ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization. ISO Certification proves that businesses say what they do, and do what they say. ISO requirements regarding documentation could be as straightforward as a handful of documents explaining how a company conducts business. For example, how records are created and maintained. In addition, how checks and balances are followed in the pursuit of continuous improvement.
It’s a fact that businesses can do everything ISO requires without ever being ISO certified, or even having heard of it before. So this begs the question, why should companies go through the process of becoming ISO certified? The answer is actually quite simple – it is showing customers that an organization is willing and able to take extra steps to prove that they will be held accountable for what they say and what they do.
Many ISO certified companies prefer to work with ISO certified vendors and/or suppliers. They tend to respect the level of confidence that is shown, and know that having a structured and maintained system can make a difference in price, quality, delivery, etc. It also lets them know that if there is a problem, that it will be handled. ISO is about executing improvements in an organization in order to meet customers’ needs. In fact, ISO stresses customer focus in every aspect of its structure. For example, it outlines that it is a company’s responsibility (not customer) to ensure they have all the information they need prior to accepting or producing a product. In addition, it also outlines how a product should have a control system to ensure that they are manufactured to customers’ specifications. By keeping records, a company is able to review and pinpoint areas for improvement (during review meetings, internal audits, etc.).
In summary, being ISO certified proves that businesses will do their best to take care of their customers by following established guidelines, and making necessary improvements to stay ahead of potential issues. This is why many ISO certified companies have a mutual respect for each other, and can work well together no matter their chosen industries or fields. They are willing to take ownership by saying what they do, and doing what they say along with a continuous improvement mindset to meet their customers’ needs.
Doug Wilson, Certified ISO Internal Auditor
Metaltech Products, Inc.