Solutions for Safety & Workplace Communication
Written by Steve Hudgik
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world's largest developer and publisher of international standards for private business. ISO 9001 is a set of volunteer standards the ISO developed to help businesses achieve globally accepted quality management practices. These standards are published as a book known as ISO 9001:2008 Quality management systems — Requirements.
The standards provided within this book are requirements businesses use to comply with ISO 9001. Achieving ISO 9001 compliance helps businesses deliver improved quality, curtail waste, increase productivity and reduce customer complaints. These standards are written for businesses of all sizes and types so each must meet the same requirements to achieve compliance.
Once a business feels they are meeting or exceeding all of the standards required by ISO 9001, they invite a third party to conduct an audit. If the third party finds all standards are indeed being met, the business is recognized as ISO 9001 compliant. For most businesses, following ISO 9001 principles may open the door to many new contracting opportunities.
ISO 9001 has benefits beyond improving just quality. For example, ISO 9001 improves safety through hazardous elimination practices, audits and the institution of a formal corrective process. A 2010 Harvard Business School study by Levine and Toffel reveals that "ISO adopters had far lower organizational death rates than matched firms within their industries." The study also notes ISO adopters, "… were more likely to report no injuries for workers' compensation in the years following adoption."
ISO 9001 includes eight general principles:
Organizations depend on their customers. Therefore, they should understand current and future customer needs and meet customer requirements while striving to exceed customer expectations.
Leaders establish unity of purpose and direction of the organization. They should create and maintain the internal environment in which people can become fully involved in achieving the organization's objectives.
People at all levels are the essence of an organization and their full involvement enables their abilities to be used for the organization's benefit.
A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process.
Identifying, understanding and managing interrelated processes as a system contributes to the organization's effectiveness and efficiency in achieving its objectives.
Continual improvement of the organization's overall performance should be a permanent objective of the organization.
Effective decisions are based on the analysis of data and information.
An organization and its suppliers are interdependent and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both to create value.
Effective communication in a facility starts with quality labels and signs. Good visual communication plays an essential role in achieving ISO 9001 compliance. Change can be difficult. Labels and signs are used to supply needed information to ensure changes are understood, old habits are broken and new procedures are followed.
With a DuraLabel printer in your facility, you have the ability to make custom labels and signs on demand. This way, your labels and signs can be custom designed to address the specific information your facility needs to visually communicate. Call 1-888-326-9244 today and ask about how a DuraLabel industrial label printers can help your facility ensure ISO 9001 compliance.