Benefits of ISO 14001:2015

A total of 319,324 certificates were issued to ISO 14001 (including 947 issued to the 2015 version), up from 8% last year. 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

See more of what ISO 14001:2015 can do for your business in the infographic below

SQ_Infographic_BenefitsOfISO14001

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5 Steps To Manage Your Environmental Impact And Boost Growth

hand holding signs of different green sources of energy in hexahedron shape a 'reduce reuse recycle' sign in the centre. Blurred green background. Concept of clean environment.

Twenty years ago small businesses focused on one thing: how to make profits. Today, environmental impact is turning out to be just as important as meeting the bottom line. Here’s how to manage it for growth:

  • Incorporate planning – the very first place to start with addressing environmental impact and risks is to include them in strategic planning at every level. Because ISO 14001 is the cornerstone of environmental standards for a business, planning is essential. If the matter isn’t addressed to begin with from the top down, one of two things occur: 1) no one internally treats the matter as a priority, and 2) responses that do occur end up being ad hoc and disparate, which often incurs more costs than expected.
  • Anticipate that not everyone will be happy at first – getting environmentally focused is still a politically-charged approach. Education is probably the best response, even though it may require a bit more effort. At the end of the day, however, socially-conscious businesses sometimes have to stake out a claim. Choose wisely and then stay the course.
  • Embrace leadership – businesses that really break out and become the major players using ISO 14001 as their environmental management system are not necessarily the biggest in their industry. Smart businesses are out ahead looking for these leadership opportunities to craft their own path and market niche before anyone else.
  • Use size to an advantage – Being a small business comes with a lot of advantages in terms of flexibility and speed for adjusting to changes. Rather than a big bureaucracy involved in shutting down an assembly line, small business can test the waters far more rapidly and frequently with new ideas in environmental impact and that’s a huge competitive advantage when used effectively.
  • Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water – Every new change should have a thorough cost-benefit analysis. There are plenty of existing quality management procedures that align with ISO 14001, including ISO 9001 and IATF 16949.

SimpleQuE offers customized consulting solutions for all sizes of Aerospace, Automotive, Laboratory, Manufacturing and Service organizations. When it comes to environmental impact and responsibility, ISO 14001 certification makes good business sense for businesses small and large, across all industries.

ISO 9001 Myths and Their Reality

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ISO 9001 is the world’s most used management system standard, existing for almost 30 years, it tends to fall into the gap where many people have heard about it, but not many fully understand what the standard involves. As a result, there are common myths about ISO 9001 that simpleQuE can help to clarify.

Is it complicated and difficult to implement?
In most cases, no. SimpleQuE was one of the first consulting companies in the world to become ISO 9001:2015 certified, so we know what it takes to transition to the new standard. It is possible to simplify ISO implementation, transition, training and maintenance, by integrating simple solutions that fit into your company’s culture.  This can be done with a gap audit checklist to identify where you’re already in compliance and more effectively target only those areas that need work.

Isn’t ISO 9001 an outdated model?
While it is true that ISO 9001 has been around since 1987, it has evolved through several revisions to match the changing needs of business. Today there is instant access to information, higher expectations from customers, more complex supply chains and a globally competitive economy.  ISO 9001:2015 takes all of these factors into account.

Isn’t ISO 9001 a standard that only benefits big corporations?
This is not the case. ISO 9001 is intended to be a set of requirements that can be used by any company, of any size, in any industry. The requirements are written as a set of best practices needed to control all the processes of a business system – no matter what the company does. The standard is designed to be flexible; the focus is on improving quality and customer satisfaction, which every organization can benefit from including:

  • More efficient use of resources and improved financial performance,
  • Improved risk management and protection of people and the environment, and
  • Increased capability to deliver consistent and improved services and products, thereby increasing value to customers and all other stakeholders.

Will everything have to be monitored and measured?
Processes do have to be monitored and measured to ensure that they are performing as designed, however, the standard allows a company to consider the impact that a process has on product/service conformity and the effectiveness of the Quality Management System (QMS) when determining what to monitor or measure and the method to be adopted.  A good QMS will help with monitoring performance and driving improvement.

Is ISO 9001 is the sole responsibility of the quality manager or department?
This couldn’t be farther from the truth, since the requirements cover every aspect of the business – from planning through delivery and post-delivery of your product or service.

Doesn’t ISO 9001 cost a lot to implement?
The question of cost will depend on the size and complexity of the organization and the competency of the personnel. Basic implementation pricing should be competitive and reasonable, depending if the work is done internally or through an external consulting service. The overall outcome of these activities should be to reduce costs through improvements and increase revenues through satisfied customers. Your return on investment should be well above the costs. Note that ISO certification is a separate additional cost.

SimpleQue can customize consulting for your organization and provide simple solutions while clearing up any misconceptions about ISO 9001 and how it can benefit your organization. Contact us today to find out more information and how simpleQue can help!

