What You Need to Know About ISO 9001 Certified Factory Ratings

What does an ISO 9000 rating mean for your Power Tools? An ISO 9001 rating means that the factory where your power tools were manufactured has participated in the certification process for the International Organization for Standardization. “ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 157 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system. ISO is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.”

The ISO 9000 is a group of standards for quality management systems which basically means that the factory or company meets rigid international manufacturing, environmental and quality standards.

Some of the requirements include: 1. Set of Procedures (SOP) that cover key processes to ensure consistency.

2. Monitoring processes

3. Adequate record keeping that follows the machine through every step of its manufacture. This ensures that if there is a defect, the manufacturer could trace it back to the particular step where the defect occurred and rectify the problem. They can also narrow down how many power tools are affected (by serial number) and issue a recall if necessary.

4. Checking final product for defects and taking appropriate action to correct if necessary.

5. Regular review of processes and quality systems.

6. Continual improvement

7. Mutually beneficial supplier relationships

8. Customer focus

That is all well and good for your power tools but does ISO 9001 certification really guarantee quality end products? There is some debate on this issue. The ISO 9001 certification means that all the steps were taken and the paperwork is complete – but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you end up with a quality product. Looking back at all the recalls on childrens toys from China will tell us that. “Certifications are in fact often based on customer contractual requirements rather than a desire to actually improve quality. ‘If you just want the certificate on the wall, chances are, you will create a paper system that doesn’t have much to do with the way you actually run your business,’ said ISO’s Roger Frost.” – wikipedia.org

According to Barnes, “Opponents claim that it is only for documentation. Proponents believe that if a company has documented its quality systems, then most of the paperwork has already been completed.” In summary, it seems to be that “people perceive products and services associated with ISO 9000 as being of higher quality” but that is not necessarily the case. You still need to research and check valid peer reviews to make an educated decision on your power tool purchase.