Five benefits of ISO 9001 in the construction industry

  • 7 Mar 2018

ISO 9001 is the standard used by businesses worldwide to implement Quality Management Systems (QMS) that can be utilised to increase organisational efficiency, reduce costs and win client trust. The standard is based upon seven principles: customer focus, leadership, engagement of people, process approach, improvement, evidence-based decisions and relationship management.

Construction projects are highly complex, involving many factors and moving parts and a good QMS is a key factor to their success. Beyond the generic benefits that the ISO standard offers for all businesses, there are some particularly excellent reasons for getting an ISO 9001:2015 certification for your construction company:

1. Improve Employee Training, Development & Communication
One of the most important things that the ISO 9001:2015 standard offers for all businesses is its guidance on leadership and the engagement of people. ISO 9001:2015 teaches companies how to engage employees in a way that returns increased job satisfaction, imbues tasks with purpose and increases output.

People generally take pride in the work that they do. Often it is difficult to gauge how well your business is doing when it comes to achieving employee satisfaction. Including your teams in the processes that are outlined in the ISO 9001 QMS will help to facilitate this. Taking the time to reward those under your employment and by providing them with ISO training will help to make them feel valued and increase your rates of employee retention and engagement. The standard’s process approach and focus on improvement will also ensure that processes are reviewed and improved periodically, benefiting your organisation by making it a safer and more transparent place to work.

2. Efficiently Manage Your Supply Chain
It doesn’t matter how careful you are about the quality of your own services – in an industry like construction, if the partners you work with do not share your concern for production standards, you are likely to find yourself sold short at some point. It is crucial for you to audit the suppliers and contractors you work with periodically to assure overall quality of service within your business.

With ISO 9001 you are provided an excellent roadmap for evaluating supplier performance through its principle of relationship management. Making use of the standard will give you a recognised, fair and transparent way to assess how well the partnerships in your business are going. Both you and your suppliers can look to ISO 9001 to establish standards and expectations that will yield mutual competitive advantages in the long run by streamlining processes and fostering a proactive attitude to problem-solving.

3. Win Public-Sector Clients
Apart from the general advantages to be gained from possessing accreditations or awards, the ISO 9001 certification will be of value to your construction company if you are trying to tender a contract from a large organisation, local authorities or any other public bodies.

When tendering clients from the public-sector, trust is the keyword. ISO 9001 is an internationally respected standard that is likely to be recognised by prospective public-sector clients and other big fish in your service sector. Often, accreditations like ISO 9001 are crucial to winning large clients that are not open to taking risks on their projects and will have a large portfolio of providers to pick from. The certification will make your business stand out and assure your clients that you are committed to the principles of consistency and quality standards in all your business proceedings.

4. Easily Comply with Legislation and Regulations
The ISO 9001:2015 standard requires an organisation to identify and follow all statutory and regulatory requirements that apply to their industry and the products or services that they sell. For an organisation in the construction industry, this would mean that part of the act of bringing your business into compliance with the ISO 9001 standard would be bringing it into compliance with government legislation and regulations.

Beyond compliance, the QMS Standard will correct your processes so that your business keeps ahead of the curve of legislation. Setting up systems that check your compliance will improve your business in the long run, making routine checks and audits easier.

5. Manage Risk Effectively
Construction contracts are known to often re-scale or go over budget because of planning oversights. It is not uncommon to have to go back to the drawing board or incur unnecessary costs because the difficulty of a complex process had been misjudged.

As part of its QMS, ISO 9001 provides your team with the tools needed to tailor the system to each project you embark upon to ensure that no steps are missed and through its process-focused approach, ISO 9001 helps you to isolate the key components of your project’s successes and define the processes behind them. As well as saving your bottom line, this approach will ultimately save you time and money by providing a flexible, structured solution that can be utilised for each business case.

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