“ISO”? What is it all about?

Let us look at two key questions in understanding how ISO Certification will propel your business: what is the ISO? And what is a Standard?

What is ISO?

The ISO’s website (www.iso.org) tells us, “ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer of International Standards which give state of the art specifications for products, services and good practice, covering almost all aspects of technology and business and helping to make industry more efficient and effective”.

Sounds good doesn’t it? “ISO Standards make a positive contribution to the world we live in. They ensure vital features such as quality, ecology, safety, economy, reliability, compatibility, interoperability, efficiency and effectiveness.”

Well what a good start! If we are involved in any industry, or activity, of any kind we would surely want to be “more efficient and effective”.

Back to the ISO’s website; “We are a network of national Standards bodies. These national Standards bodies make up the ISO membership and they represent ISO in their country”. In the UK the application of ISO Rules and Standards is under the control of UKAS, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. In Australia and New Zealand, it is The Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ).

What is a Standard?

So, what is a Standard? “A Standard is a document that provides requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose”.

It’s getting better don’t you think? Just think about that, the ISO Standards offer us a way of our customers being assured we are a safer pair of hands to engage and do business with. What would that do for your sales and ambitions if you could assure your potential customers beforehand?

Back to our friendly website, “ISO International Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality”. You can’t argue with that can you? “For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity”. Can’t really argue with that either! “They help companies to access new markets”. Anybody want to access new markets?

A bit more background and then we’ll move on. “Standards are developed by the people that need them, through a consensus process. Experts from all over the world develop the Standards that are required by their sector. This means they reflect a wealth of international experience and knowledge”. You can rest assured that the best brains in the country have been involved in the development of our appropriate Standards. Standards that are needed by society, by business sectors and indeed by the government will be identified and will be developed with relevant sector partners. Which means that expertise will be brought in by those who understand the needs for the Standards and the desired ramifications of the effort in implementing them and putting them to use. It is this approach that makes ISO Standards so broadly respected and implemented domestically and internationally, and by both private and public sectors.

Dig in a bit longer as there are other things you can’t argue with. The Quality Management Standard 9001 and other Standards that have a Quality Management System as fundamental to their effective application are based on Seven Quality Management Principles which can be used as a guide for improving business performance. These Principles are derived from the collective experience of international experts so we’d expect them to stand up to scrutiny.

So, let us summarise the case for ISO Certification:

  • More efficiency
  • More effectiveness
  • Making us fit for purpose
  • Making us safer and more reliable
  • Minimising waste and errors
  • Increasing productivity
  • Accessing new markets
  • Based on principles that we can use as a guide for improving overall business performance.

Can we afford not to take all this very seriously? Can main contractors and Local Authorities and others who use our services afford not to insist that we do?

The PitchThis team are actively supporting organisations respond to these drivers and signals within bids and sales strategies. Get in touch with us to discuss how we will help you win this new business.

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