The Advantages of Outsourcing Internal Audits

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If your organization is certified to ISO 9001 or a standard that is aligned with it, like AS9100 or IATF 16949, and you perform audits internally, then you should know this:

This means that Certification Bodies are scrutinizing internal auditors and their competency, especially when it involves IATF.  That’s why many companies are choosing to outsource their internal audits to a 2nd party like simpleQuE whose auditors are qualified, certified, competent and are experts on the standards and customer specific requirements. In addition, many are current or former 3rd party auditors and bring valuable insight because of that knowledge gained from auditing for certification bodies.

Here are more reasons to outsource internal audits from our very own team of auditors (who have seen it all):

Why audits should not be done internally:

  • Without proper training and experience, internal auditors don’t fulfil the competency requirements
  • Lack of time to perform the audits and write reports
  • Reports with limited or no findings or objective evidence
  • No demonstration of the process approach or risk based thinking
  • Timeliness of management in responding to findings/report
  • Internal turnover resulting in too much variation in reporting/focus and overall quality of audits

Advantages to outsourcing internal audits

  • Fresh set of eyes from outside the organization that are objective and unbiased
  • Reduces company’s investment in continual training on changing requirements
  • Professional and timely reports
  • More cost and time effective, freeing up internal resources
  • Management gives greater attention to an outside expert, especially when there are sensitive issues that an inside auditor may be hesitant to address
  • Better internal response and acceptance of findings and opportunities for improvement
  • More content, findings, comments, opportunities for improvement and observations for added value
  • Our auditors have:
    • In depth knowledge of the standard’s requirements,
    • Experience in the field and can share best practices,
    • An understanding of the process approach and risk based thinking
    • The ability to provide consulting while auditing
    • Compliance to ISO 19011 on auditing management systems

All solid reasons for turning your audits over to the experts.  Contact us at 740-305-0868 or [email protected] for more information.

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Lauren Manufacturing Achieves Quality and Environmental Management System Certifications

Congratulations!  Lauren Manufacturing (New Philadelphia, Ohio), a Lauren International company, received ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 (environmental) certifications from Eagle Certification Group.  Since 1965 the company has grown from a seal and gasket manufacturer to a sophisticated business supply partner for leading OEMs, engineers and builders and to industries around the globe including automotive, agriculture, window and door, HVAC, renewable energy, lighting and more.  With facilities in Ohio and Michigan, total quality management is the foundation of their entire organization. To ensure quality materials are used for every customer application, they mix and test their own materials on site. They also design and build process equipment in-house to ensure products are manufactured to exact specifications.  Lauren’s adherence to lean manufacturing principles prevents defects and maximizes value for their customers from product design to delivery.

In addition, the company is committed to environmental management requirements and complies with regulations by local, state and federal agencies.  With EMS risks and opportunities identified, Lauren’s leadership planned objectives to address them. Each objective has a responsible person or team assigned with action item plans for achieving the EMS intended results.  These objectives and targets were communicated across the organization and are monitored and evaluated for status/progress updates to ensure continual improvement of the EMS and enhance environmental performance.

To assist with the transition to the new ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 standards, simpleQuE consultants began working with Lauren in early 2017, providing a gap analysis and support in preparation for their external audit in November 2017.  Originally, the company which is currently ISO/TS 16949 (automotive) certified, had thought they would also transition to the new IATF 16949 standard.  However, due to the complexities and numerous requirements of the new standard, it was determined that Lauren Manufacturing could meet their automotive customer’s requirements with MAQMSR and CQI-19 audits and compliance.  SimpleQuE consultants continue to work with Lauren to meet those objectives and to ensure that their reputation is built upon trust, service, innovation and quality.

Congratulations on Successful Certification!

AeroDyne WorldWide – AS9120B
Allied Motion – ISO 14001:2015
American Micro Industries, Inc. – IATF 16949:2016 and AS9100D
Arrowhead Industries Corp. – IATF 16949:2016
Asahi Forge of America Corp. – ISO 9001:2015
Batesville Products, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
BHC (Brulin Holding Company) – ISO 9001:2015
FireCraft Safety Products– ISO 9001:2015
Harvard Steel Sales/Harvard Coil Processing – ISO 9001:2015
Hilton Software – AS9100D
Hocker Tool and Die, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
Jasper Rubber Products, Inc. – IATF 16949:2016
Knight Ergonomics and Assembly Systems, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
KSM Metal Fabrication – AS9100D
Materion Corp. (6 sites)   –  AS9100D
Meteor Sealing Systems, LLC – IATF 16949:2016
Robin Industries Development Center (RDC) – IATF 16949:2016
Shamrock Technologies, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
Silfex, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
Superior Battery Manufacturing Co. – IATF 16949:2016

Impact Label – Making a Lasting Impact

Image of Impact Label Corp

Congratulations to Impact Label Corporation for achieving ISO 9001:2015 certification! Impact Label leaves a lasting impact with their custom labels, panels, overlays and tags for industrial and consumer applications. The company has been a West Michigan product identification provider since 1964. Customer driven and quality focused, Impact Label is continually striving for zero defects by encouraging team members to use scientific problem solving methods and empowering them to stop the production process when necessary in order to build quality the first time, ensuring consistent results.

