Wondering What To Do For ISO 9001 For Small Business? Best Practices For Certification

Wondering What To Do For ISO 9001 For Small Business? Best Practices For Certification

You may be wondering exactly what to do for ISO 9001 for small business. Keep in mind that ISO Certification is a significant step for a small business to raise its reputation. Indeed notes that ISO certification allows a company to establish its credibility among consumers, business partners, and other stakeholders. For small businesses, ISO 9001 certification can make them stand out in a crowded field. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) informs us that ISO 9001 deals with the establishment and maintenance of a quality management system (QMS). Unfortunately, the road to certification is complicated. Most companies need to delve into what to do for ISO 9001 for small business. Luckily, we can break down the process in an easy-to-understand way.

The Overview Of the Process

We’ve covered a simplified method of getting ISO 9001 certification before, but for small businesses we’ve condensed the process into a few appropriate steps:

  • Adopt the standard: Buy the standards publication, read it, and decide that you want to achieve certification.
  • Find a consultant: Ideally, a company that knows how to help small businesses meet the needs of the standard would be what you’re looking for.
  • Examine existing processes: See what your existing processes are and how they compare to the standard.
  • Make necessary adjustments: If your systems are already functioning in compliance with the standard, there’s nothing to do. If they aren’t up to standard, then you need to make changes and re-examine.
  • Select a registrar: This body will perform an external audit to ensure that you conform to the standard.
  • Deal with issues: After the audit finishes, you should address the shortcomings that the registrar found to achieve your certification.

The process seems simplistic when laid out like this, but each one of these steps has many smaller parts involved. Achieving certification is an ongoing process. Even after the certification, you will need to renew it every few years, which requires the systems you put in place to remain operational. Luckily, the ISO 9001 process has something designed just for this purpose.

The PDCA Cycle

If you want to know what to do for ISO 9001 for small businesses, the core of the continuous improvement process hinges on the PDCA cycle. PDCA stands for Plan-Do-Check-Act. It describes how a company should deal with meeting and maintaining the standards prescribed by the ISO 9001. Each of these steps has its own responsibilities:

  • Plan:

The planning stage defines the aims of the component, and the material and personnel needed to achieve those aims in line with the business policy.

  • Do:

Once the plan is finalized, the business proceeds to work to meet the previously outlined plan’s goals.

  • Check:

The process is monitored and compared to the plan. This step is usually where documentation happens, and corrective measures are suggested to ensure that the process conforms to the plan.

  • Act:

Suggestions proposed in the previous step are tested for viability, and if they are workable solutions, the business can then implement them.

A Wholistic Alignment: Understanding What To Do For ISO 9001 For Small Business

The ISO 9001 standard is unique in its approach since it allows businesses to align their business objectives with the implementation of their QMS. Part of the process requires that companies look inward and define their strengths and weaknesses, as well as external threats that could impact their industry. Additionally, the inclusion of employee awareness as an integral part of the process keeps everyone on the same page. It helps promote buy-in at the employee level to establish and maintain the ISO 9001 standard.

Interested in seeing what ISO 9001 can do for your small business? Contact Sync Resource today to find out what to do for ISO 9001 for small business.

What You Need to Know About ISO 9001 Awareness Training

What You Need to Know About ISO 9001 Awareness Training

We’ve previously covered management commitment to ISO 9001 certification, but ISO 9001 awareness training should also be top of mind. For a business to succeed in implementing their ISO 9001 standards, the employees must also buy into the vision. As The Houston Chronicle notes, if you don’t communicate how your QMS works or which aspects of quality you’re focusing on, your program will fail. In the case of ISO 9001, awareness training is how businesses can seek to inform their employees about the QMS and what constitutes “quality” in the company’s terms. But what defines quality, and how can you communicate that to employees effectively?

Understanding ISO Quality Awareness

An employee does not need to know all the details of the ISO standard. In fact, adding that information to their plate can overwhelm them and make them less likely to support the standard’s implementation. ISO quality awareness has a much smaller scope. For ISO 9001 awareness training can help employees understand their role in the QMS, and how their specific duties impact its functioning. Therefore, awareness training allows employees to learn how their actions play a critical part in the implementation of the ISO 9001 standard. Quality awareness doesn’t mean the employee knows the ISO standards definition inside and out. It means that they are aware of how their contribution affects the company’s push towards compliance.

Employee Engagement and ISO 9001 Awareness Training

We covered in a previous blog post how managers who want to engage their employees properly should approach implementing the ISO 9001 standard. Employee engagement goes hand in hand with awareness training. To properly engage an employee, management must understand their competencies. What are those particular employees good at? Once you determine the roles they are best suited for, you can engage them by showing them how their actions impact the larger picture. ISO compliance requires all hands to be on deck. ISO 9001 awareness training allows employees to judge whether their actions are compliant with the standard. Employees can then take corrective action, with the end goal of being compliant in line with the business’s goals.

