Customer satisfaction is essential for any business. Working to recognised quality management standards can help you to meet customer expectations, time and time again.

To meet a quality management system standard you need to set up a system to improve the key processes you use to provide your products and services - allowing you to deliver consistently on your promises.

The ISO 9000 series is the best-known set of standards against which you can measure your quality management system. Achieving it could be a good investment for your business, giving you the edge over competitors. Equally, many large businesses and public-sector organisations only offer lucrative contracts to suppliers with ISO 9001 certification.

This guide explains how businesses can benefit from setting up a quality management system and sets out how you can achieve certification against a quality standard.Quality management standards

Quality Management Standards

What are quality management system standards and how can they benefit you?

Quality management system standards establish a framework for how a business manages its key processes. They can help, whether you offer products or services and regardless of your size or industry. They can also help new businesses start off on the right foot by ensuring processes meet recognised standards, clarifying business objectives and avoiding expensive mistakes.

To achieve a standard you'll first need to implement a quality management system in your business. All employees will need to follow agreed processes for your key activities, which can help you to:

  • achieve greater consistency in the activities involved in providing products or services
  • reduce expensive mistakes
  • increase efficiency by improving use of time and resources
  • improve customer satisfaction
  • market your business more effectively
  • exploit new market sectors and territories
  • manage growth more effectively by making it easier to integrate new employees
  • constantly improve your products, processes and systems
  • For example, the quality system of a manufacturing business might include looking at more efficient manufacturing processes or speeding up distribution.

    The ISO 9000 series of standards is the main set of International Standards applying to the management of quality systems. It includes ISO 9001, the key internationally agreed standard for quality management systems. Businesses can be certified against this standard when they meet its requirements.

    Achieving ISO 9001 certification could mean new business. Not only can it help distinguish you from competitors - many large businesses and public-sector organisations require suppliers to be ISO 9001 certified. It's a globally recognised achievement, so may lead to a higher profile and increased business overseas.

    For more information on ISO 9001, go to the Businesslink website on: www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/layer?topicId=1074431977