What does ISO 9001 Certification Mean for Precision Tooling?

You may have heard the term ISO 9001 and if you are like most aren’t quite sure what it is or why ISO 9001 certification is important to you. When American Punch first started the ISO 9001 certification process back in 2009, we were concerned that by initiating manufacturing standards we would box in our machinists’ autonomy and troubleshooting skills. Instead, we learned that by developing, maintaining, and improving quality standards, we actually created a framework for them to flourish.

The best place for us to start is by outlining what ISO 9001:2015 certification actually is along with the benefits of working with a manufacturer that has the ISO 9001 certification.

What is ISO 9001:2015?

ISO 9001 is the world’s most recognized Quality Management System (QMS) standard. ISO certification is proof from a third party that an organization complies with an ISO management standard. It shows key stakeholders that the organization has a well-run business that has structure. It also showcases the stability and that the organization is ready for growth which in turn provides customers and prospective customers confidence in the organization’s capabilities.

To achieve ISO Certification, you have to prove that your business meets the requirements of the standard. The ISO 9001:2015 certification aims to help organizations meet the needs of their customers and other stakeholders more effectively. This is achieved by building a framework to ensure consistent quality in the provision of goods and/or services.

The standard is based on 7 quality management principles, including having a strong customer focus, the involvement of top management, and a drive for continual improvement.

What are the Seven Quality Management Principles of ISO 9001?

The seven quality management principles associated with ISO 9001 certification are:

1.      Customer focus – Sustained success is achieved when an organization attracts and retains the confidence of customers and other interested parties. Every aspect of customer interaction provides an opportunity to create more value for the customer. Understanding the current and future needs of customers and other interested parties contributes to the sustained success of the organization.

2.      Leadership – Leaders at all levels establish unity of purpose and direction and create conditions in which people are engaged in achieving the organization’s quality objectives.

3.      Engagement of people – Competent, empowered and engaged people at all levels throughout the organization are essential to enhance its capability to create and deliver value

4.      Process approach – Consistent and predictable results are achieved more effectively and efficiently when activities are understood and managed as interrelated processes that function as a coherent system.

5.      Improvement – Improvement is essential for an organization to maintain current levels of performance, to react to changes in its internal and external conditions and to create new opportunities.

6.      Evidence-based decision making – Decision making can be a complex process, and it always involves some uncertainty. It often involves multiple types and sources of inputs and their interpretation, which can be subjective. It is important to understand cause-and-effect relationships and potential unintended consequences. Facts, evidence and data analysis lead to greater objectivity and confidence in decision making.

7.      Relationship management – Interested parties influence the performance of an organization. Sustained success is more likely to be achieved when the organization manages relationships with all its interested parties to optimize their impact on its performance. Relationship management with its supplier and partner networks is of particular importance.

For a complete profile of the ISO 9001:2015 requirements, follow this link to ISO.org for the full standards documentation.

Benefits of Being ISO 9001 Certified

While there are numerous advantages to being ISO 9001 certified, here are a few of the primary advantages that an ISO certification can bring to manufacturers: 

Boost Performance and Productivity

The certification engages employees around standardized processes that are put in place to ensure that problems are quickly identified and resolved promptly. Additionally, there are consistent process audits through ISO 9001 that keep employees focused while providing critical feedback when processes deviate from consistency allowing for continual process improvements. 

Defines The Company’s Quality Control Processes

A cornerstone component of ISO 9001 certification is establishing thorough business processes and defining responsibilities for quality control—and equally as important, relaying those specifications to employees. Implementing ISO certification requirements provides valuable key performance metrics, such as on-time delivery, throughput, and overall equipment effectiveness, to accurately reflect a system’s performance. These metrics will help the organization make more educated decisions to improve growth and efficiency.

ISO 9001; ISO 9001 certification; benefits of ISO 9001; manufacturingReduce Waste and Improve Efficiency

Earning the ISO 9001 certification enforces a continuous improvement strategy so that the organization is always seeking ways to reduce waste and improve efficiency. Utilizing the requirements outlined in ISO 9001 will help to first identify areas of waste and then implement preventative measures to avoid wasteful situations. Streamlining these manufacturing operations from the ground up through ISO 9001 means every moving part is as effective as possible rather than discarded or unused. This affords their customers the confidence that pricing is reflective of this reduced waste and improved efficiency. 

Provide an Improved Customer Experience

The ISO 9001 certification process provides an enhanced customer service experience by not only identifying key priorities for customers but also outlining processes to further optimize these priorities based on customer expectations and needs. Products with enhanced quality translate into reduced customer complaints and more satisfied consumers. 

The most successful manufacturers of today know that delivering a better product experience is what will keep customers coming back. Producing a product in a way that reduces waste and cuts costs means that you can bring more value to your customer, which further reinforces the organization’s commitment to their customers.

Increase Confidence in a Manufacturing Business

An ISO 9001 certification demonstrates to both customers and stakeholders that the manufacturing business can deliver high-quality products that meet all industry regulations and are delivered on time. This is crucial for a business, as their products should reflect the measures taken to create consistency and confidence in a global manufacturing market. An ISO 9001 certification also ensures that the business has all of the necessary tools, resources, and equipment to effectively produce its clients’ products.

Why Does ISO 9001:2015 Certification Matter to American Punch?

The ISO 9001 certification not only created significant improvements for us but also helped build a culture of accountability in our manufacturing. A direct byproduct of this was a significant improvement in our customer satisfaction & loyalty. We also recognized several other internal benefits such as growth in employee performance and productivity, improved efficiency, and reduction of waste in both raw material and consumables needed to produce our products.

The ISO 9001 certification has also provided a “hit the ground running” structured process for new hires that join our team. The onboarding process had been a very difficult task in the past due to our diverse product lines within the ironwork side of the business as well as our more custom and precision tooling for the roll forming and metal stamping product lines.

We initially thought of ISO 9001 certification as a way to meet our customers’ requirements. It turned out to be a great opportunity for a reformation of policies, procedures, and standards to help with our continued growth while maintaining our commitment to quality. Our team is here to meet your standards in tooling and manufacturing, so contact us today to estimate your project today.