Andy Sharp, Commercial Manager at Stroma, discusses why he thinks electricians should be ISO 9001 certified.
One of our goals at Stroma Certiﬁcation is to expand the business opportunities available to our installer members. ISO 9001 Certiﬁcation is affordable, achievable and can help an electrician stand out from their competitors. There are a number of reasons why electricians should have ISO 9001 and the arguments against it can be countered.
ISO 9001 might sound like a complicated concept on the face of it. This international standard in quality management is sometimes dismissed by small to medium sized businesses. Often the arguments against implementing a Quality Management System are that it’s too complicated, too expensive or not relevant. Nothing could be further from the truth and in fact ISO 9001 can be the key to unlock additional revenue and proﬁt for an electrician’s business.
ISO 9001 explained
ISO 9001 is one of a number of standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (based in Switzerland) covering Quality Management. It aims to ensure that products and services are
delivered in line with customer expectations with a focus on quality at all times.
So how is that relevant to an electrician? The answer is that ISO 9001 is relevant and accessible to any business. Speciﬁers and tender contracts are looking for ISO 9001 certiﬁed companies on an increasing basis. Consider a decision maker’s mindset when deciding on whom to award work. When a choice is presented to work with an installer who has committed to a recognised quality standard or the installer without ISO 9001 – where does that potential client ﬁnd most reassurance?
One of the biggest advantages of ISO 9001 is credibility. It is recognised and used by all manner of businesses from SMEs to international corporations. It proves to a customer that you are committed to a quality-driven approach. By lowering the risk of non-compliance in the processes your business follows an electrician offers assurance to their client that the work will meet their expectations.
“One of the biggest advantages of ISO 9001 is credibility. It is recognised and used by all manner of businesses from SMEs to international corporations.”
Stroma Certiﬁcation has recently launched an affordable certiﬁcation scheme for ISO 9001 and as an installer certiﬁcation body there are advantages to adding ISO 9001 to an existing certiﬁcation package. All schemes have a requirement for on site assessment, checking competence for Part P and commercial jobs and the business processes for ISO 9001. The attraction for an electrician is that both assessments can be completed in the same visit, saving both time and money. There are also discounts available at Stroma when taking multi-scheme membership.
The beneﬁts to ISO 9001 are clear. Achieving compliance with the scheme requirements is not as complicated as some people have speculated. Upon application, your existing business processes will be
audited against the standard. ISO 9001 helps your business to document those processes. A lot of businesses will ﬁnd that they already follow the correct procedures so the distance to achieving compliance is reduced. If any improvement areas are identiﬁed then these are clearly explained so that amendments can be made. It is not a case of throwing an installer in at the deep end and expecting immediate compliance. Attaining the standard is very possible and once you have it your business puts itself on a level playing ﬁeld with any other organisation holding ISO 9001.
At the end of the day an electrician is judged on the quality of work provided as is any installer. Competing in the industry is a simple case of how you compare to your closest competitor. ISO 9001 represents the opportunity to gain an immediate headstart. It is both cost effective and hugely beneﬁcial to your business.