Since its launch 25 years ago, over 1 million companies in more than178 countries have been certified to the internationally recognised standard for Quality Management Systems, ISO 9001. NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland) is celebrating ISO’s 25th anniversary by praising the first company in Ireland to have been ISO 9001 certified in 1987 at a special awards event. In addition, at the event MP Ryan Ltd were also formally presented with a certificate for their recent accreditation of their occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system to the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series of Standards OHSAS 18001:2007.
MP Ryan Ltd, specialise in Electrical Instrumentation Installation and Maintenance, Asset Integrity Services and Cathodic Protection. The company was founded in Clonmel in 1984 and currently provides services within Ireland and the UK. Robert Ryan, Director of MP Ryan, said, “We use the certification of standards to demonstrate our commitment to the continuous improvement of the services we offer to our clients.”
Speaking at the event, John Perry, TD, Minister for Small Business, said, “Ireland’s small and medium size organisations benefit most from standards and certification. They can open the door to export markets, win new business, create growth and reduce business risks. In 1987, Longford based contract injection moulding company Tool and Plastic became the first Irish company to be certified to ISO 9001 by NSAI, taking its first step toward implementing quality management systems. The company is today being recognised for its pioneering work, driven by their passion for quality, from the company’s very foundation in 1968. Using standards such as ISO 9001 can give Irish companies the required competitive edge they need to perform confidently in both the domestic and vitally important international markets.”
More than 1,200 companies have been certified by NSAI to date, with over 150 Irish companies certified in 2011 alone. A Harvard study¹ of 1,000 companies has shown that ISO 9001 adopters have a greater chance for survival, suffering less “firm deaths” than non-ISO adopters. Organisations that pursued standards had higher growth rates for sales, employment, payroll and average annual earnings. Sales were close to 10% higher and there was higher employment growth at ISO certified workplaces.
Mr Maurice Buckley, CEO, NSAI, said, “On the 25th anniversary of the ISO 9001 standard, we honour both the first company to be certified in Ireland by NSAI as well as the more than 30 other companies being certified this morning. It is vital for businesses to understand that Standards are systems that become a company-wide way of doing business that puts the customer and his or her needs at the centre of all you do. ISO certification is not a one-time event – it is just the first step in on-going continuous quality improvement and has become the standard for conducting business in the international arena.”
Concluded Mr Buckley, “Today, Irish businesses are under more pressure financially than in previous years. The most critical priorities for SME’s are still cost reduction and improved efficiencies. Standards have a proven direct positive impact on a company’s business performance. Registration to recognised standards, such as ISO, by an accredited certification body such as NSAI, shows a commitment to quality, customers, and a willingness to work towards improving efficiency. Standards also enhance your company reputation and image in the eyes of customers, employees and shareholders alike.”