Do you really need ISO9001:2000?

OK, so you’ve heard a little bit about ISO9001:2000, or just ISO9000 as some people incorrectly call it. If you’re not in the aerospace or quality management industries, chances are you don’t know too much about it. But if you’re a small business owner, you might be wondering if an ISO9001:2000 quality management system would help you.

The answer is a definite “maybe”.

If you supply to companies like Boeing or Airbus, or the military, chances are you are required to have ISO or something similar like AS9100. But then you probably wouldn’t be reading this. You don’t really have too much choice if you want to continue doing business.

But what about all the companies out there that don’t have a customer requirement to be certified to a particular quality standard? Are there benefits to be derived from a documented quality management system? Are the hassles outweighed by the benefits?

Again….maybe.

If you are not required to have ISO, I would still encourage you to look into it. Unless you want the prestige and bragging rights of having a nice plaque on the wall, and if you have enough self-discipline to manage the quality system internally, you don’t really need to go thru the trouble and expense of dealing with an independent auditor. Depending on the size of your organization, having an audit can cost from $4000.00 or more. Not to mention a day or 3 of your time babysitting the auditor while he checks out your company. Some business owners figure that if they have gone to the trouble of creating and maintaining an ISO9001:2000 quality system, they want to be able to show this to the world. ISO can be a wonderful selling point for many companies, if your customers are aware of what it is. That is up to you to decide.

There are certainly internal benefits to having an ISO9001:2000 quality management system, other than being able to tell customers you have it. We’ll discuss this more later.

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