Finding a new supplier can be a pain.
Do they manufacture quality products? Can they do it consistently? Will they act in my best interest should something go wrong?
These are just a few of the questions you might ask yourself when pursuing a new company to supply you with products. And while there are many factors you should look at when making a decision on a new supplier, there is one thing that can take some of the guesswork out of the process - ISO 9001 certification.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent non-governmental organization that develops voluntary standards for numerous industries and goods like manufactured products, food safety, and healthcare. The ISO 9001:2015 standard is a set of rules that are collectively called a quality management system (QMS). This quality management system outlines all of the requirements that a world class company ought to follow to provide the best products and services to its customers. For a company to be certified to the ISO 9001 standard, they must keep meticulous records to demonstrate that they follow all the requirements, and must endure annual audits to prove it.
So what does that all mean for you? Here are three reasons why working with ISO 9001 certified companies is a huge benefit:
Part of a company's quality management system is the creation of documented workflows for their key processes. Documenting manufacturing operations creates a repeatable process that can be continually checked and audited for uniformity. This ensures that the goods that are produced are of consistent quality from job to job.
Documented processes are great, but they should never be set in stone. A company with a good QMS is not content to stand pat - they are always looking for ways to improve the efficiencies of their processes. An eye towards continuous improvement will increase product quality and manufacturing consistency and can also drive down lead times. But improvement does not start and end with manufacturing; an ISO 9001 certified company is looking to improve all of their key processes including (but not limited to) sales, customer service, shipping, inventory, and purchasing.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
Improving internal procedures (like that ones stated above) leads to greater benefits for external stakeholders. An ISO 9001 certified company understands that an unhappy customer is rarely a repeat customer, so they have an eye toward customer expectations and how to meet and exceed them.
Becoming ISO certified (and keeping that certification) is a long, difficult process that consumes all parts of an organization. When you see that a potential supplier has the ISO 9001 certification, you can feel confident that you are dealing with a company that is well-managed, maintains consistent quality, and always has their eye towards customer satisfaction.