What is ISO and is it really a game-changer for clients when choosing a service provider? Why it is so important to be a certified company?
The abbreviation ISO represents the International Organization for Standardization. It is a self-governing and non-governmental organization that focuses on creating and releasing voluntary international standards. Established in 1947, the ISO has become immensely significant for numerous data-oriented companies in today’s world. Being certified by ISO holds great importance for these companies. But why is that the case?
Obtaining certification for ISO standards or other relevant certifications can be important for companies for several reasons:
Credibility and Trust
Certification provides third-party validation that our processes, products, or services meet recognized standards. It demonstrates to our customers and stakeholders that the company is committed to quality, safety, responsibility, and information security. Certification enhances the credibility and trustworthiness of our company, making it more attractive to potential customers and business partners.
Certification gives our company a competitive edge in the marketplace. It distinguishes us from our competitors by showcasing our commitment to meeting internationally recognized standards. Many customers prefer to work with certified companies and check their certificates first, as it provides assurance of consistent quality, adherence to regulations, and risk management practices. Certification often helps us to stand out and win contracts or business opportunities over non-certified competitors.
Compliance with Regulations and Requirements
In certain industries, certification is a regulatory requirement. For example, in sectors like healthcare, finance, aviation, or food safety, compliance with specific standards or certifications is mandatory to operate legally. Certification ensures that our company meets these requirements and avoids potential legal or regulatory penalties. It also helps companies stay up-to-date with evolving regulations and maintain necessary licenses or permits.
Process Improvement and Efficiency
The certification process typically involves a thorough evaluation of a company’s processes, systems, and practices against established standards. This evaluation helps identify areas for improvement and optimization. By implementing the recommendations or requirements of the certification, companies can enhance their efficiency, reduce waste, streamline operations, and increase productivity. Certification acts as a catalyst for continuous improvement within the organization.
International Recognition and Market Access
ISO certifications are globally recognized and accepted. For companies involved in international trade or seeking to expand their operations globally, certification can facilitate market access. It demonstrates compliance with international standards and regulations, simplifies cross-border transactions, and gives companies a competitive advantage in foreign markets. Certification can help companies navigate regulatory complexities and gain easier acceptance of their products or services in different countries.
Risk Management and Customer Satisfaction
Certification processes often include risk assessment and mitigation strategies. By addressing potential risks and vulnerabilities, companies can enhance their resilience and protect against operational disruptions, data breaches, safety incidents, or environmental accidents. Certification also emphasizes customer satisfaction by ensuring consistent quality, reliable processes, and adherence to customer requirements. Satisfied customers are more likely to be loyal and recommend the company to others.
While certification is not mandatory, it can offer significant benefits, including enhanced credibility, competitive advantage, compliance, process improvement, market access, risk management, and customer satisfaction.
Why did SANDS Partners decide to obtain certification?
As Grzegorz Struś, Member of the Board, COO explains:
“our company decided to certify ISO 9001 and 27001. Our goal was to sustainably manage the development of SANDS Partners. The ISO 9001 allows us to ensure the predictability of our activities, processes, and procedures. It definitely makes it easier for our employees to find out what should they do, how should they work, and ensure the repeatability of good practices. For our customers, it is also an indicator that the company cares about continuous improvement processes and that an appropriate level of quality of services will be provided.
The ISO 27001 certificate is extremely important because gives guidelines and requirements on how to deal with the security of information in the company systems. Thanks to this, customers can feel safe working with the company. Certified company prove that they care about the highest standards of securing their data.
Usually, the implementation of ISO standards in organizations is a big investment that requires a lot of money and effort. It requires change management so that employees get used to the new standards. In the case of SANDS Partners, we started certification in our 2nd year of operation, so practically from the beginning, we made sure that the handling of tools, data, and processes were part of our natural environment.
Do customers ask about certificates?
“At the very beginning of the selling project, customers usually do not ask if we are certified and do not require it during the process. This subject comes up a bit later when we work with clients in areas that are either highly regulated or require special care and security. Then clients want to feel that working with us is safe for their data. Very often, during a new client’s onboarding process, we undergo a security audit and examine our work procedures. In these cases, having both ISO 9001 and 27001 certification is extremely helpful.” – Grzegorz Struś – Member of the Board, COO