The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develops and publishes standards for quality control. ISO 9001 specifies requirements for a quality management system where an organization needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products that meet applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, as well as customers’ needs.

All the requirements of ISO 9001 are generic and intended to be applicable to many organizations. The ISO 9001 system shows the willingness and ability of a company to provide you with consistent quality products. Print buyers often seek to establish that their suppliers are reliable; asking for an internationally recognized standard eliminates the need to assess every single potential supplier. An ISO 9001 certification assures you that you are dealing with a quality conscious company, allowing you to skip many lengthy pre-qualification procedures.

Few printing companies are ISO certified. This is mostly due to the fact that they cannot demonstrate the existence of an effective quality management system that satisfies an independent, external audit. This standard is most popular in more sensitive types of manufacturing like pharmaceuticals. Quality conscious manufacturers of sensitive products chose ISO certifications to insure the consistency of their quality and increased efficiency of their system. Print buyers who are looking for dependable, quality minded, and reliable vendors, should consider an ISO 9001 certification in choosing suppliers. Don’t ask vendors if they provide quality products or deliver on time; ask them to prove it!

Asking for an ISO 9001 certified supplier shows that you are serious about the quality of products you are purchasing. This eliminates the need for timely vendor evaluation process, and reduces the concern about your supply line. It shows your seriousness about what you expect, and requires the vendors to demonstrate that they do as they say. If you need more than just a sales pitch, then look for vendors who are ISO 9001 certified.