Congratulations to the Amatec Micro-Poise Team!

Amatec Micro-Poise (Streetsboro, Ohio) – ISO 9001:2015 Certified

Micro-Poise Measurement Systems (a business unit of Amatec, Inc.) provides a complete line of high performance production and laboratory equipment used by manufactures globally to meet their test, measurement and inspection requirements.  This equipment allows customers in the Tire, Wheel, and Automotive industries to assess and correct the balance, uniformity and geometry of tires, wheels, tire & wheels assemblies, power train components, and other products. 

Recognizing the value of a solid quality management system, Amatec Micro-Poise began working with simpleQuE consultant, Jen Briese in March 2018 to implement ISO 9001. By July they passed their certification audit with Smithers Quality Assessments with no findings.  It’s evident this team works hard to provide exceptional craftsmanship with every machine they build.  And by designing and manufacturing quality products, they will always strive to exceed their customers’ expectations.

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Congratulations to Dana Incorporated!

With sites in 33 countries on six continents, Dana Incorporated is positioned to serve customers worldwide. In 2016, Dana was named to Forbes’ List of America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies.  That kind of trust and quality has earned Dana an impressive list of automotive customers including Ford, FCA, Renault-Nissan, GM and Toyota. That’s why IATF 16949 quality management system certification is so important to automotive suppliers like Dana and required by the OEMs.  SimpleQuE has consulted with multiple Dana sites in the U.S. to prepare them to successfully transition from the old standard to the new and we’re very proud of their success. Congratulations to Dana, Inc. and their Quality Teams who have an important role in making our vehicles reliable and safe!

Dana, Inc – Gordonsville, TN
From left:  simpleQuE Operations Manager, Barb Dodson and Dana Quality Team – Will Lanham, Jose Arras, Guy Buckner, Debbie Oldham, Shannon White, John Billingsley

Dana, Inc – Louisville, KY
From left:  Jason Van Over, Quality Manager; Natalie Sheflyand, simpleQuE Consultant;  Tim McDevitt, Plant Manager

Dana, Inc – Dry Ridge, KY
From left:  Todd Perry, Production Manager; Greg White, Quality Manager; Natalie Sheflyand, simpleQuE Consultant; Carol Locke, QE – Audit Lead; Sara Meyer, QE; Mike Hirsch, Plant Manager; Frankie Wuebbling, Quality Team Leader

Congratulations to MPC, Inc and Knight Ergonomics!

Recognizing quality and the teams of two simpleQuE clients who share news of their successful certification.
MPC, Inc. (Walworth, WI + 7 sites) – IATF 16949:2016 Certified
From left:  Sommer Gramly – Quality Engineer, Alexis VanVleet – Quality Systems Coordinator, April Keller – APQP Engineer, Jay Graveen – Corporate Quality Manager, Steve Leathers – Plant Manager Bldg #2, Not pictured:  Tracy Apfel – Internal Audit Administrator
Knight Ergonomics & Assembly Systems, Inc. (Brecksville, OH) – ISO 9001:2015 Certified
Team Knight Ergonomics

What happens if a company drops their ISO/TS 16949 certification, but still wants to maintain their automotive customers?

Question mark heap on table concept for confusion, question or solution

That’s a question that some automotive suppliers are facing as they weigh the various costs and options of meeting the requirements of the new IATF standard. Deanne Sparr, simpleQuE’s Vice President, has discussed this area of concern with a variety of companies who don’t feel they are ready to transition.  Some companies in this situation that kept the IATF scope and continued with the certification audit, under the new IATF Rules, found that the auditor is not permitted to stop the audit and is allowed to write as many findings as needed.  This resulted in IATF audits having over 30+ findings that all then need resolved within 90 days.

Deanne explains, “In this situation, it would be preferable to have an assessment to ISO 9001:2015 only.  By achieving ISO 9001:2015 with this upgrade, you will be meeting the minimum requirements of IATF (clause 8.4.2.3) so customers can continue to source to you.  On the other hand, with any major findings from an IATF audit, your status in the automotive supplier database may affect the ability of automotive customers to source to you during that time.”

To satisfy a company’s automotive customers, Deanne recommends implementing MAQMSR.  This is the Minimum Automotive Quality Management System Requirements for sub-tier suppliers.  It was written by FCA and Ford and is permitted as part of development toward IATF certification with the IATF mandating customers’ approval. (Refer to IATF Sanctioned Interpretation #8.) This is an especially beneficial and cost effective approach for small sub-tier businesses, and for organizations with a diverse portfolio containing a small percentage of automotive business.  Compliance to this standard also satisfies the intent of an automotive supplier to develop and pursue the automotive requirements.  This translates to less risk for automotive customers to use you over a competitor who only has ISO, according to the new IATF requirements (clause 8.4.2.3) that they must now follow.

