ISO 9001 Certification: The Answer for Amazon Supplier Requirements?

ISO 9001 Certification: The Answer for Amazon Supplier Requirements?

It almost goes without saying now, but Amazon is big. Operating over 170 global distribution centers, and accounting for about 5% of all U.S. retail sales, Amazon has become a fixture of the global retail landscape. Due to its sheer size and major footprint across industries, it’s easy to see why Amazon would place a steady focus on quality requirements for its suppliers to its Amazon Distribution Centers.

What Do Amazon’s Supply Chain Standards Say About Quality?

According to the Amazon Supply Chain Standards official documentation, suppliers are required to implement a quality management system to meet applicable laws, its own supplier code, ensure compliance, and support continual improvement. While the broadly written Amazon Supply Chain Standards document doesn’t specifically call out ISO 9001 certification, the key principles it highlights are clear hallmarks of ISO 9001.

For instance, the standards document lists both continuous improvement and supply chain accountability as core principles for Amazon requiring its suppliers to adopt a management system. Additionally, under the “Management Systems” tab, the Amazon Supply Chain Standards document also devotes sections to management accountability, risk management, training, communication, and documentation – all of which are core components of ISO 9001 certification requirements

What Amazon Suppliers are Affected?

These requirements by Amazon are aimed at all equipment and hardware suppliers for Amazon’s Distribution centers. That includes, but is not limited to:

  • Parcel handling equipment (conveyors and chutes)
  • Inventory control (scanners, barcode readers, labeling, printers, computers, etc.)
  • Storage (racks, boxes, shelving, pallets, containers, packaging, etc.)
  • Transportation (robots, forklifts, jack lift, pallet jack, etc.)

Is ISO 9001 Certification the Answer for Suppliers?

At its most basic, ISO 9001 compliance requirements can be boiled down to 10 over-arching clauses, three of which are not auditable and are more knowledge-based. That leaves 7 clauses, and when you consider specifically what Amazon is asking for from its suppliers’ management systems, the following 5 clauses and their sub-clauses stand out as directly addressing everything that Amazon has called out in its supply chain standards:

  • Leadership — covers top management's responsibilities and commitments
  • Planning — addresses organizational opportunities, risks, changes and quality objectives
  • Support — includes the resources needed for the quality management system (QMS) and necessary documentation (sub-clauses speak directly to communication, competence, as well as documented information)
  • Operation — covers all aspects of creating products, including design, external providers, the release of services and products and nonconforming outputs (sub-clauses address requirements for products and services and control of externally provided processes, products, and services – which can include compliance and regulations)
  • Improvement — requires the continual improvement of your QMS

Not only does getting ISO 9001 certified provide a framework and guidance to meeting all of Amazon’s supply chain requirements, but the standard is written in a way that lets you create a QMS that makes sense for your business.

ISO 9001 Certification Benefits Beyond Meeting Amazon’s Supply Chain Requirements

With a strong, well-thought-out Quality Management System in place, an organization certified to ISO 9001 can realize benefits that exceed simply meeting the Amazon Supply Chain Standard. Benefits to your organization can include:

  • Boost in process efficiencies
  • Waste reduction
  • Better output quality
  • Stronger customer acquisition and retention

Smithers Provides ISO 9001 Certification Expertise to Amazon Suppliers

Smithers has years of experience helping thousands of companies navigate the ISO 9001 certification process. We also have particular expertise in guiding Amazon distribution center suppliers to achieve certification. We can help steer your team through the ISO 9001 certification process, helping you to address the Amazon supply chain requirements while providing you guidance targeted to your specific needs. Request a quote today to get started.

Download the Information Sheet

ISO 9001 certification for Amazon suppliers

How can we help?

Show Policy

ISO 9001 Certification Related Articles

Latest Resources

See all resources