ISO stands for International Organisation for Standardisation, which is an independent non-governmental body that brings together experts from all over the world to develop various international standards. The goal of ISO is to support innovation and provide solutions at a global scale meant to help businesses overcome various challenges.
If you’re wondering if your business should become ISO-certified, here’s everything you need to know about how this certification helps you reach your business goals, and where it stands in the global market.
A Closer Look at ISO Standards
Being ISO-certified means far more than having another piece of paper one can add to their wall. ISO standards are designed to provide a form of unification to companies and organisations that can empower them to reduce costs, simplify their processes, and become more efficient.
From the consumer’s perspective, on the other hand, it is all about quality. ISO standards help establish a set of expectations regarding the quality of products and services companies offer at an international level, and in many ways getting such a certification can help companies be more trustworthy in the eye of the public.
This is also because getting ISO-certified is a rather serious process, and companies must meet strict requirements.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the most common ISO standards:
- ISO 9000 – Quality Management Series – is one of ISO’s best-known standards, which can help a company meet consumer expectations and regulatory demands, and among others;
- ISO 14000 – Environmental Management System – places emphasis on environmental impact guidelines, how companies can reduce their impact on the natural environment, and how to promote sustainability;
- ISO 45001 – Occupational Health & Safety Management System – establishes a clear framework for employee safety as a means to reduce hazards and risks for worker injuries or illnesses;
- ISO 27000 – Information Security Management Systems – increases the safety of digital/informational assets, and helps organisations better manage their intellectual property, employee data, and even financial information.
What Are the Global Advantages of an ISO Certification?
Having a company comply with any global standard that has the explicit goal of promoting quality is a wise decision to make, especially if your company operates at an international level.
Such credentials can be very useful especially if you are trying to enter a particular market in which the target audience doesn’t know you yet. Consumers can gain confidence in your products and services a lot faster if they know your operations, products and services meet ISO standards in an official capacity.
But at a global scale, an ISO certified has the potential to support a company’s efforts for growth and improvement.
Bellow, you have some of the most compelling advantages to become ISO-certified, and why it’s important globally:
1. Becoming More Competitive
Competition levels can run high in certain industries, and companies often struggle to win the race and set themselves apart from competitors. But though ISO-certifications, companies can gain an incredible advantage, especially if their competitors are slow to roll out these ISO-related changes.
Better, more efficient companies will always take the lead in any industry. The process of getting certified involves analysing and improving internal operations, management styles, and even the final result you put out for your target audience. This provides many secondary benefits such as reducing costing, optimising operations, and even support your scaling efforts, which can all lead to the company becoming more competitive in its field.
2. Increasing Revenue
ISO-certified companies will take a closer look at their internal operations across departments, and strive to optimise them as a way of becoming more efficient.
For instance, the ISO 14000 – Environmental Management System which helps companies become more sustainable could lead the company to reduce certain costs, which means an additional revenue that can be invested somewhere else. Sustainability is also an increasingly-desired feature among more environmentally-conscious consumers who may navigate to companies that share their same values.
3. Attracting Valuable Partners
Consumers aren’t the only players that could potentially notice an ISO certification – potential partners and shareholders could as well.
Especially for a company that operates internationally, attracting the right people to support your operations is essential to breaking new markets. Through an ISO certification, you are sending the right message in terms of quality (both of product, and the company itself), which could potentially make establishing long-term partnerships that much easier.
4. Improved Credibility and Recognition
ISO is recognised worldwide, and a company associated with it will have a much easier time establishing itself as credible, even in foreign markets. Certification can therefore even support your company’s branding and marketing efforts, which are designed to increase public awareness of your products and services.
How to Become ISO-Certified
Though they develop the international standards, ISO is not involved in the process of certifying companies, which can be a bit confusing for those looking to hold such a credential.
ISO certification is performed by external bodies, such as a company or an organisation that can help a business navigate the process. Such certification bodies can operate differently, so the process of becoming ISO-certified can take on different shapes.
The involvement of the certification body can differ as well. Some companies such as Best Practice can have a more hands-on approach and guide companies throughout the process to help them become certified, while others may only offer assessment services.
While ISO says it’s not mandatory, it does recommend companies opt for an accredited certification body when trying to become ISO-certified. Non-accredited bodies don’t necessarily equal unofficial, and you may still get the certification, but accredited bodies can provide independent confirmation of competence.
Over to You
ISO certification is a good strategic move for businesses who want their products and services to have more success nationally and internationally. From consumers to potential stakeholders and investors, the prospects of an ISO certification can potentially open many doors that lead to real financial growth.
Regardless of the type of ISO certification you want, it’s important to understand that the process will require time, effort, and the understanding that your operations will need to improve in many areas.
The benefits of becoming ISO-certified are grand and can support a business’ activities at a global scale, but for these benefits to come to life companies need to put in the long hours and improve themselves.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.