ISO certification certifies that a management system, manufacturing process, service, or documentation procedure has all the requirements for standardization and quality assurance. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental, international organization that develops standards to ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of products, services, and systems.
ISO certifications exist in many areas of industry, from energy management and social responsibility to medical devices and energy management. ISO standards are in place to ensure consistency. Each certification has separate standards and criteria and is classified numerically. For instance, the ISO certification we currently hold at Mead Metals is ISO 9001:2008.
In order to sell to certain industries, being ISO 9001 certified is required - the automotive industry is a popular example. We were certified to ISO in 1998, and it's helped our organization in numerous ways.
ISO standards have given us a layout of what needs to be done on every order. We know the standards that need to be met, and we have the tools in place to ensure quality, consistency, and safety. What we do, how we check for quality, and what's required of us is all laid out by ISO.
ISO certification standards also help keep our products and services relevant. When the standards change, we change along with them. When we work with new customers, we send them our certification details so they know they can expect ISO standards be met.
It is beyond any uncertainty that the benchmarks like the ISO 9001:2015 certification are the universal standards for impeccable Quality Management Systems (QMS). It emphasizes a well-defined structure for quality management in all organizations for all their products, processes and systems. The key objective of this standard is that all products of an organization meet the specifications and conditions for all customer satisfaction, in the most attainable way.
Since the Government Departments emphasize on the quality of the products they procure from the private sellers, the manufacturers having GeM registration as OEM are supposed to have ISO certification for their products.
It is important to note that only the manufacturers having GeM registration as OEM on the Government e-Marketplace are supposed to get the ISO certification. There are certain stages when the GeM OEM sellers are asked for the ISO certification.
These are discussed below:
a. Vendor registration:
Once a manufacturer gets a GeM registration and is given an OEM panel, then the seller has to complete the Vendor registration process.
The vendor registration process is subject to quality audit by the Quality Council of India [QCI]. During this stage, the manufacturer’s products have to go through with quality assessment conducted by the Quality Council of India (QCI). The manufacturer may be asked to obtain further certification such as ISO certification, specifically the three key ISO standards-
On successful assessment, payment of government fees of INR 11,200/- + 18% GST (which is non-refundable) has to be made.
b. Tender application:
Another important stage where the ISO certification is essentially required is while applying for a government tender.
The government departments broadcast their requirement on the GeM portal as well as the Central Public Procurement Portal (CPPP) for the procurement of goods or services. They invite the GeM sellers to apply for the government tenders. Generally in the tender notice, the government departments clearly specify that the sellers must have ISO certification. Besides, the ISO certification will not be considered if it’s obtained after the date of tender publication.
c. Product listing:
In order to make his products available for sale on the GeM portal, the seller has to upload the products that he wishes to sell on the GeM portal. This process is known as the Product listing. During this procedure, the seller is required to give the technical specifications of his product. In certain cases such as electronic goods, additional parameters are required, including ISO certification.