4 Key Difficulties Faced by Businesses When Achieving ISO 9001 Certification
ISO 9001 is the most-recognized standard for quality management in businesses, and implementing it will increase process efficiency and customer satisfaction. Businesses with ISO 9001 certification prove their competence in meeting all quality requirements or expectations of the customers, and enjoy many benefits and advantages, including more sales.
However, ISO 9001 standard implementation can be challenging. The transition from the existing quality management system (QMS) to a new system that adheres to the standard requirements makes the certification process difficult for some businesses. There are many issues that can arise during the transition, depending on the nature of the business or size of the organization. This article will discuss some common issues that you or any business may face when implementing the ISO 9001 standard.
Lack of Management Commitment
Achieving ISO certification is impossible without the support and commitment of top management. The standard necessitates the formulation of a new, improvised QMS for compliance. So, the management of the business needs to delegate the QMS development to staff, communicate the importance of certification to employees, and train employees to work with the upgraded QMS. Therefore, lack of commitment from management, non-cooperation among employees, and poor understanding of quality management can be a big problem for the organization when getting certified.
Limited finance capability of the company can be another obstacle when implementing the standard. Without sufficient financial resources, it may be difficult for the company to meet all standard requirements. Consultants need to be hired, as they will educate and guide the company through the certification process and conduct internal audits to ensure the QMS is compliant with the standard. Therefore, there are a few planned costs for certification, and companies with limited capital may be hesitant to get certified.
There are many human factors that could complicate the ISO 9001 certification process. As the business integrates a new QMS, there will be major changes in the workflow, the quality check process, and possibly in individual employee roles. Employees could be reluctant to adopt the standard due to the changes, as they may want to avoid the extra work involved with implementing an improved QMS or they do not understand certification benefits.
Starting from QMS documentation to performing the internal audits, there are several steps involved which should be executed by quality assurance consultants. Preparing a detailed written QMS is necessary to communicate the improvements or new processes to employees. However, ensuring properly qualified consultants document can be difficult. Look for a consulting agency who can analyze the existing business structure and any modifications needed to ensure the compliance of the QMS. Following documentation, there needs to be a team of quality engineers or executives in the company to implement the QMS.
Next, conduct the two audit phases with an external agency. The first audit phase involves reviewing whether the documented QMS meets ISO 9001 requirements, and the second is conducted by on-site auditors to check whether the implemented QMS is compliant with the documented one. Most businesses get away with the idea of certification because of the complex steps involved in certification.
Apart from an in-depth understanding of ISO 9001 certification and the collective commitment of management, standard implementation requires a sufficient plan, the appropriate funds, and external assistance from consultants. Getting assistance from a ISO certification agency will help your company effortlessly deal with any problems. Consultants can help to order resources and implement periodic GAP assessments, providing opportunities and reduced implementation challenges.
Need ISO certification for your business and want to avoid unnecessary challenges? Get in touch with Compliancehelp Consulting LLC today.