Customers often ask us what the tangible benefits are of an ISO 9001 certification.  This can be answered in two ways.

  1. The external benefits are directly tied to marketing your business.
    1. In some industries, ISO 9001 certification is expected, even required by large OEMs, government contracts and other high quality customers.  In those cases, ISO has been used for years to select and qualify vendors.  So, if this is true of your industry, you’d only need to get one new contract to pay for your entire ISO certification project!
    2. In other industries, ISO 9001 is newer and many customers may not know a lot about the certification.  In this case, you’ll have an opportunity to truly differentiate your business from your competitors by showing your customers how ISO has made you a superior vendor-of-choice.

In either situation, it will be important for you to educate your customers about your ISO 9001 certification.  If you’re one of the first in your industry to get certified, you’ll want to show your customers the benefit ISO brings to them by using a vendor that has the ISO 9001 certification.  ISO will ensure you have a more disciplined, structured and professionally run operation that your customers can count on for higher levels of quality.

To help you with educating your customers about your ISO 9001 certification, we include in many of our consulting programs a “Certification Promotional Package” that will provide customized materials you can give to your customers to show how you are using your ISO certification in your business and how it sets you apart from other options your customers may be considering.  One tool provided in the Package is a custom video we will produce that will showcase your ISO 9001 certification and explain how it has improved your business and your performance to your customers.  You’ll be able to put the video on your website to promote your ISO certification or email it to a customer you might be trying to win.

In addition to the video, we’ll provide you with email templates, a professionally written press release, and several other communication tools you can use to make a big impact with your customers once you are certified.

  1. The internal benefits are also twofold.
    1. The first relates to the structured guidelines of the ISO 9001 certification and how you will use them to better define your business processes for your employees.  This will help employees better understand what is expected on the job.  This is especially important as your business grows and brings on new employees in the future.  Most small businesses run very informally when they are small but need to add a level of formality as they grow to ensure the highest quality.
    2. The other key internal benefit is the commitment to continual improvement within your company that must be demonstrated for certification.  Every small company already strives to improve, but lacks a formal improvement process.  ISO 9001 expects ongoing improvement that impacts your company’s performance for your customers.

This, then, ties back to the external benefits to your customers mentioned earlier.  The strongest promotion of your ISO 9001 certification is not the paper certificate you’ll receive, or what you say about it.  But, it’s really in the ever higher levels of quality you’ll reach and that your customers should notice and appreciate.  The reason customers look for ISO certification in their vendors is that they believe they will receive better products and services from certified companies.  Your certification will provide the opportunity to highlight the superior quality you provide to clearly differentiate you from your competition.  This is clearly a win-win with your customers who need to rely on the best suppliers in the market.  You simply will take the opportunity to demonstrate you’re in the top class of your industry.

–Scott Dawson, President of Core Business Solutions, Inc.