001 as it relates to weighing instruments. Adam Equipment is certified as complying with ISO 9001:2008 requirements. The latest ISO change happened in 2015. We are currently working on upgrading to the new ISO 9001: 2015 certificate.
What is ISO?
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental international organization based in Switzerland that develops International Standards. ISO standards facilitate international trade by creating specifications that dictate a certain quality around the globe. Fun fact: the organization's acronym is always ISO even in other languages, to make international communication easier.
ISO standards ensure the quality, safety and reliability of various products and services. They can help business with global trade (by giving them guidelines that allow them to make products that can be legally sold in various countries and ensuring the quality remains consistent across the globe). ISO International Standards are "strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity". According to their website, ISO "has published 22208 International Standards and related documents". Don't worry, we'll only cover the most important one for the weighing industry.
What is ISO 9001?
According to asq.org, ISO 9001 is the most popular standard in the ISO 9000 series. ISO 9001 is an international standard that defines specific requirements for quality management systems. It applies to all organizations, no matter their number of employees or the industry that they're in. ISO 9001 is meant to improve efficiency and organize processes to prove that the organization provides products and/or services that meet both the customer's and the law's requirements. It spans many different topics, from documentation to management's responsibilities to resource management. A company that follows ISO 9001 guidelines have requirements throughout the entire organization, including different locations and offices (so if a company has a factory and an R&D office, they both follow ISO 9001 guidelines, which streamlines the processes). ISO 9001, notably, also ensures a policy of continuous improvement, which is good for the company and its customers.
What's a Quality Management System?
Asq.org defines a quality management system as "a formalized system that documents processes, procedures, and responsibilities for achieving quality policies and objectives". Quality management systems can help streamline certain processes, improve efficiency at various levels of the company, and ensure consistency not only across a company's different branches, but through the entire industry.
How does a company get ISO 9001 certified?
Once a company does some groundwork and completes the ISO 9001 Quality Manual, the company is audited to ensure it is compliant with requirements outlined in ISO 9001, and to assess areas where the company can improve. The company must make any recommended changes and pass a second audit, after which, if it is successful, it will receive an ISO 9001 certification. Audits are conducted from time to time to ensure sustained compliance, and to continually improve the company.
What are the benefits of getting ISO 9001 certified?
ISO 9001 ensures that a company's various processes, from management to manufacturing, follow well-documented guidelines to ensure consistency and quality throughout. The guidelines affect the company as a whole, including employees, customers and products.
One key component of the ISO process is transparency; clients and customers can learn about the way a company works, and are assured of a certain level of quality throughout the whole company. That transparency also helps employees do their jobs by setting clear guidelines and tasks to accomplish, leading to increased productivity.
Consistency and efficiency are two paramount requirements in any operation. ISO 9001 guidelines can further streamline various processes and ensure that every product delivered is as effective and well-built as the last one.
Because ISO 9001 is international, it also helps greatly when conducting international business. Whether it's for a working arrangement with another company who knows ISO standards, or to do business with international customers, ISO guidelines can streamline international business and offer a guarantee of quality.
There are many different ISO guidelines, and they are complex systems. We hope this basic explanation was helpful in understanding of why Adam Equipment follows ISO 9001 practices to develop, build, and distribute its products. You can ask more questions by contacting us, or via social media.