Why Work With An ISO 9001 Certified Manufacturer?
Since May 2002, Distefano has maintained certification with ISO 9001 standards. In a sense, being compliant with these standards is kind of like only hiring AWS certified welders (see our previous blog post on that topic here): It’s a sign for future customers and clients that we’re a partner who will be reliable and dedicated to their product.
Today, we’re going to walk through why clients should look for manufacturing partners who maintain an ISO 9001 certification, how to know, and why the certification differentiates us from manufacturers who aren’t certified. Constantly challenging ourselves to exceed expectations and striving for continuous improvement is what has kept Distefano on the leading edge, and quality management is no different.
What is an ISO 9001 certification, anyway? So, ISO stands for the International Standards Organization, who are responsible for ensuring that products and services are reliable, safe, and good quality. The organization produces several different types of quality management standards, so to become ISO 9001 certified means that we passed a physical ISO 9001 certification audit by a registrar, a certifying agency authorized to grant the authentication.
Our certification means that we meet ISO standards for the design and development of dies, tooling, molds, jigs, and fixtures, as well as the fabrication of constructed dies, tooling, molds, jigs, fixtures, and fabricated products.
Why do manufacturers need international standards? As the ISO notes, “International Standards are the backbone of our society, ensuring the safety and quality of products and services, facilitating international trade and improving the environment in which we live… Conformity to international standards helps reassure consumers that products, systems, and organizations are safe, reliable, and good for the environment.”
Incentivizing companies to meet standards for performance and growth ultimately helps the company grow, which is why the use of standards has helped economies all over the world grow and flourish (see case studies here).
How do ISO standards affect manufacturing quality? Meeting an ISO standard means that your company has chosen to adopt a quality management system that helps the company stay focused and productive. The certification is contingent on repeated audits, both internal and surveillance, which means that an ISO company has to periodically audit quality processes.
The more audits a company performs, the better they’ll be able to determine whether or not their process is resulting in the desired product quality. This, in turn, results in better and more efficiently produced product.
Why do manufacturers need the certification? Does it really mean anything? Of course, advanced manufacturers can just “try harder” to achieve a better performance, but with any ISO quality system, there’s a structure supported by detailed procedures like work instructions, quality manuals, written quality policies, and more: “The key is to provide all those who must execute the quality system with detailed, understandable, and workable instructions which define both expectations and actions to achieve the stated quality goals.”
As a business, being ISO 9001 certified will help you cut costs and improve quality. As a customer, the certification ensures that you’ll be working with a partner who’s truly demonstrated commitment to quality of product. Receiving the certification certainly takes time and effort, and yes, some money, too. However, we feel that quality is worth that time and effort, and that Distefano clients deserve the very best we can provide.
If you have questions about how working with an ISO 9001 certified manufacturer can make a difference for you, leave a comment in the section below!