Why Companies Are Becoming ISO
Removing the Barriers to ISO Implementation
ISO 9001 Background
The Strategy For Implementation
ISO 9001 Outline
ISO 9001:2000 - Article
ISO 14001 Implementation Strategy
Expectations; A “can-do” attitude helps a nonprofit achieve ISO
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
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
, 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
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.
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
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
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.
The Strategy For Implementation
There are three phases in the strategy:
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.
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
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
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.
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
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:
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.
Measurement, Analysis and
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
Measurement of customer satisfaction as it relates to overall system
Increased emphasis on the role of senior management
Increased attention to resource availability
Data analysis of the performance of the quality management system
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.