ISO 9001 is one of the most widely used quality standards across the world and presents guidelines intended to increase business efficiency and customer satisfaction. In our previous article we looked at how effective ISO compliance can help companies achieve competitive advantage. Although the benefits of ISO are innumerable and compliance is necessary for any company wanting to achieve sustainable growth, implementing ISO correctly is what decides the amount of benefits that any company can reap from complying to the standards.
The challenges faced during ISO implementation depend on a number of factors such as the size and nature of industry. However there are certain common challenges that almost every organization that implements ISO faces. In this article, we look at some of these challenges.
One of the most important challenge to effective implementation of ISO is management’s commitment to achieving compliance. This lack of management commitment can be due to various reasons such as low education on quality, high top management turnover and low leadership dedication to quality. Top management must understand that registration and certification shall enable the organization to communicate to its customers a clear commitment to quality, that a certification shall improve the business efficiency by eliminating non value added processes. In addition, top management should demonstrate its commitment to quality by communicating to the organization the necessity of meeting customer and statuary requirements, defining the organization’s quality policy and make it known to everyone in the organization and insuring that quality objectives are disseminated to all levels of the organization. A 100% commitment from top management can not only lead to effective ISO implementation but also a culture of continuous improvement.
Lack of proper knowledge regarding ISO compliance and implementation has been one of the major challenges in ISO implementation. Lack of knowledge affects almost every aspect and every stakeholder involved in the process. ISO implementation starts with a solid plan and a complete knowledge of ISO standards and implementation is extremely important to come up with a solid plan. Knowing what you already have in place, knowing what state you are trying to achieve and knowing what needs to change to get to that state are all important steps to effectively implement ISO standards. All this can be achieved only if the team has a complete knowledge of the process and its effects. Lack of proper knowledge is also seen to be one of the major reasons why companies see resistance from stakeholders involved in the compliance process.
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Change is always difficult at the start and met with a lot of resistance. The fear caused by a lack of information about ISO requirements leads to resistance among employees. If the entire team is not onboard, ISO implementation can be extremely difficult and painful process. Employee understanding is critical to employee motivation and thereby success of ISO implementation.
Internal auditing is used as a mean of improvement and to confirm compliance with the requirements of the standards. Audit findings direct the attention of management to the areas where action is required. Lack of experience in performing internal audits is attributed to lack of understanding of the QMS, employee’s level of education, lack of training, and low worker morale. Lack of proper internal auditing has been found to be one of the major challenges in effective implementation of ISO standards.
MyEasyISO offer 12 modules for QMS compliance as per ISO 9001:2015 standard. Internal Audit module of MyEasyISO ensures you meet various requirements specific to Internal Audit defined across the standard in an effective, efficient and simple manner. Comprehensive capabilities of this module ensures all the requirements pertaining to internal audit are addressed in a quick and simplified manner while achieving 100% compliance to ISO 9001:2015 standard.
Funds are needed to institute training programs, provide quality resources, payments for external consultants, payment for auditors, and payment for certification. Lack of sufficient funds can be one of the major hindrances in ISO compliance. Making sure that all the required costs are accounted for right before starting the compliance process is a better way to avoid any problems during implementation.
One of the best ways to tackle these challenges is to hire an external consultant or work with an external product that can provide complete awareness of ISO and at the same time not be too cost intensive.
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