ISO Registration – It Just Makes Good Business Sense!
Whether you manufacture a product or are in the service sector – a private organization or a government agency – “ISO” is a fundamental business model. It is the foundation from which to build an enterprise. It focuses attention on organizational processes, your customers (internal and external), competency-based training, and continual improvement. That translates to improved business results.
ISO-based standards rely on eight quality management principles that can be used to lead and improve any organization. A pragmatic approach, however, is essential. It should ensure needed checks and balances, and a framework for operating efficiently and effectively. When your ISO initiative is integrated into your strategic business plan, it links strategy to execution. Attention is focused on doing the right job – right the first time.
ISO Benefits Abound
ISO helps an organization see itself from the customer’s perspective. And it makes a strong business case. It provides the framework for discipline and a formal, strategic approach to continual improvement. “So what,” you say. Consider this. Surveys have conclusively proven that organizations that adopt a formal and strategic approach to quality management:
- Outperform their industry sectors in profitability
- Outperform their industry sectors in shareholder value
- Enjoy higher levels of customer satisfaction & loyalty
- Experience reduced operating costs
- Enjoy lower rates of staff turnover
A recent five-year study conducted by UCLA, University of Maryland and Universidad Carlos III in Madrid concluded: US publicly held companies, traded on the NYSE that received ISO 9000 registration, show significant improvement in financial performance, compared to those companies that have not pursued the Standard. Not only did the ISO registered firms improve their performance, but the Study further concluded that the firms that failed to seek registration experienced substantial deterioration in return on assets, productivity and sales. Registered companies avoided such declines.
This presents an interesting paradox. There are typically three primary drivers for ISO 9000 registration. The first is customer and regulatory demand (about 45% of survey respondents). The second is the resultant quality benefit (about 30% of survey respondents). And the last significant driver is securing a competitive advantage – increased sales and market share (about 15%). Other categories account for the difference. Draw your own conclusions.
Although you may have embarked upon an ISO initiative because of external pressure, or simply to improve quality, leverage the certificate to improve business results. Since the “competitive advantage” driver is a distant third behind “quality benefits,” any organization that earns this registration should market it aggressively to accelerate growth of sales.
The key is to gain market visibility. Broadcast it to the world and they will come. The more clients and prospects who are aware of your achievement, and what it conveys in terms of product or service quality, the better your odds of capturing new business. And by its very nature, ISO registration is like the “Good Housekeeping Seal,” but better, since it is recognized around the world.
Respect ISO Guidelines
Be careful to follow ISO guidelines for promoting your registration. The ISO logo itself cannot be directly used in marketing promotions. Ask your Registrar if they have a logo you can use, or create one yourself. Be sure it includes the full ISO designation, such as “ISO 9001:2000 Certified.” And remember, only your quality management system (QMS) or environmental management system (EMS) is certified, not your entire organization—or your products/services. register a business