It is important to remember that if ISO is not implemented correctly then it is likely that you won’t get any benefits. The probability is that it will do harm to your organisation – increasing bureaucracy, creating duplication of effort, pointless maintenance efforts, and higher ISO costs. Worse still, frustration and avoidance of important controls could affect your quality.
But with a good ISO program tangible benefits are there for the taking.
The most commonly cited reason for obtaining ISO certification is the marketing/customer reason. It is reasonable for customers to pressure suppliers to assure the quality of their services and ISO 9001 is an easy way for them to do this. Clearly access to markets, customers and contracts is a tangible benefit of certification. How much benefit will depend on your situation. If your market expects certification (it’s common throughout your industry), and a customer won’t consider your contract quotes unless you are ISO certified, then you need to be certified. If your ISO certification is unique among your competitors then you have a tangible marketing advantage. Even if these influences don’t exist in the market it is still possible to use your certification as an excuse to talk to your customers, to show them how good you are and to promote your organisation. All too frequently organisations get ISO certified and barely tell anyone. Whatever your situation, you have to proactively market your certification in order to realise the benefit. It won’t come knocking. These benefits are real and can be quantified although subjectivity makes it debatable.