4 Steps Every Manufacturer Should Take On the Journey to ISO 9001 Certification

By GoCanvas Team on May 25, 2023

For manufacturers, being ISO 9001-certified is a great milestone in a rather competitive business world. In addition to helping manufacturers retain customers, ISO 9001 certification plays a vital role in winning more clients. Not only does the certification improve a manufacturer’s ranking, but it also serves to create trust in most clients, as the process is based on gauging the manufacturer’s level of customer focus and ability to continuously improve products. As a manufacturer, ISO certification is a measure of your worth in your area of specialization.

So, what is ISO 9001 certification, and what does the process look like for manufacturers? If you are wondering what you need to do to retain the certification, this guide is for you. Read on to learn more.

What Is ISO 9001 Certification? 

This international standard is used to measure an organization’s ability to offer satisfactory products and services. Published in 1987 by the International Organization for Standardization, ISO 19001 sets the requirements for a quality management system (QMS) that acts as an organization’s measure of product suitability across the world.

As a manufacturer, you need to prove that your products or services meet set standards. ISO 9001:2015 is available for use by organizations in any field, whether large or small. 

Benefits of ISO Certification

Organizations that are ISO-certified enjoy numerous benefits, including:

  • The ability to continually improve their products or services to meet customer expectations 
  • Enhanced performance due to improved efficiency in various processes 
  • Organized processes that make operations easy and effective 
  • Consistency, especially in repetitive tasks
  • Improved productivity that helps increases profit 
  • The ability to win new customers while also being able to retain existing ones 
  • The ability to identify areas of weakness and address existing gaps

Through the implementation of the ISO 9001 QMS, you can identify gaps in your processes. This will help you install and maintain measures that boost your business productivity while saving time and resources. You also get to engage your employees in a manner that will help you improve productivity.

Process of ISO 9001: 2015 Certification 

As a manufacturer, getting ISO certification helps open new doors for your business growth. Besides getting a QMS that is ISO-compliant, you will need to involve experts who will verify that the system is functional. You also need to set up an external audit to ensure that your system employs the best practices based on the nature of the industry. 

While this may sound like an overwhelming task, the process is rather straightforward. If you need to get certified, you can use any of the following methods:

Do It Yourself (DIY) Method

You can get certified in-house if you own a small company and need a cost-effective way of acquiring ISO certification. With the help of a DIY kit that offers guidelines on how to get certified even without prior knowledge, your employees can complete the setup and have the company certified within three to six months. The toolkit is efficient and eliminates bureaucracy, making the process almost hassle-free. 


If you need to get the job done within the shortest time possible, you can choose to outsource the service to a reputable company. At GoCanvas, we offer reliable services that not only help increase business efficiency and productivity but also let you get certified pretty fast. While you cannot incorporate your staff into the process, our team has the technical know-how and experience required to help your company get certified and improve its efficiency. 

A Combination of the DIY Kit and Consultancy

Combining the DIY method with outsourcing to experts can be an ideal solution that will still be cost-effective. While you may want to participate in some elements of the process, you can hire specialists to help you with specific aspects.

You can approach a consultancy firm and discuss the specific roles you want your in-house team to play, then leave the rest to a team of experts. Combining the two approaches helps you allocate more technical and time-consuming areas to experts while your staff gets to concentrate on other equally important elements.

If your time is limited, you can get a comprehensive guide that will help you achieve your goal within a stipulated timeframe. Additionally, this approach helps you get the most out of the system. For instance, a consultancy firm can perform a comprehensive review of your processes and identify any risks and improvement opportunities to help your company become more competitive. 

What Does the Process of Certification Look Like? 

Although ISO certification is industry-specific, there are general requirements that any industry should comply with. They include: 

  • Documented information for the QMS
  • Managerial responsibilities 
  • Information on resource management 
  • Product realization strategy 
  • Internal audits 
  • Counteractive and preventive actions to help identify risks and opportunities for growth

QMSs use evidence-based decision-making strategies to help achieve a flawless process. 

The 4-Step Journey to ISO Certification

To get started, you need to obtain a copy of ISO 9001:2015. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get ISO certification:


Prepare relevant documentation to help define the QMS. You need to contact an ISO 9001 management representative and get sufficient training on certification standards as well as managing the system once it’s verified and implemented.  


This step involves letting employees adapt to a new way of doing things. You may also incorporate a management review that helps establish the QMS. This works best when the system is user-friendly and non-bureaucratic.

Internal Audit 

Completing an internal audit helps verify that the QMS meets all the specifications and standards for ISO. You can have your in-house team perform the audit or use management software to make the process less tedious. Such software also helps you maintain quality in addition to ensuring that you meet the ISO requirements and are in compliance. 

Certification Audit

Your manufacturing company may require an audit from an independent third party that follows a full internal audit and provides reliable records to help verify the effectiveness of your QMS. 

Your company may also require follow-ups to countercheck and correct any issues that may arise along the way. Keep in mind that you will need to formulate an improvement plan to help effectively manage your QMS once implemented. 

Get Expert Help From GoCanvas 

At GoCanvas, we understand how important ISO 9001 certification is to your manufacturing business. That’s why we offer resources and services that will help you improve productivity and make your business more profitable. For more information, get in touch with our team of tech.