If your organization is considering partnering with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider, you’re going to read a lot of things about the companies that you scout. In doing so, you may encounter a simple phrase that is easy to overlook: “ISO 9001-certified.” That simple phrase says a great deal about logistics quality management, and can go a long way toward separating your chosen 3PL from the rest of the pack.
What is ISO?
“ISO” is short for the International Organization for Standardization – an independent international organization that develops standards to define expertly-agreed-upon method(s) of performing a given task in order to ensure quality and consistency.
Importantly, ISO creates these standards but does not perform certification, which is handled by external organizations (not all ISO standards involve certification). Certification simply designates a company as being compliant with a standard. There are 21,769 standards, with quality management (ISO 9001) being the most common within the logistics industry.
Why should you care if your 3PL provider is ISO 9001-certified?
In the logistics industry, lack of discipline around process execution can lead to costly errors. A 3PL’s ISO 9001 certification assures its customers that every operational aspect will adhere to stringent quality standards – whether it’s in the warehouse, on the way to a customer, or anywhere in between.
ISO-9001 sets requirements for a quality management system (QMS). The system documents process steps that, if followed, ensure that products and/or services meet customer expectations as well as regulatory requirements. The 8 main principles of ISO 9001 include:
- Customer focus
- Involvement of people
- Process approach
- System approach to management
- Continuous improvement
- Factual approach to decision making
- Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
Organizations seek ISO 9001 certification to show customers – and potential customers – that they take logistics quality management very seriously and have gone to great lengths to ensure operational excellence. ISO 9001 certification involves a lengthy training process – complete with audits – that takes several months to complete. Therefore, when you see that a company is “ISO 9001-certified,” you can conclude that it is committed to quality and has logged the hours to back it up.
Kanban’s ISO certifications
Kanban takes pride in its ISO 9001:2015 certification. Our adherence to ISO standards allows us to consistently deliver quality to our customers, while allowing us to routinely measure and optimize our performance across the board.
We are also AS9100-certified, since we regularly work with aerospace industry customers. The AS9100 quality standard is recognized as the aerospace industry standard by the FAA. It builds upon ISO 9001 QMS standards and adds additional aerospace-specific requirements from the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, and the FAA.
Contact us today to learn more about Kanban’s commitment to logistics quality management.
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