Why ISO Certification Matters When Choosing Your Contract Manufacturer

Selecting an outsourced contract manufacturer for your OEM company is a difficult process. After all, you’re not only handing over your company’s processes and production to another business, but you’re also handing over something even more valuable: your reputation.

With your company’s reputation on the line, you need to be highly selective when choosing a contract manufacturer – and you need outside, objective validation that their business is run effectively. That’s why you should strongly consider potential partners that have an ISO certification.

What Is ISO 9001 Certification?

Standardizing processes ultimately leads to better productivity and overall safety on the manufacturing floor, and ISO certification sets the worldwide benchmark for that level of standardization.

ISO 9001:2008 is a widely used standard for quality certification, but also one of the most stringent. This standard ensures that every aspect of a contract manufacturer’s business is well-run, including key processes, management roles and responsibilities, documentation, customer satisfaction, employee training, production, service and internal audits.

ISO certification requires outsourced manufacturing partners to constantly review, improve and document each and every process in their facility, giving you the assurance that their company is running at the highest standard possible and, ultimately, that they are protecting your reputation with your customers.

How ISO Certification Benefits Your Business

When you choose a contract manufacturer with an ISO 9001:2008 certification, you know you are hiring an effective, efficient organization. Any potential private label manufacturer might claim those qualities, but ISO certification guarantees the highest level of customer service, safety and order fulfillment speed.

The most important feature of ISO 9001:2008 certification is that it compels a contract manufacturer to focus on continuous improvement in customer service and satisfaction. An ISO 9001-certified business must continually monitor customer feedback for opportunities to improve customer service and product quality – ensuring that your company’s reputation always shines.

Being ISO certified means an outsourced manufacturing partner must focus on these other key areas as well:

  • Refine, streamline and document all manufacturing services and processes.
  • Improve the consistency of operations in everything from the office to the production floor.
  • Keep management and employees focused on quality production and delivery.
  • Improve efficiency, reduce waste and save money wherever possible – all to stand by the commitment to maintain Price Point Continuity.
  • Strengthen overall company performance and continually bolster employee morale.

Why ISO Certification Isn’t The Only Factor To Consider

ISO 9001: 2008 certification is an extremely important metric to consider when selecting a contract manufacturer, but you also need to evaluate two other related factors surrounding the certification itself.

First, ask your potential private label manufacturer whether their most recent ISO certification audit had any reported findings that needed correction. Just because a business is ISO 9001 certified doesn’t mean they’ve rightfully maintained that status since their last audit – and an unscrupulous business might be hiding the fact that their certification is in jeopardy.

Look for a contract manufacturer who is open and honest about their ISO certification and has a history of positive audit results, not one whose certification is tenuous. If the potential vendor isn’t honest and upfront, you need to find a different outsourced manufacturing partner who communicates with you using an open-book policy.

Second, while it’s certainly a strong indicator of quality, an ISO 9001:2008 certification should only be part of a much longer and larger history of quality manufacturing and production at that company.

Look for a contract manufacturer with a history of quality manufacturing and who has an established ISO 9001 certification.

Shifting and screening out potential private label manufacturers is much easier when you have an international, industry-wide standard to facilitate objective comparison. If you’re considering an outsourced manufacturing partnership, simplify your search and first look for their ISO certification – or look elsewhere.