Many companies that are not large enough have an opinion that they cannot apply for ISO 9001 certification. This belief has been prevailing from a long time simply because of the misconception that ISO 9001 is just for those companies that have a sizeable presence in the market and are looking forward to improving their standing beyond the borders of the country. While smaller units certainly have to be respected for their opinion, it must also be made clear that no restrictions have been placed about who can or cannot apply for certification under ISO 9001. This is the clarification provided by the certifying bodies stating that companies, regardless of their size, can apply for the certification, as long as they are compliant with the requirements, including QMS 9001 internal auditing
Companies that may not be large enough and hoping to get certified can obviously make an attempt to do so with the knowledge that they will not be treated differently from the others. They just have to ensure they have all the information they need and have made an attempt to comply with the requirements. They should also be prepared to go through the external audits that will definitely be required. If they manage to do so efficiently they will not have any difficulties in getting certified and even begin to make an attempt to join the others who have received the recognition.
Will it be easy for smaller companies to obtain ISO 9001 certification themselves? This question can be debated endlessly, but it is certain that a number of smaller companies will not have the staff, they need to manage the quality management systems that will be needed. They could even have a problem getting the information they need because of size restrictions. Trying to do so without help from an ISO consultant will not be easy for them because the requirements are difficult to follow and in some sections can also be confusing. In such conditions, it will be a better option for smaller companies to consider having a word with ISO certification consultants who will be in the best position to assist them.
ISO certification consultants will not offer their services without a cost, and it is quite possible for smaller companies to get the feeling, whether they would be able to recover the investments, they made. However, they must understand if they decide to have a reliable ISO 9001 consultants, they will not only be competent to get themselves certified but also even to arrange for the finances they need for certification and the promotion of their company after being certified. There is a need for companies of all sizes to understand they stand to benefit a great deal simply by opting to obtain the certification for ISO 9001. After being certified they will be recognized as a company, which has all the systems in place to maintain quality, and one that delivers proper goods or services to its clients. They could even get opportunities to expand their business to regions they had never before imagined. With the benefits outweighing by far the expenditure and the extra workload, smaller companies also can consider applying for ISO 9001 certification doing so with help from an ISO certification consultant.