Advice and best practices for writing SOPs, training for product launch, outsourcing technical documentation, and more.

ISO Certification Cost: Reducing Expenses in Quality System Management

Being ISO certified offers manufacturers many benefits and opens up new opportunities, but planning for the costs of operating under these standards is an important factor of the certification. From the documentation to the training and implementation that ISO requires, manufacturers can face several recurring expenses. Appropriate preparation can save manufacturers from exceeding their budget, as well as, help determine the most cost-effective ways to achieve ISO certification.


In our recent post about the challenges manufacturers face when beginning the ISO certification, we noted that initial cost is a major consideration. But as industries evolve, the standards for quality systems also evolve, requiring companies to manage the costs of keeping up with ISO requirements. In order to keep quality systems up to date, manufacturers have to incur certain costs:

  • Documentation needs
  • Pre-certification and post-certification audits
  • Continuing system maintenance
  • Outsourced consultants

The advantages of ISO certification outweigh the expenses, yet monitoring and controlling costs is a necessity to eliminate overspending. By reducing ISO maintenance costs, manufacturers can use those savings in other areas. Making improvements to processes eases ISO maintenance as well as the costs that come with meeting those requirements.

Here are our top 5 suggestions to ensure your ISO process is as cost-effective as possible:

5 Ways to Manage ISO Maintenance Costs

1. Outsource to an industry expert
If you're going to outsource documentation needs, such as standard operating procedure development or workflow creation, it's important to choose a professional writer who is familiar with your industry. Using a technical writer ensures effective, usable content. A technical writer who can apply industry knowledge will provide guidance and that will make the procedures writing process easier.

2. Define and update company processes

Well-constructed processes make the company more efficient and support necessary ISO documentation. Without established processes, the technical writer may have to do extra work to understand protocols before beginning ISO certification – costing the company time and money.

3. Plan for internal review

Schedule procedure review sessions in order to include key employees in the documentation process. This will ensure input and buy-in from the employees most familiar with the processes and any changes are understood. Including the appropriate people also ensures nothing is overlooked or incorrect. Make sure the scheduled time is sufficient for thorough review, but still defined enough to keep the ISO process manageable.

4. Implement time management strategies

Lost production time is inevitable for employees who are necessary to defining and managing the ISO implementation process, but reinforcing time management can compensate for lost time. Establish strategies to minimize backlog and keep production on track.

5. Establish well-designed and efficient training programs

To efficiently implement a quality system or changes due to new ISO requirements, make sure employees are trained as soon as changes are implemented and new processes are clear, well-instructed, and well-documented. Having thorough training programs in place makes it easier for employees to incorporate the changes into their daily routines.

To ensure you are maintaining quality system requirements…

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Topics: Quality System documentation, Process documentation