You can think that the quality of a product or service is a rather ambiguous concept, or at least subjective. And it certainly can be, since it depends a lot on the criteria with which it is measured. For this reason, there are “standards” that allow unifying criteria and give the possibility of assessing quality, in such a way that it can be certified by a quality certificate and assure, to those who receive a service or purchase a product, that the same meets these quality criteria.
For these purposes, the most recognized body worldwide is the ISO International Organization for Standardization, and this, in turn, is made up of standardizing organizations in more than 160 countries. The objective of ISO is to facilitate, at an international level, the exchange of products and services of all kinds, and is responsible for issuing quality certifications for this purpose.
Although it may not seem like it at first glance, the possibility of a company or organization being able to certify the quality of its products allows it to increase its circle of clients and its competitiveness in the market. And from the point of view of consumers, it helps to generate confidence about the product to be purchased or the service to be received; In addition, these certificates generally take customer satisfaction highly into consideration.
Advantages of obtaining a Quality certificate
Today, many sectors of the economy suffer from markets overloaded with supply, where competitiveness is summarized by the added value that a product or service can champion. And it is precisely there where quality certificates can make a difference, increasing competitiveness in these hostile markets.
Beyond competitiveness, certifying the quality of a product or service is a process that requires a true commitment to improving the internal processes of the company; therefore, obtaining a quality certificate finally translates into obtaining the following benefits:
A quality certificate adds a new layer to the image that the company projects, that is, it indicates to potential customers that the company cares about the quality of the product or service it offers. And in the case of certifications such as ISO 14001, it is seen that quality processes go hand in hand with respect for the environment.
The process that involves the audit to obtain a certificate ensures a review of the company, its workflows and the internal organization, allowing to detect failures and possible losses of money. And above all, giving the opportunity to correct these failures to optimize the internal processes of the company itself.
A direct consequence of the previous point, is the reduction of costs thanks to the optimization of processes and internal work flows; This will surely reduce time losses due to unnecessarily complex processes, and on the other hand, it will reinforce criteria and procedures that minimize possible errors.
Update and renewal
The periodic renewal of the quality certificates, obliges to keep all the members of the company up to date on knowledge, techniques and tools, which, as we already know, today, are in constant evolution and innovation. This is one of the fundamental factors that have to do with the competitiveness of economic sectors with supply overload.
Certificates of Quality
The standard for issuing a certificate of quality most widespread worldwide, is undoubtedly the ISO 9001. The “9001” is recognized by almost every country in the world, and has become a requirement at the level of international contracting, due to the level of trust it generates. This makes it the most recommended for any company or organization that wants to increase its added value for future customers.
Even so, it is not the only standard in terms of quality certification, in fact, it is most recommended that it be accompanied by ISO 14001, which allows certifying that the organization proceeds in a socially responsible manner, and ISO 45001, focused in matters of occupational health and safety against occupational risks. The structure of these three standards is quite similar in terms of processes, so it is best to submit to the contemporary certification of these three.
Additionally, the most recognized sectors have specific quality certifications, which, by definition, are in charge of certifying key aspects for a certain sector, or aspects of it. One of the best known in Spain is the Certificate “Q” of tourism quality, this certifies full compliance with the standards determined by the Spanish Institute of Tourism Quality, which provide for a customer-focused service and periodic updating.
Process to certify the quality of your product or service
The process begins by requesting from the certifying company a budget for the audits necessary to obtain the desired quality certificate; This varies greatly depending on the size of the company, the sector, and the type of certification that you want to obtain. When this is approved, the evaluations of the internal processes of the organization or company in question begin.
Beyond this, the audits will also assess aspects such as the level of customer satisfaction, the exercise of leadership, and future growth and improvement objectives. Thus, the certifying company will issue, in case of correct performance, the corresponding certificate. Otherwise, a series of recommendations will be issued to comply with, where in some cases, it will be necessary to repeat partial or total audits of the company.
Once the certificate (s) have been obtained, a periodical renewal cycle is entered, as established in the certification regulations. Normally, for quality certificates it is usually annual, where the necessary audits will be repeated, and where it is possible to revoke the certificate.
Expanding the knowledge about the quality certificate is possible with Master of Quality, Environment, Safety and Health with which students acquire the knowledge and skills for the development of the roles of responsible quality, environment and health and safety Through the application of ISO 9001: 2015, ISO 14001: 2015 and ISO 45001: 2018 standards of widespread and recognized use.
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