Your ISO9001:2008 quality system: A real effort at improving, or the bare minimum?

Chances are good that, if you’ve got your ISO9001:2008 certification, your main motivation was customer driven. You’ve got one or more customers who asked you to get ISO certified, with the possible threat that they’d stop doing business with you if you didn’t get certified. Or, maybe, there’s a potential new customer who requires vendors to have ISO9001 certification.

Most of the companies I’ve worked with fall into this category. Very few want to create and maintain an ISO9001:2008 quality management system simply for their own improvement. While that’s an admirable goal, the reality is most companies don’t see the inherent benefits in ISO, they just want more business. And that’s fine.

So, is your ISO9001 quality system a genuine effort at improving your company’s operations? Do you think it’s a good way of reducing mistakes, or increasing profits? Or is it simply a means of keeping your customers happy, and you just do the bare minimum to keep your certificate?

I understand the reality of many companies, especially in the current terrible economy, is that they have fewer people trying to keep the business afloat. People have to wear more than one hat these days, and likely have to work more hours for the same pay. Under these conditions, who could blame you for wanting to do the bare minimum to keep your ISO9001:2008 certificate? Not me, that’s for sure.

While it’s a rare pleasure for me to work with companies that want ISO registration simply for their own improvement, I’ve also worked with a number of companies who just want to do the minimum. It’s sometimes a struggle trying to come up with “continual improvement” when you can’t get management to sit down for a minute. It’s very frustrating when your corrective action requests go unanswered for weeks after their due date. But you can’t let these things get you down. At the end of the day, the company management knows what needs to be done, and it’s totally up to them to decide if they want to pass their next 3rd party audit.

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3 Responses to “Your ISO9001:2008 quality system: A real effort at improving, or the bare minimum?”

  1. This is an insightful post about the topic. I personally believe that quality management doesn’t stop after getting an ISO certification 9001. Certifications such as this promote continual improvement on management and products/services. And in these times of economic slump and stiff competition, I believe this is even the best time to get your business certified.

  2. Good topic, and you define very well. thanks

  3. It depends upon the think of every different people…. I thinks that ISO is good to increase the profit ….

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