News Update from the International Automotive Task Force (IATF)

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In October 2016 IATF 16949:2016 will be published by IATF and it will replace the current IATF 16949, defining the requirements of a quality management system for organizations in the automotive industry. It will be aligned with ISO 9001:2015 and its structure and requirements. IATF 16949:2016 will be implemented as a supplement to, and in conjunction with, ISO 9001:2015.  www.iatfglobaloversight.org

IATF has also released a new transition strategy document for automotive suppliers and certification bodies to help with the transition.  It includes information about timing and transition audit requirements. After October 1, 2017 no audits (initial, surveillance, recertification or transfer) will be conducted to IATF 16949:2009. IATF Transition Strategy IATF 16949 › IATF 16949

It is also important to note that IATF/IAOB will recognize TS certified companies that have upgraded to ISO 9001:2015 prior to IATF 16949 and allow reduced audit days when the company does eventually upgrade to the new IATF 16949 standard.  Companies should coordinate with their registrar to determine the optimal audit approach and cost benefit.  (Separate audits may be not be cost effective, but it will depend on each company’s situation.)

SimpleQuE consultants and instructors are ready to assist companies now with implementation, transitioning and training for ISO 9001:2015 and IATF 16949:2009.  Consulting and training for IATF 16949 will be available after its release in October.  Contact simpleQuE

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SimpleQuE Spotlight: Blake Russell

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What is your position and what do you do for simpleQuE?
Senior Director and I work with clients to implement and manage their ISO/AS Quality Management Systems and EMS Environmental Management Systems

What do you like most about working for simpleQuE?
simpleQue is an industry leader in providing ISO consulting and training services.

What is your greatest accomplishment – work or personal?
With my wife, we raised three beautiful daughters who are now intelligent, funny, and productive adults.

What is your favorite QMS standard and why?
ISO 9001 because I have worked with it for almost 30 years and understand how it improves a business.

What attracted you to SimpleQuE?
The leadership and their vision.

When you are not working, where can people find you?
Working around my home, exercising, mountain biking, and enjoying time with my wife.

What was your first job?
Ranch hand in Abilene, TX Continue reading “SimpleQuE Spotlight: Blake Russell”

A “simple” Way to Transition to ISO 9001:2015

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. Utilize our expert consultants or gap checklist to guide you through the process.

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The simpleQuE consulting approach applies to companies getting certified for the first time, adding a new standard, or upgrading an existing certification.  For a customized quote and information, call 740-305-0868 or contact us by email.

You’ll Be Surprised At These ISO Certified Organizations

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For some businesses, ISO certification is a legal or contractual requirement. Other organizations choose to become ISO certified to add credibility, or to demonstrate their product or service meets the expectations of their customers. It’s common to see ISO certified businesses in the manufacturing or healthcare sectors, but here are six organizations you’ll be surprised to learn are ISO-certified!

Africam Safari – Mexico
In 2004, Africam Safari became the first ever animal park to gain ISO 9001 certification for the quality of its guided tours. As part of the process, the park compiled a company history and used it to optimize the way the park was run. They’ve since reported optimal use of resources, including time, money and supplies, improved performance, and greater transparency.

City of Dayton, Ohio, Department of Finance
It’s unusual for a government agency to achieve ISO certification, but the City of Dayton’s Department of Finance was awarded ISO 9001 compliance status in 2012. The coveted certification verifies that the department has detailed policies in place, that employees are well-trained in policies and procedures, and that there is an ongoing and successful effort to improve customer service. The Department of Finance worked for several years to achieve certification.

ATG – AllStar Travel Group
ATG is a travel agency that boasts of being “one of a kind” and “best of the best,” and it has the ISO certification to prove it. When ATG was certified in 2009, it became the only ISO-certified travel management company in the United States. For the agency, achieving certification sets them apart from competitors, and tells customers that every policy, procedure, product and service used is done in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

Corbus, LLC
Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, Corbus is a service company offering sourcing and procurement, business process management and information technology services. The company has earned ISO certification for Information Technology (IT) and Supply Chain (SCM). Certification assures Corbus continues to execute consistent and repeatable processes, produce excellent management control and reporting, shows continuous improvement, and hires employees that know what to do and how to get projects done.

Easter Seals Crossroads—Crossroads Industrial Services
Easter Seals Crossroads boasts one of the nation’s most comprehensive rehabilitation programs, with programs and services designed to meet the needs of children and adults with disabilities. Crossroads Industrial Services, a division of Easter Seals Crossroads, is an ISO certified contract manufacturing and assembly solutions company that’s part of AbilityOne, a federal program that creates employment opportunities for people with disabilities. In 2006, Crossroads Industrial Services was awarded ISO 9001:2000 certification, recognizing its commitment to improving performance to exceed customer expectations for quality, cost and delivery.

Four Season Environmental
Four Seasons Environmental, with headquarters in Monroe, Ohio, offers environmental consulting services that help clients save money, increase efficiency and maximize energy savings—in turn, maximizing productivity and return on investment. As of 2009, 11 Four Seasons Environmental sites operate under the umbrella of the ISO registration, including the EPA Environmental Science Laboratory, USDA sites in Athens, Georgia, and Ft. Pierce, Florida, and an IRS site in Covington, Kentucky.

Some of these organizations utilized simpleQuE’s consulting, training and/or auditing services to achieve and maintain their certification.  Other unique organizations who are ISO certified include 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc., the Grand Canyon Railway, Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana, and Death Valley Lodging Company in California.  Every day more and more organizations are joining the ranks as they realize the importance and value of being ISO certified.

3 simpleQuE Ways To Transition to ISO 9001:2015

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SimpleQuE was one of the first consulting companies in the world to become ISO 9001:2015 certified.  The transition is simple when utilizing our expert consultants or gap checklist to guide you through the process. 

