The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems standards is designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product or program . ISO 9000 was first published in 1987. Since then it has been several times reviewed and reissued. It deals with the basics of quality management systems and requirements for organizations to meet in order to be certified.
Today the ISO 9001 model has become one of the most globally used management tools. Many customers require that the suppliers should hold ISO 9001 certification, which helps this model to enjoy demand (more than one million organizations across the globe). However, there are people who criticize ISO 9001 arguing that it is wasteful and not useful for all organizations.
For the successful implementation of its activities and sustainable functioning in a competitive market, it is essential for today's enterprises to implement quality management systems. The quality management system is part of the organization's management system, which aims to achieve results in accordance with the quality objectives, to meet the needs, expectations and requirements of stakeholders. In other words, the quality management system — a tool that allows to predict and measure the impact of decisions and ongoing events in the service quality. A range of quality standards have been designed and adapted over the years, with the ISO (International Standardization Organization) family of standards representing set of quality standards utilized by enterprises in order to deliver products and services that meet the customer’s quality requirements.
This paper attempts to reveal the advantages of ISO 9001:2015 which is the latest version of standard that has been adopted after modification of ISO 9001:2008. Advantages that the organization gets after obtaining certification and benefits related with the ISO 9001:2015. After trying to define ISO 9001 series of standards, the paper investigates the usefulness of the standard. Further, the author tries to show limitations related with ISO 9001:2015 certifications. These limitations are mainly heavy documentation and registration costs that firms experience in adopting ISO 9001 model.
In September 2015 the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published the revised version of the ISO 9001which is based on the process model of the 2008 revision. It mainly puts emphasis on Context of the Organization, Leadership and Planning and other changes .
Basic requirement of the ISO 9001:2015 consists in the fact that it continues to require documented procedures or references to them, documentation requirements are much less prescriptive and left more to the organization to define its own needs.
ISO 9001 is not the only standard that outlines requirements for the organization of the quality system. There are other, more specialized standards for quality systems. There is a separate standard for pharmaceuticals, a separate standard for the telecommunications industry, a separate standard for the food industry. A separate standard for automotive component manufacturers is an extended version of ISO 9001.
However, only ISO 9001 got so popular among them in the world. Today we are talking about hundreds of thousands of companies that have received the certificate of ISO 9001.
Fig. 1. Number of ISO certifications worldwide in 2013. Source: ISO survey (2013)
So what are the reasons for this popularity of the standard? There are several reasons:
Firstly, the standard sets out the non-specific («Pallets should not stand on the floor»), and the very general requirements («Staff... should be competent»). These general requirements, in fact, the principles on the basis of which a small kiosk, and a huge corporation can be run. On the one hand, this is a big minus of the standard, as it requires experts to translate the requirements of the standard bureaucratic language with a simple conversational. On the other hand, it is a great advantage as the standard suits and manufacturing, and service organizations of all sectors of the economy.
Secondly, the work itself to prepare for the certification brings a lot of benefit to the company. The standard was written based on years of experience of experts on quality and based on common sense. In general, it is like an exercise for the body, allows you to monitor and maintain the health of the organization.
Lastly, if the organization does not have the ISO 9001 nowadays, it means that the organization is not serious and is unable to provide a minimum degree of order, required for certification.
So managing quality with ISO 9001 requires company to follow basic principle, which is called PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) .
All the processes and activities of the organization must be based on this simple principle. Any management activities should be
− Checked for compliance with the plan (expectations)
− Fixed, if its results do not satisfy the organization.
Benefits of ISO 9001 Model
− It sets up and improves processes by process documentation
− It raises greatly the efficiency of operations
− Gives priority over competitors that don’t have ISO 9001:2015 certification
− It establishes and improves training processes
− It determines responsibilities and roles
− It enhances the ability to improve shortcomings and attract new customers
− It creates relationships which help to keep existing customers
− Provides opportunities for business an international recognition
− Offers thoroughly planned improvements which are based on analysis and documentation
− Demands to review performance constantly.
So, if you apply this version of ISO it is supposed that you will increase productivity and maximize quality of your production. At the same time, by saving time and money you will raise your revenue, which will lead to satisfaction of employees.
Recently, numerous studies have attempted to explain that the disadvantages of applying ISO 9001:2015 to enhance the quality of products and services in organizations may appear when the standard is not implemented properly. In that case, organizations have to pay excessive amount money for consultants and auditors.
Some obvious disadvantages of ISO 9001 are listed below:
− Owners and managers do not have an adequate understanding of ISO 9001.
− Most of companies do not have enough money to adapt the standard, therefore companies are finding difficulties to adopt ISO system.
− ISO 9001 registration need heavy document workload.
− ISO 9001 registration process usually takes a long time.
- Poksinska Bozena, Dahlgaard Jens Jörn, Antoni Marc (2002). «The state of ISO 9000 certification: A study of Swedish organizations». The TQM Magazine. 14 (5): 297.
- «ISO Standards for Softare industry.» [Online]. Available: http://www.ukessays.com/essays/information-technology/history-of-spi-frameworksinformation-technology-essay.php.
- «Guidance on the requirements for Documented Information of ISO 9001:2015.» [Online]. Available: http://www.iso.org/iso/documented_information.pdf