With an uncertain future, the manufacturing sector is one that is well educated about the benefits of processes and their impact on operational efficiency. It is possible that less education is needed for this sector, as they will have a better understanding of the benefits and importance of ISO standards. This coupled with the potential of grant funding for consultancy services makes achieving an ISO standard an attractive option where all stakeholders could benefit.
Details from the Annual Manufacturing Report 2019 has highlighted the importance of export options. When it comes to business growth, manufacturers still believe there is potential for growth overseas and a strong majority, 77%, say UK manufacturing has the drive to make a success of it. In the face of it, ISO’s are international standards and are recognised globally, therefore it makes sense to determine what are your businesses priorities and how can you influence business growth as well as standing out from your competitors in these uncertain times.
ISO crosses over so many sectors and no matter what the size of manufacturing business you are, achieving an ISO standard is possible at all levels. ISO standards are not exclusive to those “big cats” or large corporations and it is certainly not only for those who have money to burn. Of course, there is a small investment but when you cost this against business growth and expansion, with the potential of gaining bigger and better contracts it is a no-brainer.
Be part of it
Use ISO management systems to become a manufacturing powerhouse, producing products of a high standard, building a good reputation with your customers and a powerful brand is the ultimate goal where you will reap the benefits of not only achieving an internationally recognised standard but you will have happy customers, happy stakeholders and have the ability to continually improve your products.
Looking at a cross-section of the following manufacturing industries, it is clear what the positive impact is on the UK economy and how much of a part manufacturing plays in this sector. Would you want to be part of it?
- 128,000+ direct jobs and 140,000 indirect jobs e.g.
- Almost a decade’s worth of work in hand, with an
order book of more than 13,000 aircraft worth up to
£195bn to the UK
- 80% of a vehicle can be manufactured in the UK
- 2,000+ automotive suppliers in the UK – including 18
of world’s top 20
- 35+% of construction employees run their own companies
- More than a quarter of employers have recruited a school leaver in the past 2-3 years
- Almost 50% of employers in the building services engineering industry take part in the modern
- UK Electronics is the world’s fifth largest in terms of production
- 14 of the world’s top 20 semiconductor companies have established design and/or manufacturing sites in the UK
Food & Drink Manufacturing
- 96% of the sector’s 6,360 businesses are micro to medium-sized
- Exports worth £12.8bn a year – 77% of which go to the EU
- 340,000+ direct jobs across 79,000+ companies
- Third-largest fashion employer in the EU – behind Italy and Germany
If you look at what basics are required to meet the needs of the customer in relation to providing a quality product that remains consistent from start to finish, to ensure you fulfil your obligations to your stakeholders then surely, establishing an ISO management system can only be of benefit to the manufacturing sector.
Have a defined process
Have a defined process that “fits” your business. Manufacturers want business processes to be consistent and produce quality results. You may want to document these processes such as procedures to carry out specific tasks.
Define an acceptable product
Customer satisfaction is a main aim of any organisation. The quality of your products will determine whether you will have a repeat customer or the amount of new business attracted to your organisation.
Have enough resources and knowledgeable staff to produce a quality product that meets the needs and expectations of your stakeholders including your customers.
Make sure you conduct quality product audits, internal measurements and receive feedback from customers. Using the information gathered to improve your systems, processes and procedures will enhance your business, increase profits and reduce costs.
If you carry out reviews on your processes it will ensure problems are fixed satisfactorily and do not return.
ISO can help you succeed
Many manufacturers do not have benchmarks and formal targets in place to monitor whether they are meeting quality objectives. Having these can prevent your organisation from repeating the same embarrassing errors.
Here are some advantages of ISO certification:
1. Improved business culture
Improving your business culture and employee empowerment with clearer expectations, better tools, and better feedback, which will result in more professional staff. Having objectives and setting targets not only keep your customer happy with your product quality, but they also create a better work environment where employees actually have the tools needed to do their jobs.
2. Improved consistency
Quality inconsistencies mean financial losses to your business. ISO standards can assist to mitigate the risk of products failing and fewer customer complaints.
3. Increased team focus
The ISO certification process often results in a more focused management team and better overall employee performance, due to internal and external auditing. Your products will only be as good as the team producing them. Auditing provides focus while identifying any failures in your processes.
4. Better efficiency, reduced waste, and cost savings
Every manufacturer should continually be looking for ways to increase output and reduce waste. ISO processes aid these endeavours.
5. International recognition
Your certification could result in industry-specific honours and awards, which then can be used to promote your products and services around the world.
Reasons Not to Consider ISO Certification
There really is only one reason not to consider ISO certification, and that is the “cost” involved.
The most excessive of these expenses include Consultancy fees and maybe employee training. However, you need to consider the long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term costs of certification. As a manufacturer, you may be able to claim back 35% of these fees through the Manufacturing Growth Program.
What to do
As a Manufacturing business if you closely align with ISO standards and principles you will quickly see the benefit. As ISO certification becomes increasingly more important to the manufacturing industry, every manufacturer should consider getting it.
Earning an ISO certification requires a lot of work and little investment for a greater reward. The process can be daunting, look complicated and but the rewards for achieving certification gives you the competitive edge over others in your sector, it will improve your reputation with your customers, builds morale with your staff and increase your profits.