In the field of corporate quality management, one standard in particular has gained worldwide acceptance: ISO 9001. Since 1979, standards like these have helped companies improve their performance at all levels. Numerous benefits await those who implement the requirements. Regular auditing and certification by independent providers such as TÜV also sends an important signal to their customers: the quality in this company is spot on and reliably so. Yet ISO 9001 can do even more.
As early as 1979, the British Standards Institution (BSI) made a start with its first standard for quality management systems. BS 5750 is regarded as the forerunner of the ISO 9000 standard series, which has been in existence since 2000. The resultant ISO 9001 has long since become one of the most widely accepted standards in quality management. By the end of 2009, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) had already issued more than one million certificates based on ISO 9001 in over 170 countries. In Germany, ISO is preceded by the name of the German Institute for Standardisation (DIN).
Strategic quality management
In several revision steps, DIN ISO 9001 has been updated since its debut at the turn of the millennium and adapted to the increasing demands on corporate activities. Unlike the technical DIN standards, which are also widely applied, the quality management standard deals with numerous aspects of corporate practice which are to be optimised with its help.
In addition to the fulfilment of its own numerous standard requirements, the current ISO 9001 2015 also and above all requires a strategic decision of company management which is to be realised and lived in the company. Principles for quality management – from customer orientation and the design of relationships with external partners such as suppliers to requirements for corporate culture – serve as guidelines for the actions of the company’s management. A consistent process orientation and fact-based decision-making are intended to systematise actions, make them transparent and also contribute to the sustainable success of the company.
A standard with many winners
The high-standard action concept of ISO 9001 demands a lot from the companies that commit themselves to it, even though this takes place completely voluntarily. No wonder, then, that the effort involved in setting up and complying with processes is often criticised. In particular, many would like to avoid the audits, the inspections by organisations such as TÜV, which are performed at regular intervals.
Nevertheless, certification is worthwhile for the company and for all those who work in and deal with it. The larger and more complex the organisation, the more valuable the development of clearly defined processes proves to be and the more worthwhile it is to adhere to them in everyday practice.
After all, there are many winners: employees appreciate it when clear expectations are placed on them and when they, in turn, can place similar expectations on their workplace and internal cooperation. Suppliers can plan better when they know what criteria their business partner will use to make decisions and what conditions are expected of them; whether in terms of quality, adherence to deadlines or probably both. Customers can be sure that the certified company will not disappoint them and reward this with greater trust and loyalty. In the business-to-business sector, ISO 9001 certification has therefore long been an important selection criterion for purchasing. Furthermore, investors receive an indication that they are dealing with a partner that has its shop in order.
WSM is also certified
WSM is also certified according to the current ISO 9001:2015. Quality in metal, after all, has been our company´s (advertising) trademark for many years, embodying a promise that every one of our customers can rely on at any time. In addition to numerous certifications in areas of production technology, compliance with ISO 9001 also serves this goal. We are therefore pleased that we were recently able to master renewed certification with distinction: an obligation for us and a signal to our customers that they can continue to rely on WSM in the future; from advice on our products to support long after the purchase.