ISO 9001: What Is It and Why Is It Important?
ISO 9001 is the highest standard in quality management certification. Companies holding this certification are dedicated to providing an excellent customer experience and consistently working to streamline processes and improve operational efficiency. The holistic ISO 9001 framework also fosters better management decision making by implementing a fact-based approach. This means the critical decisions that affect both the customer and the business are made through the careful analysis of data instead of merely on a hunch.
In many cases, companies use internal quality management systems that are not certified by the ISO 9001 framework. Unfortunately, in such cases, the customer has no way of knowing these companies are being honest and transparent in their customer satisfaction measures because no external auditing process is in place. They also have no way of knowing how important decisions are being made by management. ISO 9001 Certified companies like Metalfab are audited every year to verify that we are implementing all of the measures we claim to be.
With an ISO 9001 Certified company, the need for the customer to review each quality system for its key elements is eliminated. In the case of manufacturing fire trucks and rescue apparatus, this is especially important because the majority of our customers are volunteers who do not have the time to sift through layers of fine print. Adhering to the highest standard in quality management makes it easy for our customers to know what to expect when dealing with us.
As established by the ISO 9001 framework, any company with the certification will adhere to the following standards:
- Have a set of procedures in place that cover all key processes within the business.
- Monitor these processes to ensure they are effective and revise processes that are not effective in achieving the goals set out within the framework.
- Keep adequate records.
- Check products for defects and implement corrective actions wherever necessary.
- Regularly review individual processes within the organization and the quality system itself.
- Maintain a culture of continuous improvement.
ISO 9001 Certified companies are committed to providing smoother ordering and seamless customer interaction. Having this framework in place ensures that misunderstandings are avoided and you, as the customer, won’t be asked the same questions over and over again. These commitments improve our operational efficiency and help us to build better relationships with our valued clientele.
In general, ISO 9001 Certified companies are better at delivering quality products and services on time than those who have opted for an internal model. Data shows that, overall, those companies with ISO 9001 certification perform better than those without it. It’s simply a matter of dedication to development and efficiency.
Becoming ISO 9001 Certified requires a company to take part in a three-step process. First, a consultant visits the establishment to perform a gap analysis. During this portion of the process, current procedures are reviewed and any areas that do not meet the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard are highlighted. Following the gap analysis, any changes that need to be made to existing procedures are put in place. When the company is satisfied that it has met all of the requirements, an ISO 9001 auditor visits the establishment to ensure all of the documented processes are being followed. Certification is then issued. Audits are performed each year with a new certification being issued following each successful audit.
Selecting an ISO 9001 Certified company when purchasing your fire truck or rescue apparatus comes with a range of benefits beyond improved customer interaction and increased customer satisfaction. From advanced internal processes and better decision making to greater credibility and support for other industry-specific standards, ISO 9001 ensures that certified companies take a holistic approach to improving operations, zeroing in on how to best serve customers and our respective industries. ISO 9001 is not just merely quality control but a comprehensive framework for building a company that is dependable, honest, and transparent.
Without quality management certifications like ISO 9001, there would be little incentive for companies to pursue a constant state of improvement. Excellence in quality management cultivates products and services that are consistent, safe, and reliable like Metalfab’s line of fire trucks and rescue apparatus.
Although there are many quality management systems that offer certification, ISO 9001 is the preferred framework because it has proven time and time again that it works. In fact, ISO 9001 is recognized as the gold standard among all quality management systems available today. It is the most well known and widely used system worldwide. By using ISO 9001 as the foundation for our quality management, we effectively leverage the tried and tested processes designed and implemented by international experts and leading companies from around the globe.
As our customer, knowing that we have this certification gives you peace of mind that we are consistent and reliable in our production processes and working every day to improve your customer experience, behind the scenes and on the front lines.
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