SimpleQuE has a 4-step consulting approach to assist companies with MAQMSR compliance.  The first step consists of a gap analysis to review the current system and match it to the requirements of MAQMSR.  Next, any gaps found are incorporated into a project plan or action list.  Based on the gaps and level of internal resources, you may opt to manage the project plan to close the gaps or allow one of our simpleQue automotive industry experts to guide you through the process.  Following completion of the MAQMSR compliance process simpleQuE has IATF certified auditors who can perform the MAQMSR compliance audit (steps 3 and/or 4).  Upon completion of the audit and closing of findings, simpleQuEwill issue your company a letter of compliance to MAQMSR that can be shared with potential and current customers.  Certification to ISO 9001 with compliance to MAQMSR will help your company retain current automotive business and increase biding opportunities for new automotive business.

Contact us regarding your management system needs.  SimpleQuE has helped many single and multi-site manufacturing companies who struggled with the ISO 9001:2015 and IATF 16949:2016 standard upgrades.  Let us help you find a customized and effective solution to update and advance your management system in a way that makes sense for your organization.

Soar Above the Competition with AS9100, AS9110 and AS9120

Serving aerospace and defense manufacturers, suppliers and distributers since 2005, simpleQuE offers customized AS9100, AS9110 and AS9120, or ASA-100 (FAA AC00-56) consulting, internal auditing and training services.

Our lead AS9100 series consultants are International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) certified lead auditors with aerospace experience and know what it takes to help clients achieve their goal of establishing, implementing, maintaining, and improving their Quality Management System. As 3rd party auditors for registrars they have first-hand knowledge of what is required to pass an AS9100 certification assessment.

Using this knowledge and experience along with the required tools and techniques, all of our clients have had successful AS9100 certification audits on their first registration assessments and have attributed that mostly to our consulting and training.  That’s a major accomplishment and many of these companies continue to use simpleQue for their internal audits and continuous improvement needs, freeing up limited resources and benefiting from the other advantages to outsourcing these services.

If you are already AS9100, AS9110 or AS9120 certified but are struggling to maintain and improve your Quality Management System, or just need to update the knowledge and skills of your quality team, simpleQuE can help. We offer several courses including AS9100 Internal Auditor Training that have proven to be very beneficial to our customers.  Executive Overview, Requirements, Risk Management, and Problem Solving/Root Cause Analysis are some of the AS9100 Training Courses available that can be customized and held on site. We believe in experiential learning where you go beyond lecture and incorporate exercises to apply the learning, and use actual workplace examples from your company; thus allowing students to better learn, retain and apply their knowledge.

Visit simpleQuE’s website to see the many services we offer for your AS9100, AS9110 and AS9120 needs. Contact us for a customized path that will put you far above the competition.

ISO 9001 Resources and Tools to Prepare for Certification

Many companies aren’t sure where to start when it comes to implementing ISO 9001 or a new quality management system, so ISO 9001 resources and tools are useful.  SimpleQuE has been around since 2005 and over the years, we’ve developed some tools for organizations to utilize to “make quality excellence simple”.  After all, that’s what our name stands for. So see if one or more of the options below is just what you need to be on the right path.

Understanding what you need – A short video providing guidelines for choosing an ISO 9001 consultant.

Customized consulting services – ISO 9001 Gap assessment is one of the many tools we use to support and improve an organization’s overall processes.  A thorough ISO 9001 Gap Analysis identifies what needs to be implemented or changed based on the extent to which a company already complies with their current systems. The gap assessment results in an action plan that functions as a road map for each task that needs to be accomplished and is a great project management tool, as it assesses their own timing expectations based on the resources available. Additionally, using our gap analysis as a pre-assessment tool or readiness audit rather than a certification body’s allows our ISO 9001 consultants to coach and consult when problems are found.

Download our free ISO 9001 Sample Manufacturing Process Audit Checklist – This example is used to examine a company’s key manufacturing process and prepare for the highest quality internal auditing possible.

Customized on-site training – From ISO 9001 Implementation and Requirements Training to ISO 9001 Internal Audit Training, simpleQuE courses are designed to meet the specific needs of an organization.  The course – ISO 9001 Internal Auditor with the Process Audit Approach fulfills the requirements for competent, knowledgeable, and well trained internal auditors, including hands-on practice auditing.

Whether you have a mature system and an experienced quality team or are new to the quality arena, simpleQuE has the resources and expertise to help you achieve your objectives and ISO 9001 standard certification.  Contact us to learn more.

ISO 14001 Certification – Much More Than a Green Standard

When the ISO 14001 standard was initiated, it served as a guide for gauging and monitoring the activities of a company and its impact on the environment. ISO 14001 certification is now widely utilized by thousands of organizations around the globe to illustrate to the public and its constituents that it is environmentally responsible. As a result, more and more companies are able to monitor and correct any processes and systems that could be negatively affecting the environment, making the organization more eco-friendly.

ISO 14001 certification has numerous benefits for an organization in addition to helping the environment.  Some of these could include:

  • Reducing waste and carbon footprint
  • Cutting costs by conserving energy and input materials as well as decreasing incidents that can cause an organization to sustain liability expenses.
  • Promotes a positive image and credibility to the public by pledging to customers an organization’s commitment to caring for the environment and preventing pollution
  • Utilizing accurate data and information on the improvements to be made within an organization will decrease the chances these changes will be unsuccessful and require additional testing, resulting in more time and expense
  • Fosters a positive attitude with employees who are motivated to work in an organization that demonstrates environmental responsibility.

