How ISO Certification Helps Your Company with Tender Applications
If your firm wants to tender for international contracts, you will need something to set your firm apart from competitors. The international and local business environments are highly competitive, and being able to compete with large and multinational organisations is essential if your firm wants to survive and grow.
ISO tender certification makes it possible to get the much-needed competitive edge in the global market. The vulnerable state of the South African economy, and the volatile international market, make it essential to ensure that your firm has documented proof of its commitment to information security management, quality, environmental management, the health and safety of workers, and more.
Large vehicle manufacturers, top players in the food and beverage industry, and even the giant mobile providers that have already gained ISO certification for their various management systems, have reaped the benefits internationally, as they have documented proof of their commitment to standardised products, services, and management of issues related to the environment, health and safety, information security, and more. Winning tenders is also about credibility, and ISO certification provides that credibility.
More About ISO Standards
ISO stands for International Organisation for Standardisation, although it is originally an acronym for the Greek word “isos”, which means equal. The ISO consists of numerous national standards that have been incorporated into a single standard for each area of business. With over 21 000 ISO standards, it can be a daunting task to determine which standard to comply with for certification purposes. A good starting point, especially if your firm wants to tender for delivering of high-quality products, is ISO 9001 for quality management. Compliance with the standard shows your organisation’s ongoing commitment to managing the quality of products and services at every level of the organisation.
If your firm wants to tender for projects involving sensitive information, you will want to show your commitment to the protection of information assets and data, whether company- or client-based data. International trading partners and government organisations will want assurance that their information is safe. Getting an ISO 27001 certification will show your firm’s commitment to the management of information security risks and protection of data.
Compliance with ISO standards and certification sets your company apart from other firms that are also competing to tender for projects, as it shows that your firm has the relevant management systems in place to ensure safety, quality, risk management, and control. Such management systems include policies, processes, objectives, controls, risk assessments, and procedures that are relevant for the provision of consistent service and product performance.
The ISO standards are application to any size organisation, regardless of the industry in which it operates. This means that a small business can compete with larger non-compliant organisations to tender for contracts, and be successful, because it has certification to prove its commitment to quality, safety, risk management, and more.
Consumers want the assurance of quality, and thus prefer products that come with manufacturer warranties. Likewise, property buyers want to know that the homes they buy are safe, in terms of electrical wiring. The electrical certificate of compliance gives them the assurance they need. ISO certification can be seen in the same light.
The organisations that requiring companies to tender for projects want assurance that the firms can perform and meet specific standards. ISO certification, in the relevant standards, provides the documented proof of such. This gives the ISO-certified companies a competitive edge to tender over those that still need to become certified in the relevant standards.
Where to Start
Instead of submitting tender applications with no documented proof of the ability to perform according to the requirements, get ISO certification. Follow an approach in which you use expert guidance on which standards to comply with to gain a competitive edge. In addition, work with these experts in the development, implementation, training, and preparation for certification. In this way, you will be able to focus resources on the particular management system and areas in which improvement are needed. You can thus save on the costs of getting ISO tender certification.
Steps to Becoming Certified
The process entails a GAP analysis of the choice of ISO standard to which you want to become certified. It helps to identify shortcomings in your existing management system. The corrective steps can be taken before internal audits are performed. An external audit follows, and then the formal audit for ISO certification. Once certified, you need to maintain compliance, and can again benefit from using experts, such as WWISE, to help you stay compliant.
A large part of becoming ISO certified entails training staff. The staff must undergo awareness training regarding the relevant standard to ensure their support of your endeavours. In addition, training must be provided regarding the requirements of the particular standard. It is also necessary to provide training for people in your organisation who will be involved in the internal auditing processes.
Such training can be completed online through our e-Learning platform. This makes it possible to enrol various employees, without them having to travel to a training facility. Your firm saves money regarding travelling, accommodation, and lost work hours.
The development of the ISO management system entails the setting and documenting of objectives, policies, and procedures. The documentation must be done in accordance with the relevant standard’s requirements. Once developed, implementation follows, and thereafter certification and maintenance.
ISO standards are not about rules and regulations. Rather, the standards are about the provision of frameworks in which organisations can set up and integrate management systems to manage and control certain aspects of doing business.
Whether you want to tender for small or large projects, being able to state that your firm has the relevant ISO certification demonstrates your ability to perform and your commitment to ensure performance.
Get expert assistance to help you gain a competitive edge, and more success, when you tender for projects. Let us help you prepare for ISO certification with our range of services that include consulting, training, auditing, and template provision.