Quality management standards: ISO 9001:2008


Once you business has established itself and you are ready to take your organisation to the next level, the www.businesslink.gov.uk website gives excellent advice on getting your business recognised with ISO standards.

ISO 9001:2008 is the key internationally agreed standard for quality management systems. It is used by over 750,000 businesses in 161 countries worldwide.

The ISO 9001 standard has four elements:

management responsibility – ensuring top level management shows commitment to the quality system and develops it according to customers’ needs and the business’ objectives

resource management – ensuring the people, infrastructure and work environment needed to implement and improve quality systems are in place

product realisation – delivering what customers want, looking at areas such as sales processes, design and development, purchasing, production or service activities

measurement, analysis and improvement – checking whether you have satisfied customers by carrying out other measurements of your system’s effectiveness

The advantages of ISO 9001:2008 for your business can include:

  • greater efficiency and less waste
  • consistent control of major business processes
  • regulation of successful working practices
  • risk management
  • increased customer satisfaction
  • greater consistency in the quality of products and services through better control of processes
  • differentiation of your business from its competitors
  • increased profits
  • exploitation of new markets, both in the UK and overseas

However, you should also be aware of some of the disadvantages to implementing the standard. These can include:

  • the cost of getting and keeping the certification
  • the time involved
  • overcoming opposition to implementing change from within the business

The standard is adaptable to your business’ needs and resources, though you may need the help of a consultant.

ISO 9001:2008 can also be used in conjunction with ISO 9004:2000 to improve your organisational efficiency.

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One Response to “Quality management standards: ISO 9001:2008”

  1. An interesting comment on ISO9000 but the blurring of implementation and registration fails to emphasise the advantages of not having the ISO9000 management system registered, and these advantages are not primarily the saving in registration costs. An organisation with a registration – and most implementers elect for registration – invariable manage the system for retention, rather than business benefit.
    I have an article at http://www.rent-an-auditor.co.uk/blog/2009/04/iso-certification-or-business-management/
    which expands on this aspect of management system registration that might prove of value.

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