Quality management is the gradual progression which cannot be mastered in a mastered in a single shot. A lot of surveillance and modifications is required for the due maintenance to attain the high-level of Quality. The procedure for ISO certification also consists of several steps. Therefore, there are enormous strategies discussed in detail under the ISO 9001:2015 certification for the enhancement of the quality management system. SWOT analysis is one of them. This article is based on the SWOT analysis as per ISO 9001. If you want any further information regarding International standards or Importance of ISO or more then must follow our blog.

What is a SWOT analysis?

The term SWOT refers to the strength and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is a basic technique that can be exercised in any type of situations or activities, in all types of operations. Even, it is an apt method for strategic planning. As a QMS enhancement activity, SWOT analysis contains brainstorming of the processes by recording strengths, weaknesses, and resultant opportunities and threats in a process, product or organization.

How is the SWOT analysis as per ISO 9001 conducted?

Following are the stages that SWOT analysis contains:

  • Internal resources and capabilities are taken into consideration and these are the strength and weaknesses. It is helpful in determining the positive aspects of a process and the shortcomings. Moreover, the combination of which has resulted in a loophole.
  • Secondly, the external aspects are determined and these are the opportunities and threats. A clear picture of the potential threats or risks is given by these aspects.
Given below are the strength and weaknesses that ISO 9001 QMS issues:

Internal Issues

  1. Strengths
  • Years of Experience
  • Business knowledge
  • Financial strength
  • Competitive benefits
  • Strong Customer Relationships

2. Weaknesses

  • Lack of customer variety
  • Narrow market
  • Employee Turnover
  • Lack of knowledge of new equipment
  • Low productivity

External Issues

  1. Opportunities
  • Available capacity
  • New markets
  • New business development
  • High demand for the product

2. Threats

  • Competition Change in industry regulations
  • Strength of dollar
  • Environment
  • Access to capital Expiring Patents

Why is the SWOT analysis conducted?

The final results of the SWOT analysis as per ISO 9001 are thoroughly and formally reviewed. The main aim behind the entire process of SWOT analysis is converting the findings of the SWOT analysis into meaningful action plans to address the potential threats or risks. This is ensured by putting up the following questions in a group discussion (GD):

  1. How to maximize the usage of our strengths?
  2. How to combat the threats determined?
  3. What to overcome the weaknesses identified?
  4. How to gain benefits from the opportunities?

These questions cater to the central objectives of SWOT analysis as per ISO 9001.

How is SWOT analysis implemented into ISO certification 9001?

The ISO 9001: 2015 certification lays due stress on the requirement to conduct a SWOT analysis. The significance of SWOT analysis is discussed under clause 4.1 of ISO 9001:2015. There are four aspects of SWOT analysis as per ISO 9001 that are considered in ISO Certification 9001 with respect to client satisfaction.

How are strengths observed in ISO 9001 QMS?

According to the ISO 9001 directives, the total strength of an organization lies in the perception of the business environment and the needs and expectations of the stakeholders. The usage of the organizational knowledge for a careful analysis of the strengths will gradually assist the organization to grab opportunities for improvements.

How are weaknesses determined in ISO 9001 QMS?

The requirements highlight for the ISO 9001:2015 need a fair evaluation or appraisal of the QMS so as to determine where the organization stands viz-a-viz the desired position. This approach is also referred to the “Gap analysis”.

How to ascertain the opportunities in ISO 9001 QMS?

Following are the techniques to ascertain the opportunities in ISO 9001 QMS:

  • According to the ISO 9001:2015, the opportunity of an organization’s top management lies in being fully involved in the QMS by formulating the quality objectives vis-a-vis the quality policy.
  • Moreover, the related ISO standards also discuss the opportunity to spread awareness of the quality policy of the organization and quality objectives at all managerial levels.
  •  In addition to this, the ISO certification 9001 emphasizes to look out opportunities for proactive enhancement instead of reactive enhancement. Ultimately, this means to work out on preventive actions rather than taking actions only when the things go wrong.

What are threats under ISO certification 9001?

As per ISO 9001:2015, the term Risk or Threat is elaborated as the effect of uncertainty. This can be favorable as well as detrimental. Therefore, the organization must have the following things:

  • Recognize its potential business risks
  • Ascertain the consequences of those risks
  • Engage in risk management activities
  • Monitor the scenario for any adversity

Above described process of risk management as explained above is common to various ISO standards such as ISO 14001, ISO 45001, ISO 22000 etc. Practicing the SWOT analysis as discussed above can really enhance the quality management system as per ISO 9001 directives.


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