Look Fors – Part 2: Leadership

Stock quotes price charts and a magnifying glass with stock price in detail.

Would you like to know what 3rd party auditors are looking for when auditing how your company complies with quality system standards like ISO 9001:2015? 

What are 3rd party auditors looking for?  This is the second of a three part series by Jim Lee, President of simpleQuE

Clause 5 of ISO 9001:2015 – Leadership

Leadership is the focus of this clause, which means top management now has greater accountability, responsibility and involvement in the organization’s management system. The standard wants to see that leadership demonstrates leadership and support for the quality management system (QMS). They need to integrate the QMS into the organization’s business strategic direction, to ensure the management system achieves its intended outcomes and allocate the necessary resources. Top management is also responsible for communicating the importance of the QMS and enhancing employee awareness and involvement.

With this clause there is a requirement that top management will be present and leading the implementation and monitoring of the QMS.  Processes within the QMS must have process owners. In addition, leadership shall demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to customer focus and the continual improvement aspect of the business.  3rd party auditors will be scheduling time with the management and leadership team asking questions and looking for the items below as objective evidence.

  • Established and communicated quality policy, objectives, strategic direction, and performance
  • Organizational chart, job descriptions and other evidence that responsibilities and authorities are defined and communicated
  • Metrics evaluated in the Management Review and the overall effectiveness of the key business processes
  • Actions being taken when goals are not met, and when trends for performance are going the wrong way. They want to see management is looking at the data and taking actions when necessary.
  • Promotion of risk based thinking and evidence of risk management processes with action items when risks are too high. This might include contingency plans, safety stocks, inventory levels, supplier selection and qualification process, etc. as a very few of the many possible ways to demonstrate this.
  • Involvement in audit activity and reviewing the outcomes and assessing the risks and actions that might be necessary for the QMS
  • Customer satisfaction and perception
  • Identification of contract terms and conditions and customer requirements, including any laws that must be met. How are these evaluated, understood, communicated and implemented in the departments that need to know and comply?
  • Evidence of continued improvement , which denotes that performance is monitored and tracked with trends
  • The company’s context changes over time, and the needs of stakeholders too. Management needs to be aware of the changing context and issues affecting the business to adjust the strategic direction.

Not that all of the elements listed above will be needed, but organizations may risk failure if they do not:

  • Identify process owners
  • Use metrics to monitor performance of the QMS
  • Include performance metrics in the Management Review
  • Develop action plans when performance goals are not met
  • Develop customer communication processes
  • Respond to customer complaints
  • Consider results of customer feedback/surveys and take appropriate actions
  • Identify internal customer requirements
  • Make improvement part of the quality policy
  • Align roles and responsibilities with processes
  • Contingency and emergency roles and responsibilities not defined
  • Have appropriate training and awareness of the ISO 9001:2015 requirements

Coming soon – Part 3 and what auditors are looking for in regard to Risk.  Also, read more about Context of the Organization in Part 1.

Source:  NQA’s Teaming Conference – August 2017

SimpleQuE’s IATF 16949 Gap Audit Checklist is Now Available!

Innovation concept. Businessman throw a paper plane symbolizing acceleration and innovation.

The automotive quality standard has come a long way since its first inception in 1994.  With the new standard and more than 200 changes, simpleQuE recognized the need for an IATF Gap Audit Checklist to assist companies with the transition. The checklist includes the new automotive requirements (IATF 16949:2016 and ISO 9001:2015) and is intended to be used as a tool to identify both compliance with the new requirements and the differences between ISO/TS 16949:2009 and the new requirements.

The utilization of this checklist, when populated with objective evidence of compliance and non-compliance, will satisfactorily demonstrate you have audited the differences between ISO/TS 16949 standard and the new requirements.  It should be used with your certification body as evidence of internal audits to the new IATF 16949 and ISO 9001:2015 requirements.  It’s one of the methods simpleQuE auditors and consultants use with our own clients.

A free half hour of phone or email consulting with a simpleQuE expert is included with the checklist for the purchase price of $300.

The simpleQuE team wishes you a smooth and simple transition!

Innovators Who Changed The World With Standards

Innovation concept. Businessman throw a paper plane symbolizing acceleration and innovation.

Think of all the important advances that have taken place in the last 100 years and they all began with unique individuals who had vision. Whether a scientist, an inventor, or just an inquisitive person, each decided to approach a problem in a new way.  And in doing so they opened the doors to new technology and advancements. Here are three innovators who have rewritten the world of quality and innovation:

André Borschberg
Energy never disappears; it just changes form. This physics principle was a founding driver for Borschberg when he decided to create an airplane that could change the sun’s energy into aerial propulsion. The idea of harnessing the sun’s energy wasn’t new; solar energy was already being used for electricity. However, Borschberg was able to create a new human record by flying a plane powered just by the sun’s captured energy. And he credits aerospace standards for giving Borschberg’s team the ability to make an experimental flying concept possible.

