A lot of companies believe that obtaining their ISO certification is the difficult part of the certification process. They think that once you’ve achieved their ISO 9001: 2015 (the latest ISO 9001 standard,) for example, they can kick back and relax. In reality, however, now is when the hard work truly begins.
Obtaining your ISO 9001 certification is truly an amazing feat. But, to ensure that your products and services are in line with the level of compliance required by the standard, then you need to monitor and periodically reassess your Quality Management System (QMS) and make any necessary adjustments along the way. Keep in mind that continuous improvement is one of the basic principles of getting ISO certified.
So, here’s what you need to do to maintain your ISO certification.
Implement the Procedures and Ensure They Are Followed
A lot of companies do an excellent job at defining and improving their Standard Operating Procedures (SOP,) but struggle when it comes to implementing them. Of course, it’s almost impossible to go from the Plan to the Do phase overnight. So, you need to make sure that you are taking all the necessary steps to implement the procedures and ensure everybody in your organisation, from the top management to suppliers and contractors is following them.
To maintain ISO 9001 certification also means that you will have to track the activity of your organisation. As time-consuming as it may feel right now, this task will eventually bring lots of valuable data that you can use during the management review phase and help you identify the corrective actions required to improve your procedures.
Train Your Employees
Some SOPs are probably already part of your employees’ daily tasks and they know how to perform them. But, others may require additional training until they become accustomed to them and manage to integrate them into their routines with ease.
While training employees might seem like a major time and resource investment, the good news is that the standard offers the framework for identifying what your organisation needs and planning the training accordingly. That way, you know for sure that every resource is put into improving the organisation and achieving maximum customer satisfaction.
Improve Customer Satisfaction
Defining and implementing the procedures that will make your company ISO compliment isn’t enough. You also need to know how you will determine the level of customer satisfaction. By knowing how happy your customers are with your products or services you can work towards improving them.
Perform Thorough Internal Audits
A thorough internal audit will enable you to collect valuable data regarding the operations of your organisations. That way, you can identify how compliant your procedures are with the standard, how your entire system is performing, and what you can do to improve your processes.
You can also require an external certification audit to verify that your SOPs have been developed and implemented according to the standard.
Best Practice Can Help You Maintain Your ISO Certification
If you are in the process of getting your ISO certification and want to develop and implement a system that will inspire customer satisfaction and continual improvement, then you should take a look at our services.
We are a JAS-ANZ accredited ISO Certification body that can assist your business through this journey and help you make your company more attractive to your customers.