ISO certification was a way to further ensure their quality objectives were met.  Working with simpleQuE consultant, Karen Spencer, who performed a gap analysis of the quality management system, the Impact Label team worked their way through the action plan to be sure they were ready for their certification audit with DQS, Inc.  Good work and congratulations!

Congratulations to the entire Die Craft Team!

Founded in 1970, Die Craft Machining and Engineering is a certified ISO 9001:2015 and ITAR Compliant corporation offering precision CNC machining fabrication, assembly and industrial repair services to support general industry in the greater Cincinnati area.  A broad range of machinery, combined with their talented workforce, allows them to service a variety of clients in Aerospace, Chemical, Defense, General Contracting, Food Processing, Paper, Rail Transportation, Steel and Utilities Industries steel, paper and pulp, chemical and construction.

Die Craft’s partnership with simpleQuE began in 2013 with a gap analysis to determine the actions necessary to implement ISO 9001. It was followed with consulting, training and guidance to support their efforts for successful ISO 9001:2008 certification.  SimpleQuE continued in the following years performing their internal audits.  In 2016 Die Craft began the transition to ISO 9001:2015 with a gap assessment by simpleQuE consultant, Don Milinkovich.  The quality team at Die Craft worked on the action plan and in October 2017 Don performed a validation audit to evaluate the quality management system against requirements for the new standard.  Success!  Die Craft passed their audit with Eagle Certifications Group to and transitioned to ISO 9001:2015.

What makes Die Craft stand out from the rest?  A philosophy that is centered on a partnering culture, delivering the complete approach for an unparalleled commitment to their customers’ success.  Die Craft can reverse engineer old parts as well as develop new solutions.  Analyzing every part that comes in the door for improvements is a regular part of the service they provide. Whether it’s customized services/products or engineering support, Die Craft’s long-term focus, through industry and knowledge-based planning, allows them to deliver cost effective solutions, reduce manufacturing lead times and improve quality.

The Impact of ISO 14001:2015 on the Environment and the Workplace

Beautiful turquoise waters of the Moraine lake with snow-covered peaks above it in Rocky Mountains, Banff National Park, Canada.

Earth Day is April 22nd which is right around the corner and we are reminded how important it is to remember our corporate responsibility to the environment when we approach our daily tasks.  Every organization is different and so is its impact on the environment. Those that hold an ISO 14001:2015 certification ensures they are being good stewards of our environment.

An ISO 14001 certification ensures that there is “a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an effective environmental management system,” per the International Standards Organization (ISO). “Using ISO 14001:2015 can provide assurance to company management and employees as well as external stakeholders that environmental impact is being measured and improved.”

A workplace can be affected by company moral, especially when it is low. Allowing employees to see and experience firsthand an organization that has processes and procedures in place to protect the environment not only boosts moral but has been shown to improve the corporate image to its customers and to the public. When employees take part in company improvements, they are more apt to engage in other aspects of the company.  In fact, when potential job candidates are given the option to work for a company that shows they care and are concerned with the environment over one that does not, the majority prefer the first.  Employees who are involved in a group effort to decrease the company’s environmental footprint will often have an increased employee focus and retention, and it is simpler and less costly to keep employees than it is to recruit and train new ones.

Organizations using ISO 14001 have found success across a range of areas, including:

  • Reduced energy and water consumption
  • A more systematic approach to legal compliance
  • Improved overall environmental performance

As we acknowledge the significance of each person and organization to participate in being good stewards of our environment, our goal is that you understand the benefits of obtaining ISO 14001 certification and remember to do your part to care for Mother Earth.

IATF 16949 Transition Strategy and Requirements Update


The International Automotive Task Force just released Revision 5 of the IATF 16949 Transition Strategy and Requirements. This revision of the Transition Strategy document incorporates a new FAQ no. 20 that clarifies questions for those situations where a previously certified IATF 16949 organization has to start over with an initial certification audit to IATF 16949.

Download the IATF 16949 Transition Strategy and Requirements document