“We are an ISO 9001:2008 certified company” proclaims the advertisement. As an common citizen you often see such declaration by companies in mostly consumer goods. Hardly anyone skips a heart beat seeing this, as it does not apparently mean anything to them.
They simply buy what they are accustomed to buy or what the TV or other media caught their attention or the product offers 10/20 % extra for the same price or it has an attached product.
Although not mandatory it is often sought after as others have it or you are supplier to bigger corporate who make it as a condition of supply.
Wikipedia clarifies that” certification refers to the conformation of certain characteristics of an object or a person or organization”. So when a company proclaims that they are ISO 9001:2008 certified company they mean they conform to characteristic specified in the standard for quality management system requirements. We have to hope that the spirit underlying in the standard is not given a goby.
An international organization in Geneva, Switzerland namely ‘International Organization for Standardization’ with an acronym ISO develops international standards. One such standard is ‘ISO 9001:2008 – Quality management system requirements’. In ISO all national standards bodies are members. ISO does produce standards to improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of a company’s operations. Importantly ISO does not perform certification.
The idea is ‘common man’ will stand to benefit if companies in the shrinking world of commerce adopt the guidelines given in the standard and climb on to a common platform created between the supplier and the consumer. Such adoption while establishing and maintaining the quality management system would help them to continually improve its output quality.