ISO-certified companies are independent, nongovernmental, international organizations that develop standards to ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of products, services, and systems. Although ISO 9001:2008 is not a business requirement, it is the only standard among the ISO 9000 grouping that offers businesses the opportunity to become certified.
Therefore, let’s say you’re vetting companies for a particular product or service – including ISO-certified companies and organizations as one of your metrics can help, especially if the decision boils down to more than one candidate. Each prospect may offer competitive pricing, a quality product or service, and decent customer reviews. But checking to see if they are an ISO-certified company that backs up their credibility first is a vital step.
ISO-certified companies recognize international standards that represent an organization’s commitment to providing products or services that are safe, reliable and of excellent quality. There are many types of ISO certifications (for example, ISO 9000, ISO 14000, ISO 26000) and if a company has one, it means it went through rigorous audits (and certification bodies) to get it.
Benefits of ISO Certified Companies
Customer-Side Advantages of ISO 9001 Certification
The ISO 9001:2008 certification applies to any size and type of business. Generally speaking, ISO 9001:2008 improves the effectiveness of a company’s Quality Management Systems by requiring organizations to define and improve their processes and procedures. The primary focus of this certification is to empower companies to effectively and consistently meet customer requirements and expectations.
The certification process can take anywhere from three to six months to complete, and certification holders must re-certify annually. Why should you care? Because ISO-certified companies mean significant benefits for customers, including the following.
A Superior Customer-Centric Experience
Customer satisfaction is a core pillar of the ISO 9001 standard. ISO certified companies that maintain certification understand their processes with incredible detail, which empowers them to find opportunities for improvement more easily. And because recertification is an annual requirement, ISO 9001-certified companies are in a state of constant refinement to provide the best possible customer experience, year after year.
Reduced Cost of Service
ISO 9001 certification pushes ISO-certified companies to reach optimal operational efficiency. Greater efficiency lowers the cost of operation, which impacts a company’s bottom line and the rates that get passed on to customers.
Consistent Level of Quality
If a company has its ISO 9001 certification, it’s been shown through audits that operations are systematic and effectual, including the handling of customer complaints. All certified companies are required to have a system in place for detecting how and why a problem occurred, how to resolve it, and what needs to change (operationally) to ensure the same problem doesn’t happen again. We call this problem-solving strategy “root cause corrective action,” and it is a cornerstone of consistent quality service that meet your needs.
The ISO 9001 certification process brings a company’s employees and departments together. It gets everyone working toward the same goals, holds everyone accountable for their part in the process, and ensures that everyone understands and works according to the same family of standards. This degree of collaboration translates into quality service that customers can trust.
iCONN Systems: ISO 9001 Certified
iCONN Systems is proud to be in the ISO 9000 family. We have been an ISO 9001:2008 certified company since 2014. The company just passed the ISO 9001 recertification audit (which entailed 26 hours of auditing) without a single corrective action or finding. iCONN was found particularly adept at reducing the risk of defects that can contaminate an entire product batch by routinely segregating parts using CNC dump bins. The audit also revealed that our internal document and record management system is well developed, and our training videos are highly effective.
Immediately following our recertification, iCONN will undergo another update to our processes, systems, and procedures to be in compliance with a new ISO 9001:2015 standard. The 2015 standard encourages greater participation from top management, incorporates greater risk management to help organizations identify risk before it happens, and makes it easier for organizations to adopt and align other standards.
Other Areas We Excelled In
iCONN Systems is committed to the methods and models of the quality management system described in the ISO 9001:2008 standard. With a commitment by senior management to monitor, measure, and improve quality, our current customers, potential customers, and suppliers will experience ongoing improvements that will increase their satisfaction and value. Here are the ways we excelled in our latest audit.
1. Web-Based Project Management Tool
The first of our two positive comments regarded our utilization of a web-based project management tool, Basecamp, that we use to communicate with one another, share files, discuss opportunities, and assign tasks. Per the auditor's feedback, our method of documentation “was shown to be a very effective control tool for managing the internal processes and tracking activities completed.”
2. iCONN's Infrastructure
The second positive comment regarded our infrastructure. At iCONN, we strive to achieve a high level of cleanliness and organization, and we are currently in the process of organizing our production facility according to Lean Manufacturing’s 5S methodologies. While we are in the very early stage of 5S, the auditor found “the overall cleanliness, organization, and layout of the production areas was very good.”
3. Additional Feedback
Additional feedback that we received noted “of other companies on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best, iCONN is an 8. With this being your [iCONN's] first surveillance audit, the quality management system is very mature for such a new system.”
Further Benefits of Working with an ISO 9001:2008 Company
Internal benefits from ISO 9001 include improved and established training processes, defined roles and responsibilities, increased ability to troubleshoot, and improved financial performance. By focusing on core business processes and procedures centered on continuous improvement, ISO 9001:2008 has been statistically proven to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. It is for these reasons that iCONN SYSTEMS, LLC has chosen to establish a Quality Management System (QMS) and work toward becoming an ISO 9001:2008 certified business.
Our business model has been developed around a total design concept that considers application constraints, durability, ergonomics, and even audio and tactical features that provide cost-effective, robust quality solutions that meet and exceed any level of pricing and service required to provide the value necessary to assure our customers’ success.
Start Working with an ISO 9001 Company
Are you working with ISO-certified companies? This is just one of the many ways a connector engineering company can add value to their services and preserve a high-quality standard of customer satisfaction.
To learn more about how to maximize your partnership with a connector engineering partner, check out the article, “5 Mistakes in Cable Connector Assemblies and How to Avoid Them.”
If you have any questions for us, be sure to contact our team today!