What is ISO 9001? That is a question often asked by business managers hoping to
participate in the import export to China international trade. ISO 9001 is an international
standard that identifies the requirements for establishing a system to manage your
processes and organization to better serve your customers. The ISO 9001 is a Quality
Management System that brings standards and consistency to everyday activities. Processes
within an ISO 9001 organization are monitored and analyzed for continuous improvement.
one million companies around the world from small businesses to large corporations
have received their ISO 9001 certifications over the past 20 years. It all began
with the business owners and managers asking the question, "what is ISO 9001?".
Benefits of ISO 9001 Certification
The ISO 9001 Quality Management System provides numerous value and benefits to the
Improving a Company's Way of Doing Business
The ISO 9001 helps an organization to bring consistency to its processes using standardized
definitions. By doing so, it will result in fewer defects and greater efficiencies.
Higher return on investment (ROI) will come from fewer defects and waste during
Meeting Customer Demands
Within a global economy, many companies are using ISO 9001 certification as selection
criteria for choosing suppliers. Having the ISO 9001 designation demonstrates that
a potential supplier has a quality supply chain. It is much easier for a company
to ask for ISO 9001 certification than having to try to audit the supplier on an
The ISO 9001 standards include embedding preventative action processes within the
organization to proactively reduce the number of problems from occurring. If an
issue does arise, a standardized corrective action process is implemented to prevent
the problem from reoccurring.
Having an ISO 9001 designation gives a potential supplier a competitive advantage
over companies which do not have it. Reduction of waste will also free up additional
resources for organizations to allocate more funding to marketing activities.
Under ISO 9001, companies are required to set objectives, monitor processes, analyze
performance and take corrective action. The requirement for consistency and standards
within ISO 9001 results in greater efficiencies and reduced waste.
Boost Customer Confidence
Possessing ISO 9001 may often be a shortcut to getting acceptance as a supplier whether
you are interested in importing from China or exporting to China. A potential supplier
must also demonstrate the ability to consistently meet and exceed customer needs
over a long term relationship. The ISO 9001 standards bring structure and processes
into the company to ensure its long term success.
ISO 9001: 2008 Quality Management Principles
There are eight Quality Management Principles within the ISO 9001: 2008 standards
version which were derived from the ISO 9000: 2005 standards. Such principles facilitate
the creation of a management system that continuously improves performance and the
meeting of the needs of all parties. The eight principles include:
Meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
Leadership involvement in creating an internal environment that fosters achieving
Employee involvement at all levels within the organization.
Managing tasks and activities as processes.
Processes are managed together as a system.
Striving for continuous improvement.
Data based decision making.
Building a win win relationship with suppliers.
ISO 9001:2008's Eight Sections
Here is a quick overview of ISO 9001:2008's eight Sections:
Section 1: Scope of ISO 9001: 2008
This section describes the purpose of the ISO 9001: 2008 standard which is to focus
on meeting customer requirements. It is also applicable for achieving legal and
regulatory requirements. The standard is broad covering all industries and products.
Section 2: Normative Reference
The ISO 9001: 2008 normative reference (refers back to) is the ISO 9000: 2005. It
refers to the quality management systems - fundamentals and vocabulary. The definitions
and from ISO 9000 may be used to clarify the ISO 9001 requirements.
Section 3 - Terms & Definitions
This section outlines the key definitions and terms used within the ISO 9001 standard.
The key definitions for organizations (the entity implementing the standard), suppliers
(from whom organizations buy goods), and customers (to whom organizations serve)
are found here. Product is defined as the result of a process.
Section 4 - General Requirements
There is a high level summary of the standard within this section. The requirements
for document and record control are outlined here as well as the specifics on a quality
Section 5 - Management Responsibility
Top level management commitment is required to develop, implement and continuously
improve a quality management system. There are 5 additional requirements for top
management to engage in: internal communications; appointment of management representative;
responsibilities are defined and communicated; quality management system is planned
and maintained; and customer requirements are met.
Section 6 - Resource Management
Resources such as equipment, tool and facilities must be planned and maintained.
Training is also required for employees, human resource working on company equipment.
Section 7 - Product Realization
Processes are used to convert resources into goods and services. This section focuses
on production and processes.
Section 8 - Measure, Analyze and Improve
Processes that drive improvements are covered here. Such processes include auditing,
analysis, customer satisfaction and corrective or preventative steps.