Implementing an ISO 14001 environmental management system provides an organization the framework for monitoring its effects on the environment and how to improve and increase the positive impact. This commitment demonstrates the responsibility of an organization’s environmental effect, which in turn builds greater customer trust, employee confidence and potentially new business opportunities.  Establishing and upholding the environmental aspects of a company’s processes is the first step towards making helpful changes within an organization, its environment and around the globe, creating positive affects for years to come.

If your organization is looking to reduce its impact on the environment, contact us to find out how your company can obtain ISO 14001 certification through simpleQuE’s range of ISO 14001 training and consulting services.

What is ISO 9001 Certification and Why is it so Important?

The ISO 9001 standard exists to provide organizations with the opportunity to develop baseline quality management systems, improve processes and meet the needs of customers. Achieving ISO 9001 certification is an important step for manufacturers and service providers, as it emphasizes performance while proving a dedication to quality and customers.

As ISO 9001 certification has been adopted across a wide range of industries, the standards have been altered to fit specific industry requirements. From the automotive and aerospace industries to telecommunications companies, laboratory settings, medical device manufacturers and more, each industry has adopted its own set of standards that all derive from the basic principles of the ISO 9000 series.

What are the Benefits of ISO 9001 Certification?
There are a variety of advantages to having ISO 9001 certification. It creates a more efficient, effective operation for a company, if implemented properly, and also improves employee awareness and motivation, and increases customer satisfaction. Here are some additional reasons to get ISO 9001 certified:

  • Client Requirements – More and more customers are demanding that their vendors be certified. If your business doesn’t meet this criteria you could be losing out on sales.
  • Increased Revenue – Studies show that ISO 9001 certified organizations are paid 7% more on average, have better sales growth and an improved ROA. (source: iso.org)
  • Reduce Waste – By establishing the rigor of an ISO 9001 Quality Management System, you can reduce inefficiency and make the most of your business’ time and resources.
  • Brand Image – Maintaining quality in your organization minimizes the chance of a slip up or error that could hurt your reputation.
  • Manage Risk – ISO 9001:2015 is all about managing risk. By adopting these standards you will learn how to best identify and mitigate threats to your business model.

Most importantly, as your company grows, becoming certified is vital to fostering continued success in the future.

SimpleQuE – ISO 9001 Certification Experts

SimpleQuE (an ISO 9001 certified company) assists organizations with implementation, improvement or transition of the standards by providing customized ISO 9000 consulting, training and internal auditing services and solutions. Contact us for more information or to hire an ISO 9001 consultant.

Rolling Out ISO 19011:2018 – Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems

Administrator business man financial inspector and secretary making report calculating or checking balance. Internal Revenue Service inspector checking document. Audit concept.

ISO 19011:2018 was released in July, and the new revisions have truly transformed the contents of the standard. The changes, including most significantly a new risk-based auditing approach, recognize the importance of managing risk in any management system, as well as the marketplace.

ISO 19011 provides guidelines for auditing management systems, enabling effective auditing across multiple systems at the same time. The document offers guidance regarding:

  • The principles of auditing
  • Managing an audit program
  • Conducting management system audits
  • Guidance on evaluating the competence of those involved in the audit process, including the managers, auditors and audit teams

It can be used by any organization that needs to conduct internal or external audits of management systems, including 2nd party and supplier audits.

The new standard revision puts an increased focus on risk – a Principle of Auditing has been added into Clause 4, and a series of new sub-clauses emphasizes the standard’s new risk-based approach principle, including calls for consideration of risk and opportunities when performing an audit and managing the audit program.  

Auditors are now advised to employ a Risk Based Approach, an audit approach that considers risks and opportunities. This risk-based approach, according to the new language, should “substantively influence the planning, conducting and reporting of audits in order to ensure that audits are focused on matters that are significant for the auditee and for achieving the audit program objectives.”

This Risk Based Approach joins Integrity, Fair Presentation, Due Professional Care, Confidentiality, Independence and Evidence Based Approach as ISO 19011’s expectations.  Your certification body will want to see your knowledge of the new standard, implementation plans and timing for your company to adopt this new approach to your internal audits.

Other revisions to the standard include:  

  • Additional guidance on managing an audit program
  • Expanded guidance on conducting an audit
  • An expansion of the generic competence requirements for auditors
  • Adjusted terminology to reflect the process and not the object
  • Removal of the annex providing competence requirements for auditing specific management system disciplines
  • An expansion of Annex A to provide guidance on auditing new concepts such as organizational context, leadership and commitment, virtual audits, compliance and supply chain.  

SimpleQuE’s auditors have extensive training and experience and follow ISO 19011’s guidelines for conducting audits, can you say the same for your auditors?  Contact us for more information about training your internal auditors or outsourcing your audits.