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Why Companies Are Becoming ISO 9001 Certified

Removing the Barriers to ISO Implementation

ISO 9001 Background

The Strategy For Implementation

ISO 9001 Outline

ISO 9001:2000 - Article

ISO 14001 Implementation Strategy

 

"Exceeding Expectations; A “can-do” attitude helps a nonprofit achieve ISO 9001 registration."

This inspiring story is about a non-profit organization that completed ISO 9001 certification by believing in themselves, their mission and the people that work for them. Read about this in the August 2008 issue of Quality Digest.

"Does it pay for firms to seek ISO 9000 certification?"

While this question is as old as ISO 9000 itself, it remains essential, and largely unanswered! What is new – to the best of our knowledge – is the combination of data and methods followed by the authors of this article, a foursome of business school academics from the United States and Spain , in providing an answer. Download the PDF file here

"ISO 9001 timeline action plan”

Are you looking for a way to start your initiative but wondering where to begin? This format is appreciated by our clients as it provides a starting point to develop the right plan with the right timeline for your organization. Please note this is a format not the “magic pill” to complete ISO 9001. Sorry we don’t subscribe to the magic pill philosophy and will need to work with you to develop a plan that will meet your particular circumstance. Download the PDF file here

Why Companies Are Becoming ISO 9001 Certified
In 1987 a global standard for Quality was approved and released. By 1993 27,000 organizations had become certified to the standard.
Since then over 600,000 organizations have completed the certification which has become the de-facto standard for Quality Management. For many industries the certification has become a requirement to do business.
Companies that become interested in the certification process generally fall into one of three categories:

1. Is ISO for me? This team needs to have a better understanding of what the standard is and is not along with information on the implementation process
2. I need certification now. This group usually has a pressing customer requirement or a pending PO that requires ISO 9001 certification.
3. I am going for ISO certification but need help. This group has identified the benefits of ISO 9001 for their organization and is looking for guidance in understanding the standard and implementation.

We can help with all three categories assisting with the level of support and information that’s right for your organization.

Removing the Barriers to ISO Implementation


“We don’t know if ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 is right for us”. We provide many different services and do not necessary have an interest in convincing you that ISO 9001 is needed for your team. We will meet with your management team so they can obtain a realistic understanding of the standard and decide based on data.

“We don’t know what it takes to be certified”. We have a clear understanding of the standard and how to implement it into your organization. More importantly we have an understanding of how businesses operate and the positive impact the process will have in an organization.

“We are worried about the cost”. If your organization is having financial challenges we have resources to support your implementation including some state and federal funding. This all depends on your situation and the important part is to first understand if you are going for certification.

“Our management doesn’t have time or interest in this”. Refer to “We don’t know if ISO 9001 is right for us”. The benefits and ROI have to be understood by the senior team to get their commitment. We provide the clear road for management to understand the impact an implementation will have on the organization.

“ There are some key people in our company who are going to resist.” We will work with your staff to help them transition to the new methods and practices. Our methods are proven and the benefits will be obvious to your staff as we continue on the journey.

“There is too much documentation for an ISO program.” This is by far the least understood portion of ISO 9001or ISO 14001 implementation. We provide a clear strategy, that's easy to understand and follow. Our strategy follows the rule that “simple is best”.

“We don’t have time to do this.” A well thought out plan will provide the timing and resources to insure a success.

“We need to understand the ROI”. Download our article “Does ISO pay?” Many of the initial savings are not captured because the system is in the formation stages and basic operating systems our becoming more effective. We are happy to work with your CFO to capture some of these savings.

ISO 9001 Background

In 1987, the International Organization for Standardization in Geneva released the ISO 9001 series of documents that were requirements for a Quality Management System. The ISO 9001 quality management system provides a method to "verify process consistency" by defining and auditing an organization's systems and procedures. Three standards were issued to be certified to; ISO 9001,9002 and 9003. To date, over 343,000 certifications have been issued and they continue to gain wide acceptance in all different types of organizations.

ISO 9001 has achieved wide acceptance primarily because it is customer driven. In simple terms, customers want to know if your organization can deliver your service or product in a consistent manner and if you have a system in place to maintain customer focus and drive improvement. However, for any unfortunate soul that has taken the time to read the ISO 9001:1994 standards the attempt has been met with poorly worded phrases and less than desirable sentence structure. In addition, the current ISO 9001 standard does not clearly address some key organizational objectives such as customer satisfaction and continual improvement. All of this has led to the first major revision of the standard since it's inception; ISO 9001:2000. The new document will combine the requirements of the previous certification standards (ISO 9001,2,3) into one document. Organizations certified to ISO 9002 will have to justify the "exclusion" of the design and development requirement in ISO 9001.
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The Strategy For Implementation
There are three phases in the strategy:

Phase I
The leadership develops its understanding of what the standard requires and what the company needs to do to make its quality system effective. The company's resources need to be organized and a time line developed.

Phase II
Once the plan is in place it must be shared with the rest of the organization. This is necessary to get the buy in from the team and obtain as much input during the design of the system. Also included in this phase is the documentation process which is commonly misunderstood. Our program aligns the documentation process with your business methods and practices. Many companies have ended up with a ball and chain documentation program by "buying" or "copying" another program. Most companies begin to feel the real pain of this error within the first 24 months after registration. Our methodology builds continuous process improvement into your system giving your company a system which will continue to grow as your organization matures.
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Phase III
When phase two is complete the quality system must then be evaluated by using the internal audit process. This phase also includes a review of you system by Management. This helps with the buy in and also gives the management team insight into the strengths and opportunities

Once you are satisfied that your system is "doing what you say" you can then apply to a registrar for the external audit.

