When International Organization standardization (ISO) was first introduced many felt they were just for manufacturers and large corporations. However, over time the view has changed and small to medium business owners are applying to be accredited but why?

What are ISOs?

International Organization Standards were introduced to answer the question – ‘What is the best way of doing this?’ What started as a way to monitor the weights and measures throughout all organizations, has now grown to include ways in which information is handled and employees are treated.

ISOs are a worldwide accepted group of standards with participating governments having a say in the way they are compiled in order to benefit every organization, regardless of location and industry. It also harmonizes the way businesses work together, smoothing the production of products and international trading. This can help save an organization time and money, regardless where their supply chain and consumer markets are.

The ISO functions closely with the World Trade Organization (WTO) because the organizations have the shared objective of minimizing technical obstacles to trade. The ISO collaborates with various UN agencies and commissions including:

• CODEX Alimentarius, (on food safety),
• The UN Economic Commission for Europe, (on the safety of vehicles and the transportation of goods),
• The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development,
• The United Nations Industrial Development Organization,
• The World Health Organization, (regarding health technology),
• The World Tourism Organization (concerning the quality of tourism-related services) additionally.

The most common ISO being sought

One of the most common ISO organization owners are looking to integrate is those associated with quality management systems – ISO 9000 series. This collection of standards can assist an organization in streamlining its businesses and improving its efficiency. Using standardized practices to focus on key quality management areas within an organization that all employees and directors can follow, keeping everyone on track.

Why are Organizations seeking ISOs?

Organizations are seeking International Organization Standardizations because the accreditation gives consumers the confidence an organization is providing safe, good quality and reliable products. Many organizations have actually experienced an increase in sales and profitability after becoming accredited. It also gives employees the confidence that their health and safety is put first, for those in the manufacturing environment, road industry, and even office environments.

The number of standards is growing, with newer ones being developed to incorporate the changing technology and introduction of new industries. And due to its growing popularity in organizations, there are many vendors who only purchase from suppliers with ISO accreditation to ensure the quality of products they are purchasing, and therefore passing on to their consumers.

Although there is initial cost – consultants to help meet the certification criteria and staff training – the benefit of efficiency and respect in the industry can provide a long-term benefit for organizations. Less time is wasted, and fewer materials are wasted due to tighter quality controls. Employees feel respected and thus creating a more positive working environment, one that job seekers will be looking for.

Want to discover if ISOs are for your business? Then hire a consultant to assist with analyzing your current systems, your supply chain, and consumer markets, and to determine how much your business will benefit from becoming accredited.