The term ISO 9000 is probably familiar to you, whether you work for an organization which has been certified or for one which is still attempting to obtain a certification. In the U.S. alone, thousands of companies have already undergone ISO 9000 certification and many more are applying for one. So what exactly is ISO9001 Quality Management System and what can it offer your organization?
Understanding ISO 9000
ISO is short for ‘isos’, a Greek word that means equal. It is a term meant to encompass everything that what we now know as the ISO quality management system stands for. The term ISO is now used in order to create a single, unifying term that will remain the same regardless of the country or region where it is being practiced.
ISO 9000 is just one series of many ISO standards that are being used by companies and certifying bodies today. When people refer to ISO 9000, they could be referring to either one of two things: the major standard itself or the group of standards under this series.
What is the goal of ISO9000?
The ISO 9000 series is designed to be used as a standard on which organizations can improve trade by creating, refining and improving their key business processes. This, regardless of their physical location.
How does ISO-9000 work?
One thing to remember about ISO 9000 is that it is, at its core, a quality management system. It provides guidelines and a set of standards for organizations to follow and comply with.
To obtain a certification in ISO 9000, an organization must first decide on developing its own quality management system (QMS) based on the ISO 9000 requirements. The standard itself will help regulate the processes involved not just in the creation of the QMS but also in its implementation.
To ensure that the ISO 9000 standards are indeed being followed, monitoring should be performed regularly through internal and in some cases, external auditing.
What types of industries can benefit from ISO 9000?
The ISO 9000 standard is applicable for most business processes and organizations. It covers a wide range of industries, such as manufacturing, servicing, processing, electronics, printing, banking, finance and accounting, telecommunications, fabrication, transportation, sanitation, product design, construction, instrumentation, engineering, insurance, agriculture, food processing, entertainment, forestry, electronics and consulting, to name some.
This means that if your organization is aiming to obtain an TQM certification, there’s a high probability that it will involve the ISO9000:2008 standard.