Knowledge Fosters Self-Correction

Employee buy-in, combined with the knowledge of the employee’s specific role, can help develop a self-correcting positive feedback loop. Employees within a company should demonstrate autonomy for certain things. Internal audits form a part of the ISO certification process, but if an employee can self-audit the company benefits. An employee who can determine his or her compliance makes the internal auditor’s overall job much more manageable. When the business gets to the point of external auditing in anticipation of certification, each employee’s self-auditing nature ensures that the company remains compliant. Whether the company can rely on employees to self-audit comes back to ISO 9001 awareness training.

What Employees Should Know

The standard has a series of requirements that employees need to know:

  • The company’s quality policy
  • The quality objectives for the employee’s department
  • The employee’s specific contribution to the success of the QMS
  • What benefits improved performance will bring to the company
  • What non-compliance means and the consequences of failing to meet the standard

These key points offer employees the motivation and the knowledge to contribute to the QMS in a meaningful way. It serves to empower and inform the workers so that they can align themselves with the company’s vision. By offering employees this level of knowledge, management shares the burden of responsibility and makes the employee feel like an integral part of the company. This feeling is crucial to achieving employee buy-in and raising engagement.

If you’re looking for a professional consultant to help you develop tools for your ISO 9001 awareness training, Sync Resource remains dedicated to helping our clients achieve their certification goals. Call us today, and let us help you train your workforce to self-correct!


ISO 9001: The Key Importance of ISO Employee Training

ISO 9001: The Key Importance of ISO Employee Training

ISO employee training, also known as competence and awareness training, is critical in ensuring that a company complies with ISO standards for certification. Yahoo Small Business mentions that, no matter how good your QMS system is unless people are aware of its existence, it might as well be invisible.

Competence and awareness forms a significant part of several ISO standard, including ISO 9001. It is crucial for businesses seeking ISO certification to take the necessary steps for proper training. Ensuring employees have ISO employee training as part of their preparations for certification is crucial to success. But what does ISO competence and awareness training consist of?

The Roles Within the Company

Because ISO 9001 encompasses the entire organization, each department has its own responsibilities to ensure that employees are competent in using the system and aware that it exists. Three departments within an organization spearhead the responsibility for ensuring ISO employee training. These are:

Human Resources Department

This department holds the responsibility for ensuring that employees are adequately trained in using the system. Alongside departmental heads, HR will ensure that employees meet the competence standards in using the QMS. HR will also verify that employees follow all procedures according to the ISO guidelines.

If any breaches of compliance are detected, the HR department then moves into planning mode. This shift allows them to figure out how to resolve the problems that have arisen. Documentation is a significant part of the ISO 9001 standard. HR is responsible for documenting all training that has happened within the organization.

Departmental Leaders

Within each department, there is a single leader responsible for ensuring each worker underneath them has undergone ISO training. Their first responsibility lies with ensuring that all employees within their department are competent with the regulations.

They are a redundant check on the HR department. Their interest ensures that all employee records about workers in their department are updated regarding their training. Regular reviews are also the purvey of these departmental leaders. Ideally, they would take time to advise employees under their management about what needs to be changed.

They should also help in arranging training for employees. Some workers may need further clarification on critical issues within the company’s strategic plan. Training plans may need to be modified to fit specific workers’ needs.

This action helps make the ISO training a more robust system that addresses individual weaknesses within the organization. Businesses that prefer to try a one-size-fits-all approach are likely to find it challenging to encompass their staff’s unique needs. Departmental leaders are a vital part of ensuring these training exercises pinpoint specific needs within the workforce.


Management hands down the mandate for the company’s transition into ISO compliance, but in keeping with that goal, a few responsibilities also rest with them. The requirements for competency that the business will judge its employees on will be developed by management.
This responsibility ensures that those lower down the hierarchy are well-aware management’s vision for the company’s compliance with ISO 9001. Creating requirements is only the first part of the solution. The second part requires following up with employees to ensure they are competent. Again, this redundancy ensures that departmental heads are taking their responsibilities in employee training seriously.

Why Is ISO Employee Training Important?

In summary, ISO employee training exists as a method of ensuring that the vision of ISO compliance doesn’t die with upper management. Competence and awareness are crucial parts of implementing a working QMS because each employee needs to be aware of the situation.
Knowing what the QMS is being used for and how they play a part within its success is of critical value in maintaining the business’s certification. Overlooking this requirement could lead to the company entering non-compliance very quickly. Sync Resource has helped many companies develop training programs that address competence and awareness. Contact us today for guidance on how to develop these training regimens.