Registration is the beginning of the benefits

There is naturally a great sense of achievement at becoming certified and yet it is the 'means' not the 'end' which is most beneficial. The improvements you make in your business operations on the journey to certification will both reduce your operating costs and increase your customer satisfaction.

An effective quality system gives you this double benefit. Companies who have followed the approach described here have reported reducing operating costs by as much as 10%; reducing back orders to customers from 10% to close to zero; increasing production rates by 20% and reducing cycle time by as much as 80%. All of these improvements have led to increased customer satisfaction and increased business. An effective quality system is a 'win-win' for yourself and the customer.
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ISO 9001 Outline
ISO 9001 is divided into four main sections. Each section is designed to define responsibilities within the organization. The standard has additional sections that will guide the organization with continuous improvement.

Management Responsibility will be to:

Focus on the Customer

Ensure that the Quality Policy (mission statement) has relevance

Plan activities

Define Responsibilities and Authorities

Ensure there is Internal Communication

Review the quality system to drive improvement

Resources need to be defined to improve the system. These include:

Human Resources

Work Environment

Facilities

Define what we do how we do it, control it and improve it.

This are covers the essence of the business. The key is we need to demonstrate how our systems work in unison. These can include design, purchasing, our service or production, preservation of records or materials and our methods of distributions.
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Measurement, Analysis and Improvement
Using the data from monitoring, measuring, analyzing and auditing processes to improve processes and as a basis on which to assure conformity

ISO 9001:2000 - Article
The final version was released in December 2000. Organizations will have up to three years from the date of release to convert to the new standard.

ISO 9001:2001 is different in format, wording and content from the 1994 version. The standard is more in line with the philosophy and objectives of most national quality award programs such as the Malcolm Baldridge award. It's content has a more logical sequence and is more user-friendly for the service industries. Along with the new format comes new requirements, and clarification of others. For example the standard will now address more clearly the need for a defined program in the following areas:

Measurement of customer satisfaction as it relates to overall system performance.

Increased emphasis on the role of senior management

Continual Improvement

Increased attention to resource availability

Human Resources

Data analysis of the performance of the quality management system
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New Standard Implementation:

The level of impact the new standard has on your organization will rest mainly with the systems you have in place today. For example, many organizations have implemented very effective customer satisfaction programs that have become a way of life. This will lead to a much smoother transition to the new requirement. Others will need time to develop a process to address

customer satisfaction criteria to meet the standard's requirement.
These changes will have an impact on your organization if you are registered to the current standard or if you plan to begin the process to have your organization registered soon. As a general statement the new revision is more reflective of how an organization is operating and has elements that most progressive organizations are striving to implement. The standard provides a road map to implement processes in segments of the organization that need improvement. By using the standard as a quality management road map it "forces" decisions to be made about critical business processes that have been delayed or ignored for months or even years.

ISO 9001 has proven time and again to be an effect and profit-making tool for implementing and improving an organization's business processes. Of course as with any tool, it's unguided misuse has frustrated many organizations and has many times been labeled as "another customer requirement". With the changes in ISO 9001:2000, comes an opportunity to implement processes that will give added visibility and strength to important business metrics such as customer satisfaction and continual improvement.

Introduction Session:

The impact from the change will vary from organization to organization depending on the depth of implementation of continual improvement and customer satisfaction techniques. One thing is for certain; the new standard will require a complete review of your quality system as well as some modifications in policy documentation.

Updated from version published in July 2000 Issue of Data Storage Magazine.
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ISO 14001 Implementation Strategy

ISO 14001 shares many common management system principles with the ISO 9001 series of Quality Systems Standards. The link to ISO 9001 is so close that many companies interested in ISO 14001 first complete ISO 9001 certification. The Environmental Standard places a greater emphasis on measurement and evaluation that the Quality System Standard ISO 9001. This allows for greater efficiency and cost reductions than already realized with ISO 9001. The net result of ISO 14001 registration is an improved competitive position and the ability to meet customer expectation of environmental responsibilities.

What is ISO 14001

ISO 14001, the International Standard on Environmental Management Systems, was launched in September 1996. It is a set of 'good environmental business practices' and provides organizations guidance on how to manage their environmental activities more effectively.
The standard requires an organization to set environmental performance polices, objectives and targets. These are set by the organization internally or determined by environmental laws and regulations.

ISO 14001 is the system that an organization's leadership uses to run their business. It encompasses environmental protection and prevention but also addresses strategic issues and competitive pressures that a business is faced with.

The standard shows how to set policy, plan, implement, monitor, review and improve environmental management systems. By using the standard an organization has a system which is effective and recognized world-wide.

Implementing 14001

The ISO 14001 standard has a structure that is easier to follow than ISO 9001 and clearly shows where the responsibly of the leadership is. As a result, this approach to ISO 14001 implementation is from a management perspective.

1) Policy - To help the leaders in the business to set clear objectives for minimizing or eliminating negative impact by their business on the environment. To determine what aspects of their business impact the environment.

2) Planning - Once aspects and impacts are identified the planning explains the methods or procedures the company will follow to achieve the policies.

3) Implementation - To show how the company will operate its procedures by defining responsibilities, provide training and ensure information is communicated clearly.

4) Monitoring -The management team will receive feedback on how well the Environmental Management System is performing and inputs into a corrective action system driving continuous improvement.

5) Management Review - This will ensure that the leadership provides the resources or makes necessary changes to ensure the Environmental Management System achieves the stated objectives or policies of the business.
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