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