Bits and Bytes – The No. 1 Formula for Learning the Benefits of How to get ISO Certification for Software Company

Bits and Bytes – The No. 1 Formula for Learning the Benefits of How to get ISO Certification for Software Company

Understanding how to get ISO certification for software company brings a lot of potential and possibilities for a small business. Certification underlines the company’s dedication to upholding industry standards.

Indeed reinforces this by stating that ISO certification establishes credibility within the industry and increases consumer trust with their service provider.

Many software companies avoid ISO certification because they don’t think the standards apply to their industry.

This opinion isn’t strictly true. Software companies stand to benefit from implementing two essential ISO standards: ISO 9001 and ISO 27001.

In this article, we’ll delve into what these certifications are and what they bring to the table for software companies.

Defining The Standards for How to Get ISO Certification for Software Company

Software companies, like many small businesses, utilize several standard practices. ISO 9001, as we previously explained, deals with establishing a quality management service within the company.

The International Standards Organization itself states that certifications from the ISO 9000 family help businesses to maintain the quality of their products and customer service through an iterative methodology.

In particular, software companies depend upon excellent customer support and high-quality products to help make a name for themselves and stand out from the competition.

Another vital certification that software companies shouldn’t overlook is ISO 27001.

We’ve touched on how this particular certification can be critical to small businesses since it deals primarily with data protection.

The International Standards Organization mentions that the ISO 27001 certification offers peace of mind when it comes to data security by helping a business establish an Information Security Management System (ISMS).

How to Get ISO Certification for Software Company – The Steps Involved

Each of these ISO certification standards has its own requirements, and as such, we will be covering each one separately.

ISO 9001

In a previous post, we mentioned a simplified 5-step process that a company could undertake to achieve ISO 9001 certification. For those who missed that post, the five steps we mentioned are:

  1. Get Informed:
    Source basic and essential information about the ISO certification process. Companies should start by designating a member of staff as the “point person” for this process, making them the go-to person for all ISO-related issue.
  2. Prepare Documentation:
    ISO 9001 is heavily based on documentation. At this stage, a company should be getting the documents they currently have and note the materials they lack compared to what the standard requires.
  3. Implement Certification Requirements:
    Using the information generated from the previous step, a company can note its weakest areas and its lack of documentation. Taking into account the requirements for certification, the company can see where they comply with the regulations entirely, partially, or not at all.
  4. Internal Audit:
    Once the company has arranged its documentation, it can undergo an internal audit. At this stage, the company inspects its documentation and compares it to the requirements. Glaring errors can be picked up and rectified here, and the company may need to go through multiple internal audits before it’s ready for the next step.
  5. External Audit and Certification:
    A third-party certification body will visit the company in the final step and perform a thorough audit of the company’s documents and system improvements. If it meets the standards, the company will achieve ISO 9001 certification.

ISO 27001

We also outlined a detailed methodology of how a company can obtain ISO 27001 certification in a past post. The process is a bit more involved, covering eleven steps:

  1. Identify objectives
  2. Get management on board with the plan
  3. Ensure the scope of the project is acceptable
  4. Develop an ISMS brief covering the policy
  5. Define the Methodology for Risk Assessment and the Strategy the company intends to pursue
  6. Develop a risk treatment plan and manage the risks that already exist within the system
  7. Create policies to take on risks
  8. Define the resources required for implementing those policies and train the staff to be more aware of the implementation process
  9. Monitor the ISMS after it goes online
  10. Prepare for an internal audit
  11. Have management review the ISMS periodically for improvements or updates

Certification Raises Marketability

A company that learns how to get ISO certification for software company raises its stature on the open market. Businesses know they can trust ISO certified companies. As a result, those companies tend to get more consideration compared to others in tendering processes around the world.

If you’d like to have a more competitive business, contact Sync Resource today, and let’s help you achieve how to get ISO certification for software company.

ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction For SMBs

ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction For SMBs

ISO 9001 customer satisfaction refers to international standards of quality that explicitly demonstrates Quality Management System (QMS) specific requirements. Organizations, both large and small businesses use this standard to ensure a consistent delivery of quality products and services that particularly meet the requirements of customers and legal regulatory specifications.

ISO 90015 is the latest revised version which was released back in 2015. Please note that all the organizations holding ISO 9001:2008 needs to make a transition to ISO 9001:2015 by September 2018. Otherwise, their license to the standard will not remain valid.

ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction

Considering the ever-increasing continuous demands of quality, products, and services, or prices on small companies the most effective and efficient way to gain customer trust and confidence is through a well-structured Quality Management System – in this scenario, ISO 9001:2015. This revised version is more focused on the micro and small business sectors, considering the financial and employment importance.

This standard ISO 9001:2015 is considered to be only implementable for large organizations, however which is not true. As the standard states that it is carefully written for all businesses regardless of their size.

