What Does an ISO Certification Mean?

International Organization for Standardization

The ISO standards are set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and are continually updated to meet the latest technologies and incorporate the most recent management techniques across the international business community.

ISO was first established in 1946, just after the end of World War II and at the beginning of the world’s post-war economic boom. Realizing that world markets were becoming increasingly more interconnected, the United Nations petitioned for the creation of a global standards body that would facilitate growing international trade. In October 1946, delegates from the pre-war National Standardizing Association (ISA) and 25 countries met in London to form the ISO, which would be based out of Geneva, Switzerland.

Contained within the 20,500 ISO standards are best practice guidelines and strategic tools to help you efficiently run all aspects of your business and overcome the issues and challenges associated with operating in an increasingly modern and connected global market. Standards range from quality management to social responsibility (and most everything in between). These best practices originate from subject matter experts across the globe, and are based upon benchmark observations of some of the best-run companies throughout most industries.

These standards provide a framework through which companies can create processes and monitoring systems so they can operate as efficiently as possible while increasing quality and value for your customers. Increases in quality and value lead to cost savings, which can be directly passed to customers and shareholders. Cost savings are realized through the optimization of operations that comes from constant monitoring and measuring throughout the improvement cycle.

Certain customers and organizations require an ISO certification of their potential vendors prior to even being able to be considered for business; so by maintaining an ISO certification, you customer market base can grow and you may be able to do business in more markets than previously.

The specific ISO certification that Kaman possesses and maintains is the ISO 9001:2008 – Quality Management (ISO 9001 is the only ISO standard in which a business can be certified). This family of standards provides specific guidance and tools for operating quality management systems, and is based on the pillars of strong customer focus, process approach and continual improvement. The overall process for obtaining a certification can take upwards of 9 months to complete, which includes an extensive documentation review and intensive audit. A certification is valid for 3 years and requires an annual audit to maintain the certification; at the end of 3 years the process begins all over again. Our current certification at Kaman Industrial Technologies expires in 2018, after which we will need to certify according to the new standards set by ISO 9001:2015.

Possessing an ISO-9001 Certification, at the most basic level, is a signal to our suppliers and customers that we are committed to continual improvement of our operations and ourselves to provide them the utmost value and quality. By maintaining the certification, we are subjecting ourselves to the unrequired scrutiny of our management and quality processes and holding ourselves accountable for continuous improvement.

For additional information regarding ISO, please refer to following resources:

Official ISO Website >>
ISO 9000 Management Standards >>

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Justin Knight
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