What is ISO certified and why does it matter for manufacturers?

Alibaba.com JANUARY 05, 20217 MIN READ
What is ISO certified and why does it matter for manufacturers?

ISO certification or the International Organization for Standardization certificate means that your manufacturing company is approved by the ISO and can provide high-quality goods and services. ISO comes from the Greek word Isos which means equal, and this is the main goal of the ISO certification - to help companies become equal and provide high-quality services and standards.

This certificate is not exclusive to the manufacturing industry, but it is particularly important for manufacturers who hope to increase sales online as a supplier. ISO certification covers quality, consistency, and safety in relation to products, services, and goods and the way you operate as a business.

This seal of approval includes management systems, manufacturing processes, services, and documentation procedures and helps to build trust between a new customer and an international manufacturer. In this article, we’re going to explain what an ISO certificate is and why it’s important for manufacturing businesses to become ISO certified.

What is ISO certification?

The ISO certification is getting certified of the ISO standard, a series of international standards given by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO)1, an independent and non-governmental international group that shares knowledge and publishes international standards to support the manufacturing industry around the world. ISO standards are widely agreed by international experts that take every stakeholder’s interest into account, and cover sectors including quality management, environmental, health and safety, energy, food safety, and IT security, etc...

However, ISO does not involve in the certification process but only releases the standards, and that is to say, a company needs to find an external certification body to get certified.

Basically, an ISO certificate tells customers that your business is reputable, genuine, and can meet international standards. This certificate is also a good indication that your company has the capabilities to develop and grow. A way to reassure future customers that they should place an order with you, it is an important certificate to have as a manufacturing company.

There are many different types of ISO certificates, which we will go into more detail about later, but the main benefits of having this document as a manufacturing business are, increased efficiency, reduced risks, engaged employees, improved customer satisfaction, and an increase in sales. It can also help with tendering and can make international business insurance more affordable.

To keep your ISO certification, you will need to continue to meet international standards and provide excellent customer service.

Note: Only a business can become ISO certified, not an individual or employee. The certification is always provided by a third-party body and not the International Organization for Standardization.

Different types of ISO standards

The ISO has developed over 23,499 international standards, regulating business practices, manufacturing processes, and quality of goods and services. Here are 6 ISO standards an international manufacturer should be aware of and why they are important and highly beneficial to have.

6 ISO standards manufacturers should be aware of

To support international trade and to standardize how orders are placed and services or goods are provided in the manufacturing industry, as well as preventing miscommunication and problems, here are 6 ISO standards that you should be aware of.

1. ISO 9000 - quality management

To make sure you’re meeting a customer’s expectation as a manufacturer, quality is the key. Since the industry is very competitive, you should be aware of the ISO 9000 family of standards that cover quality management. These standards guide businesses on what a customer will expect when they place an order and how to meet or exceed their requirements. For example, the ISO 9001 certification demonstrates that your business is customer-focused and highly committed to delivering consistent and high-quality goods.

2. ISO 14000 - environmental management

This international standard gives businesses the tools and guidelines they need to become environmentally responsible. As more customers look for eco-friendly and green manufacturers to work with, this is becoming increasingly important if you are trying to increase sales from international customers. From where you source your raw materials to the packaging you use to deliver and ship goods, recycling, and being energy-efficient is the key to increasing orders from eco-friendly customers.

3. ISO / IEC 27000 - information security management systems

With cybercrime a serious and significant concern for international customers and businesses around the world, the ISO has developed a set of standards to protect customers and industries against online crime. These standards help organizations safeguard intellectual property, personal and confidential employee and customer information, and financial data.

4. ISO / IEC 17025 - laboratory risk assessment

To facilitate cooperation between laboratories and other organizations, the ISO’s 17025 standards encourage knowledge-sharing both on a national and international scale. Working together and sharing test reports, scientific research, and laboratory results will help improve the quality of manufactured goods, especially in relation to cosmetics, medical products, and foods and beverages.

5. ISO 13485 - medical equipment standards & safety

From design, production, and installation, medical equipment standards should be extremely high to protect the consumer. Medical devices designed to diagnose health problems, prevent disease, and treat medical conditions must be thoroughly and rigorously tested. As a manufacturing company specializing in medical devices and equipment, the ISO standard is essential to provide medically sound and highly accurate medical equipment.

6. ISO 45001 - occupational health & safety

This ISO sets out the requirements needed to operate a safe workplace or factory. Designed to help manufacturers reduce accidents and incidents are work, this standard tells future customers that you care about your employees and put their health and safety first.

Why manufacturers should get ISO-Certified: importance & benefits

Having an ISO certification as a manufacturing company can help you to unlock a range of benefits such as:

  • Improved environmental performance of your supply chain
  • Becoming compliant with international regulations and legislation
  • Position yourself as an eco-friendly, health and safety conscious and reputable manufacturer
  • Reduce workplace accidents, incidents, and errors
  • Provide excellent customer service and generate repeat customers
  • Improve financial performance and risk management
  • Meet or exceed international standards of excellence and increase sales

ISO certified

How to get ISO certified

Since an ISO certificate is not provided by the International Organization of Standardization, you’ll need to find a third party who specializes in ISO training and ISO certification.

When choosing a certification body, there are a few steps2 you need to pay attention to:

  • Select several certification bodies and evaluate them
  • Make sure the certification body uses and follows the CASCO standard you want
  • Check if the certification body is accredited. It is not necessary to get accreditation, but it could be a confirmation of the reputation and capacity of the certification body.

Once you’ve found a third-party ISO certification provider you’ll need to:

  • Choose the type of ISO certification you want.
  • Create an application or contract with the third-party provider.
  • Provide the relevant documents for review.
  • Make an action plan.
  • Undergo an initial ISO certification audit.
  • Complete the ISO certification.
  • Have on-going surveillance audits.

As a manufacturer, you can also look into product certification such as BPA Free, C-Tick, EPA, and FDA.

Alibaba.com Verified Suppliers

To become a verified seller on Alibaba.com, you will need to be ISO certified and have passed an inspection and assessment. Once you become a verified manufacturer or supplier on Alibaba, international buyers will be able to find you using the search filter "Verified Suppliers".

Contact us now with any questions about how Alibaba.com can help you grow your manufacturing business and reach your goals.

1. https://www.iso.org/home.html
2. https://www.iso.org/certification.html