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Which ISO Certification Is Best for Your Company?

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  • Digital Team 

With increased competition from formidable opponents operating at an international level, organizations are forced to provide high-quality products and services to their customers and forever improve themselves to survive in today’s market. The most successful companies are rarely ever happy with the “status quo”. For many enterprises, complying with the ISO standards internationally agreed upon by the experts is of the greatest importance because these recommended practices help reduce costs and boost productivity, regardless of the industry sector. 

ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization – it’s an NGO that consists of standards bodies from more than 160 countries, which share and pool together their resources and knowledge to develop and promote best practices for working conditions, technology, scientific testing processes, social issues, etc. An ISO standard is a basically widely acknowledged way of doing something. Everyone must follow the same set of guidelines, irrespective of their location, which results in a safer, more uniform end result; the rules may be adapted to fit individual needs, though. 

ISO Compliance Isn’t Compulsory, But Becoming Certified Helps Establish Credibility  

More often than not, ISO compliance isn’t required by the law, but it offers a wide array of benefits that make it worthwhile for businesses…for example, becoming ISO-certified is a way for organizations to enhance their reputation, bringing in new customers and encouraging customers to make purchases, as it demonstrates a commitment to quality. In other words, securing an ISO certification can pay huge dividends for your business, making it easy to attract and enable third parties to work with you. 

Certification represents a guarantee that an enterprise’s service, product, or system meets the stringent requirements of ISO, in other words, that it’s put in place effective processes and trained staff to deliver consistently impeccable results again and again. Becoming an ISO-certified business is a time-consuming process that can potentially disrupt your operations, so before taking any steps in this direction, know that not all are alike, so proper vetting is strongly encouraged. For a complete and up-to-date list of standards, please check the ISO catalog. 

The Most Important ISO Standards Currently in Place Are: 

ISO 9001 – Quality Management  

The world’s best-known ISO standard compels companies to assess their performance every now and then to ensure their quality management system is in tip-top shape, and that helps them be more efficient and foster strong customer relationships. Based on your own evaluation of the system, you can present a self-declaration of conformity. Equally, you can invite a third party, in many instances an independent certification body, to audit the quality system; ISO doesn’t do certifications, even if its Committee of Conformity Assessment elaborates the standards accompanying the certification process.  

If you’re determined to get certified for the ISO 9001 standard, consider attending training courses ahead of time to gain sufficient knowledge and expertise about quality management systems to drive continual improvement. Standards Courses makes available accredited online courses designed for learners of all levels that can help you strengthen your business journey, no matter if you’re just starting out or hoping to grow further. And bear in mind that not making this decision is one of the worst things you can do for your scaling efforts.   

ISO 14001 – Environmental Management 

ISO standards that have reference to environmental management help organizations reduce their carbon footprint, which is the sum of emissions caused directly/indirectly by a business’ activities. By willingly certifying to ISO 14001, you earn the respect of your peers, not only the players you play with but also the ones you play against, and build trust with industry regulators and the public, which is concerned about climate change and pollution. The established norm covers many aspects, from waste management to resource usage. 

ISO 22000 – Food Safety

Businesses that supply food have to meet the highest production standards to satisfy public demand and ensure what they offer is safe, nutritious, and of high quality. The ISO 22000 standard can be initiated/applied by any company in the food manufacturing industry and the related supply chain to ensure the well-being of consumers and achieve long-term success. 

According to the guidelines, it’s paramount to: 

  • Implement a food safety policy to demonstrate your commitment with actions (not words)
  • Focus attention and activities on preventing/minimizing exposure to pathogens
  • Plan and design a food safety management system, which consists of a trained team, hazard plan, traceability, and proper documentation
  • Hold management review meetings to measure your food safety performance

Everyone wants to be sure the food they eat is always safe, so if you want to run a successful culinary business, be certain the ISO 22000 guidelines align with your policies, processes, and operating procedures. 

ISO 27001 – Information Security 

It’s of big help to companies as they can better manage their information security by addressing people, processes, and technology, which can sometimes feel like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. ISO 27001 provides organizations with the much-needed know-how for implementing data encryption and, in this way, proving to customers and partners their information is in good hands. High-profile stories about cyberattacks are all too common. Because it’s internationally recognized, certification to ISO 27001 can lead to a positive brand reputation and an improvement in your bottom line. 

Concluding Thoughts 

As an entrepreneur, you need to drill down in more detail to figure out where to focus your improvement efforts to make your business more attractive to buyers if the time comes for you to sell, of course. Being certified to one of the ISO standards discussed earlier simplifies your wider regulatory requirements and helps demonstrate you’re a brand that can be trusted, but keep in mind that the process varies depending on the standard and the certifying body.  

If you want to get your organization ISO-certified because your customers demand it, you must become compliant with the best practices that are generally accepted by your clients. Going beyond and above what’s expected of you will help your business flourish. Maintaining consistency and quality is challenging nowadays, but it shows commitment to greatness, which can be easily recognized by others.

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