Dr. Yoshiyuki Sankai
For decades, those paralyzed from the waist down, have relied on wheelchairs for mobility.  However, Sankai and his team have been instrumental in creating robot suits that can support and enhance body functions. And that has changed the world of paraplegics by allowing them to accomplish activities not possible before. Most importantly, Sankai notes that without standards, Cyberdyne would not have been able to develop and launch its robotic creations.

Naty Barak
Creating a way to make water go farther where it’s a rare, valuable commodity is key to growing more crops. For areas with desert and arid conditions, a way to make water stretch farther via new irrigation methods is critical. Barak created a system that applies water directly to the plant’s roots optimizing water usage and lessening impact on the environment. The means of mass-producing this method of irrigation only happened via standards in Barak’s view.

These three innovators are among a number of creators who are changing the world in a variety of ways. But one thing they all have in common is the use of standards to ensure quality and achieve their uncommon goals. Connect with SimpleQue to find out more about quality and environmental management system standards and how they can improve your organization.

ISO Trivia

Wooden Blocks with the text: Trivia

Quality Excellence is the foundation of our business at simpleQuE, as well as part of our name – (notice the Qu and E).  To celebrate National Trivia Day, we gathered some interesting facts from around the world about Quality Management and its important role in every business we serve. We hope you enjoy this fun trivia and learn something new about ISO and quality.

Happy Trivia Day!

  1. The term ISO (as in ISO standard) derives from the Greek word “isos,” which means equal.
  2. Many quality terms, tools, and methods were popularized in Japan— kaizen, gemba, muda, kanban, etc.
  3. In Germany, 77 percent of organizations provide ISO training and 82 percent provide general quality management training—the highest of any group of organizations.(2)
  4. The Pareto principle, or 80-20 rule, states that 80 percent of problems come from 20 percent of causes, and that management should concentrate on the 20 percent. It was popularized by Joseph M. Juran.
  5. Twenty percent of senior executives rate their quality programs as world class, but only 5 percent of quality professionals do the same. (4)
  6. Philip B. Crosby is perhaps best known for promoting a standard of excellence based on nothing—the concept of zero defects.
  7. The “Big Q” refers to comparing differences between managing for quality in all business processes and products; while the “little q” relates to managing quality in a limited capacity, traditionally in factory products and processes.
  8. One of the world’s best-known standards is ISO 9001.
  9. Plan-do-check-act is not only the name of a popular process improvement method, it’s also the title of a music CD released in 2014 by a New Jersey-based rock trio Recovery Council.
  10. Edwards Deming introduced the 14 points for management, which, he said, “have one aim: to make it possible for people to work with joy.”

 

Sources:

  1. Time Magazine, http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1908719_1908717_1908537,00.html
  2. ASQ Global State of Quality research, 2013. www.globalstateofquality.org
  3. The Economic Impacts of Inadequate Infrastructure for Software study, prepared by RTI for the National of Standards and Technology, 2002. http://www.nist.gov/director/planning/upload/report02-3.pdf
  4. ASQ/Forbes Insights Culture of Quality, 2014. www.cultureofquality.org

Congratulations Accutech Mold and Machine!

AMM’s Quality Team (from left): Ray Young, John Rogers, Eric Boyd, Butch Poynter, Jim Lee (simpleQuE President) and Kari Anderson
AMM’s Quality Team (from left): Ray Young, John Rogers, Eric Boyd, Butch Poynter, Jim Lee (simpleQuE President) and Kari Anderson

Not only is Accutech Mold and Machine (AMM) ISO 9001:2008 certified, but they also achieved their ISO/TS 16949:2008 certification from Eagle Registrations.  In January 2016, simpleQuE consultants, Larry Vance and Don Milinkovich began working with AMM to assess their existing processes and formulate an action plan that would address the gaps and fit their very tight timeline.  That was followed up by an internal audit and training to prepare for the expansion to the automotive standard.

Why was this so important to AMM’s founders, Kelly and Darrin Geiger? As AMM’s website states, “International Standards are the backbone of our society, ensuring the safety and quality of products and services, facilitating international trade and improving the environment in which we live in. Conformity to International Standards helps reassure our customers that Accutech Mold and Machine’s products, systems and organizations are safe, reliable and good for the environment.”

Founded in 1996, AMM specializes in plastic injection mold manufacturing. In 2004 the company expanded with an injection molding press to sample molds that were built. Today, AMM continues to build high quality plastic injection molds and also produces plastic injection molded components with 25 presses running 24 hours a day.

Vice President, Darrin Geiger, had this to say, “It was easy to work with simpleQuE and they provided an action plan which our team utilized, working hard to reach our certification goal in just six months.  The advantage to being ISO/TS 16949 certified is that it has opened new doors for us in the automotive industry, and our non TS clients are happy because they also benefit from these additional business processes.”