What is an ISO Certification and Why Does it Matter?
You’ve likely heard of the ISO standards, but do you know the important details?
The International Standards Organization is a trusted third-party auditing organization using standards to help companies maintain consistent results and pursue constant improvement. This quality management system (QMS) designation is geared towards companies offering design, engineering and manufacturing services. While the ISO 9000 family has several documents or standards, the ISO 9001 is the only one requiring certification. The number 2015 refers to the most recent year of revision; previously it was 2008. (Source: American Society for Quality)
IST achieved this highly regarded ISO 9001:2008 certification as a company, without restrictions, in 2004 after a full year of preparation. Previously it was known as ISO 9001: 2000. This ISO certification is difficult to obtain and sets IST among the ranks of esteemed companies like Ford®, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. In 2017, IST upgraded to ISO 9000:2015 because of the ISO organization’s revisions to the standards.
“Attaining this certification shows our dedication to tough engineering standards and makes us highly accountable to both our clients and employees,” said Jon Langhorst, PSP, President of IST. “The full lifecycle philosophy dovetails perfectly with our commitment to full lifecycle service, and raises our level of accountability every step along the way.”
Very few of IST’s competitors hold this distinction, and Langhorst noted that IST is the only security integrator in the D.C.-area with the ISO 9001:2015 certification.
Accountability Equals Accomplishment
Throughout each stage of our Full Life Cycle Approach—strategy, engineering and design, implementation and lifecycle support—IST must hit and document various quality control targets. This documentation is audited annually. IST undergoes regular audits featuring internal management reviews, and annual outside audits that monitor the warehouse, production facilities, the installation process and the engineering procedures to ensure accountability. The company must also be recertified every three years.
As an extension of its commitment to consistency and quality, IST also focuses on partnering with ISO registered manufacturers to ensure that this high standard is maintained throughout the product’s lifecycle as well. All products are tested in-house at IST before being offered to clients.
When acquired for clients, products are logged and stamped upon receipt and tracked throughout the lifecycle process.
“This proves to our clients that we’re dedicated to their long-term success and that we’re buying from the best,” Langhorst said.
The ISO 9001:2015 certification has generated real results, including shorter lead times, reliable and accurate delivery, overall efficiency and consistency across the company both internally and externally. In fact, IST has also reaped several employee benefits, such as improved company morale resulting from easily defined and achievable goals, along with an enhanced focus on these goals. As a certified company, IST has a competitive advantage and can provide better levels of service than its local, non-certified competitors. This translates to a better business relationship for all.