What is ISO 9001?

What is ISO 9001, and why would we bother having a quality management system or ISO 9001:2015 and what’s it all about?

The best way to answer this is gauge the benefits of working with an organization, if they're one of your suppliers that is already capitalising from the benefits of ISO 9001:2015.

System improvement, and it's all about self-evaluation. If one of your suppliers has a quality management system in place you know what they're doing. They're self-improving, they've got some great things in place that are helping them do internal audits, manage them, manage their processes, look at their risks in the context of you, who's their customer. If you've got a ISO 9001 quality management system you can have a think about some of these points, but if you're thinking about some of your suppliers who have got a ISO 9001:2015 quality management system, hopefully these are some of the things that they're embracing, because they're part of that self-evaluation cycle.

They’re thinking ahead, and particularly with the new standard, some of the risks and some of the problems that are going to occur with the services that they've got in their organization. They’re trying, over time, to improve themselves so they can prevent those things happening, so they've got self-improvement happening. They're recording a dashboard of statistics, there's a part of the standard that talks about monitoring and measurement which is my most exciting parts about our organization, Best Practice. It's about that performance improvement over time.

One of the other things that you're going to see with an organization that's got a quality management system or ISO 9001:2015 in place is this opportunity to look at all their resources and do some planning. They'll be setting objectives and targets, they'll be doing some planning and part of that planning will be the management of people who need training, people who need guidance, people who need direction and obviously, a lot of people are passionate about the organizations that they work for and they are going to improve over time so the quality management system is going to wrap all that up into a neat little bundle and be like a business plan if you like.

I'm very passionate about the standards and I like people to see how they can use them to improve their organizations. In the absence of a business plan (and its surprising how many organizations don't have one) you can use a quality management system to plan what your customers want, organize your resources and then track your performance which is exciting.

The last thing you're going to notice in an organization with an ISO 9001:2015 quality management system is that they're going to be improving every day. They're undertaking and implementing their self-evaluation cycle, they're looking at their critical processes, they're looking at their successes, they're talking to their customers and they're hopefully bringing that all back and analysing, improving and doing little projects to improve themselves over time. That’s one of the things we encourage. Check out our YouTube channel, hit subscribe and keep improving every day.

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