Don’t overpay for your ISO9001-2008 certificate!

Well, it happened again. Today, during the first consultation with a new client, I heard their horror story about paying nearly $10,000.00 to a consulting firm to write their quality system manual and procedures. This is a company of 5 people. Ten thousand dollars! Of course, this small company was unfamiliar with the ISO9001-2008 process, so they trusted that the consulting firm knew their stuff. The documentation provided by the consulting firm was at least twice as long as this small company needs. And did I mention it cost them nearly ten thousand dollars? I get ill when I see how some consulting companies totally rip off their uneducated clients. Honestly I don’t know how such people sleep at night. Have they no conscience?
How much should it cost to get your ISO9001-2008 certificate? Of course it depends on the size and nature of your company. For a small company, let’s say 10 to 20 people, to get all your documentation in place and your people trained should take maybe 3 or 4 days of a consultant’s time, including time spent on-site (or over the phone) to learn about your company’s processes. So we’re talking about one to two thousand dollars, maximum, for document creation and preparation.

You’ll also need to get quotes from a few ISO registrar companies, for your registration audit. For a small company this will likely be $4000 to $7000 for your registration audit. Keep in mind that ISO registrar companies are businesses too, and they want your money. They are often negotiable on number of audit days and how much they’re going to charge you. You should get quotes from at least 3 different ISO registrars, you might be surprised at how much their pricing differs.

Always ask the registrar’s salesperson if they have a local auditor. They will charge you for travel time and expenses, on top of the auditing time. Having to fly in an auditor from another state can greatly increase your costs. If the registrar has a local auditor, you’ll save a bundle. Don’t be afraid to ask, this could save you thousands.

There are many consultant companies out there who want you to think ISO9001-2008 is a complicated, lengthy ordeal. And they want to charge you accordingly. Do some research. Ask me questions, I’ve been doing this for 20 years. It doesn’t have to be as complicated or as expensive as some might have you believe.

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One Response to “Don’t overpay for your ISO9001-2008 certificate!”

  1. Rob Kellock says:

    Interesting! The complexity of company operations is what dictates the cost, not the size. A company with 100 people only making one size of rubber washer in accordance with their customer’s drawings and specification would cost a lot less than a 5 person company who have a design, construct and install type of service. If you are being charged based on the size of your company then you are being charged based on what the consultancy thinks you’ll pay.

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