It is important for the small businesses to understand that this standard is written for all sizes of businesses and thus provide significant business opportunities, improvements and customer satisfaction. The process is not complex and is designed to work with every small business existing operating systems. Considering your current business models and systems implementation of ISO 9001 Quality Management System can be significantly low cost and low maintenance with only a little documentation necessary.

Current Case of ISO 9001:2015 and Customer Focus

The current revised version ISO 9001:2015 holds “Customer Focus” on top of the list of QMP – 7 Quality Management Principles. The standard focuses on providing customer satisfaction by adhering to and successfully meeting specific customer requirements. Ensuring service quality and customer satisfaction starts with the “PLAN” which is the first phase of PDCA Cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act). As per the standard, the small organizations’ needs “to establish the objectives of the system and its processes, and the resources needed to deliver results in accordance with customers’ requirements and the organization’s policies, and to identify and address risks and opportunities.”

ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction Clause

ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction Clause 9.1.2 – It requires the organization to gauge and monitor’s customer perceptions to an extent to which their stated needs and requirements have been fulfilled. As a small business you can ensure the continuous implementation of this clause within your customer oriented business strategies and feedback procedures.

ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction Clause 5.1.2 – it requires the organization to ensure that focus on customer satisfaction is maintained. As a small business or organization you can enhance you customer satisfaction by approaching to them proactively and solving their problems or issues with full concern in order to build a trustworthy customer-company relationship.

ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction Clause 8.2.1 – this clause refers to the interest of the organization in customer’s feedback regarding the quality of products and services, including complaints and criticisms. Successful and continuous implementation and analysis of this point within the organization can eventually develop trust in customers. Secondly, involvement of customers and their valuable feedback can enable you to improve the quality of your products and services. Thus, increasing levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction Clause 9.1.3b – this clause requires the organization to carefully identify, monitor, analyze, and finally evaluate the level of customer satisfaction. Organizations can make use of this clause by implementing the procedure throughout the organization and making sure that each response given by customer is saved and future actions are improved on the basis of those responses. This is to sustain and improve customer satisfaction and customer relationships.

What the standard says in order to help you improve customer relationships

As discussed about ISO 9001:2015 is more focused on customer satisfaction than any other point and encourages to continuously maintain and improve customer relationship. There are some specific components that can be considered while ensuring quality and customer satisfaction. Small Businesses can benefit from these components and build long-term reliable customer relationships with potential customers.

Leadership Requirements

Making sure that the business leaders within the organization are taking extra responsibility can prove to be a good news for the customers. Imagine a scenario, where a business leader takes out time from usual routine to contact organization’s potential customers and take their feedback on the quality of services they received.

This will provide an actual growth and improvement opportunity for the organization and subsequently makes the customers feel more valuable thus resulting in stronger customer relationship. Incorporation of leadership requirements as per the new revised standard organizations can bring potential benefit to the organization.

Performance Evaluation

It is one of the core components of the standard that deals with the overall performance evaluation, specifically with customer satisfaction. Evaluating the performance, taking notice and consistently improving the Quality Management System can help you enhance the quality of products and services but it is important to carefully assess, evaluate and measure the performance when it comes to customer satisfaction.

For any small organization, it is important to have a corrective action system for any customer complaints and queries. A customer can become closer to your organization knowing that you hold a right set of abilities to fix quality problems and prevent further occurrences. Thus, initiating and conforming and a string company-customer relationship.

Controlling External Suppliers

Another key aspect of ISO 9001 customer satisfaction is to control the performance of any other external provider or supplier. In simple words, the better quality services or products you will receive from the suppliers the better it would be for you to deliver hi-end quality assured goods and services to the customers. ISO 9001:2015 standard enables your organization to streamline this process and ensure timely delivery of quality products and services from the external suppliers.

Operational Planning and Control

The ultimate key to satisfying customers is through structured operational planning and control. It always has been considered as the core component of customer satisfaction. The entire production process is included in it, from initiation processes, planning processes, controlling design and development to managing change requests and external supplies/suppliers. In short, the more good and consistent you are with this process the more you will be able to satisfy the demands and requirements of your customers by delivering quality products and services.


We understand that everything a company does to comply with the ISO 9001:2015 Standard will have a direct effect on customers and thus on the customer relationships as well. The more open, transparent and accountable you will be towards your customers the more trust and stronger relationship you will be able to develop with your customers. Thus, it is highly recommended to use and incorporate ISO 9001:2015 Standard and requirements to build valuable customer relationships with your customers based on trust and confidence.

Ensuring to use ISO 9001:2015 as a core foundation can help you gain potential customers and develop and long-lasting bond with existing customers as well. Do not wait for your customers to contact you for auditing, be proactive and invite them for the auditing process yourself.

Get the ISO 9001 Certification Cheat Sheet.