Scroll Top
Newbury ~ 01635 595123
Warrington ~ 01925 206123

ISO 9001 – The secrets to a successful business

The secrets to a successful business according to ISO 9001

Why ISO 9001? When you go about your normal business, day to day, does anything irritate you? Have you ever thought you could do things better? Or maybe, you would like to sort out something that always causes problems of some sort. I think this is a common thought at the back of everyones mind at some point. Well, it is certainly a thought in your customers mind. Customers will nearly always have something to say about how your business could be improved for them. Consequently, you should be focussing on the things that work well and please your customer.

Actually, I hear you say, we do pretty well already. In fact, I am pretty sure that you do. Afterall, you are reading this article. Congratulations! Doing well and and wanting to do better is what this article is all about. You would not be here, getting information about an ISO 9001 project, if it were not. So, lets go deeper.

1. Purpose

What are you in Business to achieve? Your prime motivation is often the fun part of business, but it is also the part that often goes down well with the customers. The part you enjoy and do well, is what you get a kick out of, and if you are successful, it will also be what motivates sales. Put into words your purpose for the business. You might surprise yourself. A business purpose defines the reason a company became established. It describes what makes a business unique. Often the purpose sets out what the business plans aim to achieve.

A business purpose is not a mission or value statement and is much shorter than both. It is a succinctly stated reason for doing what your business does. So, once you have set out a purpose all sorts of clarity begins to emerge about what is good, and what is perhaps, not so good. Sorting those out almost immediately gives you some tools to improve – or at least to make a start. It is also one of the prime reasons ISO 9001 helps you improve your business. Because, ISO 9001 makes you get down to the fundamentals, like, for example, “what we do here”, your business purpose.

2 Decision Making – ISO 9001 clicks into action!

Effective Decision Making is key to business success. Decisions need to be effective and implemented. They do not need to be perfect. They need to get the job done, keep things rolling and bring on a profit. Ah, but there is the rub. Many businesses do that, but only the good ones get past the initial phase and really build business growth. However, ISO 9001 goes one step further. It builds into your business model ‘Fact Based Decision Making’. This is where the big guys with the big profits really score. As a result of having the facts on hand, they make informed, logical and planned decisions. Therefore, in simple steps, ISO 9001 leads you through that process and puts the facts clearly in front of you.

3. What makes your business different in the customer’s mind?

ISO 9001 is not a template for your business. All organisations are different. No, it is a template for doing things right and doing them well. ISO 9001 defines the way that good business’ work. However, it demands that you put sound management principles into your business. To do that, you need to know about your business first. So, start with what makes your business unique. Captialise on that. Engage with your customers and define your unique points of success in thier minds.

4. Define & document repeatable Processes

Every business has processes. They are the workflow of your business. In basic terms every business starts with the inputs to the business. Then, your processes are the things you do to make your product or delivery your service. Your processes add value to your inputs. You make something, do something, create something. Finally, the process ends with what you actually output for your customers. This, the end result of your work, is the part that pleases your customer. If you are really keen to ensure your business does it right first time every time, then set a standard. That standard is set out in documented processes. Everyone can then be trained to do the right thing every time.

5. Monitor your Business

Earlier, we spoke of “Fact based decisions”. So, identify the important drivers for your Business. Define and monitor your Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). In ISO 9001 this is fundamental. Measure what you need to know. If you do not have success indicators for you business how will you know if you are successful – doing well or badly. Key performance indicators tell you where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Once you have good KPI’s you will be able to save money, raise sales and improve the quality of your product or service.

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”
~ William A. Foster

ISO 9001 is all about getting it right, first time, every time.
ISO 9001 is all about getting it right, first time, every time.

6. ISO 9001 helps you Manage the Finances and your Time

Many businesses go through hard growing pains. Often if feels like the Finances and the Business manage you. Not the other way around. Firefighting, struggling to stay ahead of the challenges, is draining and demotivating. ISO 9001 puts your finger on the pulse. It provides a set of well-defined systems that help you to combine all the aspects of good management into a well-oiled management machine.

In ISO 9001 you decide how those systems should be operated in your business, using the management principles in the Quality System. Managing finance, managing time, in fact managing all your work processes, will start to take a regular and effective part of your overall business control. When every part of the management process has a properly defined place in your system, suddenly you will find your time freed up. Good managment is about successful achievement, using repeatable systems and well organised work processes. Effectively, if you get organised, you will have the time to grow your business and make informed decisions.

7. Manage your Risks

We operate in a volatile Business environment. Nothing stands still for long in modern business. Consequently, we are constantly challenged by risks associated with change and development. Many businesses simply freeze, or worse, go under when risks are unforeseen. ISO 9001 is a powerful organiser of business information, corporate responsibility, legal obligations and fact-based data. You simply do not comply with the ISO 9001 Standard unless you have these things organised. And, if you don’t have them organised? Well, businesses like that go under every day. So, ISO 9001 helps you organise for these pressures. Consequently, you will rest easy at night knowing you have the risks controlled and the systems to support problems.

Putting it all together

The determinators discussed above are the basis of ISO 9001 Quality Management Standard. To comply with the standard these principles should be incorporated into a well-run management system. The principles are all set out in the Standard. Each of the different aspects of the system helps you support other parts of the system. ISO 9001 provides a complete management axis for good organisation and control of your business.

However, it is easy to fall into a simple trap. Many ISO support organisations can get you to comply with the standard. At CHARTER4 we believe in going one step further. After many years of experience, we can help you improve your business, rather than just comply.

We would like to listen to your ideas. Our work is based upon a commitment to business improvement and growth. To find out more about working towards ISO 9001 certification, please contact us. Simply press one of the buttons below.

Certification with Charter 4 – the Business Benefits
  • Improve, rather than just comply.
  • Full service and ongoing support to compliment your resources.
  • Build on your Processes & Systems (no standard templates).
  • Help defining your Best Practice.
  • Certification by independent UKAS accredited Assessors.
  • 100% Success & guaranteed support until Certification.
  • Help to get Government Grant (when available).
  • Flexible support to complement your resources.
CHARTER4 – Partners you with the experience and insight to help you grow using management Standards. We will help you improve your business, rather than just comply with the Standards.
Charter4 - We partner with you to help you grow using management Standards. [Article Name: The Biggest Mistakes with ISO 9001]