  1. FastTrack your way to success – with our expedited approach to implement the 2015 changes based on lessons we have learned with numerous clients and through historical changes to various standards.    Through the FastTrack program your team will develop and complete a clear roadmap in four months (1 day/month for 4 months) and be ready to upgrade your certification in 5 months.  (The FastTrack model can be customized and accelerated with your implementation team to meet your timelines.)  Click here for more information.
  2. Customized on-site consulting and training – We offer unique quality consulting insights that result in customized solutions. We are known as the consultant that simplifies ISO implementation, transition, training and maintenance, by integrating simple solutions that fit in your company’s culture.  We perform a thorough gap analysis to identify what needs to be implemented or changed.  With our expertise, we help identify where you’re already in compliance and target only those areas that need work. Part of our job with the gap assessment is to educate you on how you already comply with your current systems. The result of the gap analysis is a thorough action plan of each task that needs to be accomplished.  The action plan is laid out against your timing and resources to successfully achieve your upgrade to ISO 9001:2015.
  3. Utilize our ISO 9001:2015 Gap Audit Checklist – Companies that have mature Quality Management Systems and experienced Quality Managers will find this a useful tool to identify the differences between the 2015 standard versus 2008.  The checklist can be shared with your certification body as evidence of internal audits to the new ISO 9001:2015 requirements. The purchase of this gap checklist comes with a free half hour of phone or email consulting.  Purchase checklist.

For more information or to obtain a quote for implementation consulting services or training, please call 740-305-0868 or contact us by email.

How Does ISO 14001 Impact The Environment?

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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. It is now considered a widely utilized standard for 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. Continue reading “How Does ISO 14001 Impact The Environment?”

What leadership should know before coming face-to-face with a certification body auditor – by Jim Lee

Quality Managers should be happy about the new leadership and top management requirements in ISO 9001:2015.  It is now a requirement that the quality system be aligned with the company’s strategic direction; and the certification body auditors will be scrutinizing the company’s leadership for their involvement and support, beyond the management review meetings and establishing goals that support the quality policy. Those companies where the entire quality management system is placed solely on the quality manager are the ones that will feel the changes when the certification body auditors want to schedule time to talk with the executive team.

“Leadership” is one of the 7 quality management principles on which ISO 9001 is based and has been since the beginning of ISO. It’s now more enhanced with the phrases “top management” or “leadership” referenced 16 times, including Clause #5 titled “Leadership”.  Leadership at a variety of levels in the company should provide unity of purpose and direction, helping the company align its strategies, policies, processes and resources to achieve its goals. That’s a good quality system, and good business.

The company’s strategic direction (written or not) needs to encompass the quality management system.  This is accomplished through the new layout and requirements of the ISO 9001 standard for understanding context, the needs and expectations of interested parties, establishing the processes, setting the quality policy and establishing the objectives.  Are these really new requirements?  Maybe not, but there’s definitely more substance in the requirements to have top management involved and committed, and the quality system supported in the company’s strategic direction.

How will the third party auditors evaluate this when there are no requirements for a documented strategic plan, or a written context of the business, or documentation of who the interested parties are, or for managing risks? The auditors are going to have to talk to a lot of the management team to get a clear and reliable representation.  I wouldn’t be surprised if some auditors to set an agenda item to meet with the leadership team. They’ll want to see that the leadership is committed and connected to what’s happening in the business and whether the key processes of the quality management system are effective in meeting objectives. If not, then they’ll want to know that management is aware and taking actions to try to turn things around. They’ll want to learn where the risks exist and what’s being done about them, and how the leadership promotes risk-based thinking.

The hard part for the certification body auditors will be that some of them will have difficulty auditing when no documentation is required. That’s why your company needs a consistent and clear story when documentation doesn’t exist.

The majority of companies are already compliant with these requirements, but the leadership will be the ones that will have to answer third-party auditor questions to defend and justify what they’re doing.  As long as the leadership in your company is aware of the ISO expectations and can relate what your business does in answering the auditor’s questions, you will do fine.  I believe this will be the challenge for most of the executives who won’t know how to take credit for what they already do to satisfy ISO requirements, or don’t understand the auditor’s questions from ISO as it relates to their business.

Educating the leadership and helping them understand the new requirements and how you already comply will help them be able to speak the right message when asked about context, interested parties, risk-based thinking, or strategic direction.

Jim Lee is President of simpleQuE Inc., an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. SimpleQuE is a medium-sized  consulting, training and auditing company of quality management systems with a focus on “quality excellence made simple”.  Jim is an IRCA certified QMS lead auditor, a former IATF certified IATF 16949 auditor, and a former RABQSA certified Aerospace Auditor and has performed 3rd party audits in the past.

Space Coast Women in Defense Awards

At simpleQuE, we understand and believe in the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as it is everywhere in our information-based and high-tech society.  These four cornerstones of knowledge shape our everyday experiences and even make the extraordinary possible; from talking on a cell phone to launching rockets into space.  Therefore we are especially honored to sponsor the upcoming Anniversary and Awards Reception for STEM Innovation hosted by the Space Coast Women In Defense (SCWID) to be held Thursday, January 28th.

scwidSCWID is a non-profit professional networking and development organization for women and men across Florida’s Space Coast who contribute to national defense and security. It is a chapter of Women in Defense whose mission is to foster education in the STEM fields in order to increase education before and during college. SCWID’s STEM Education Council strives to connect STEM needs with STEM resources from its partners including local industry, colleges and universities, civic leaders, parents, and students.

“Our association with SCWID not only promotes the areas and industries that simpleQuE currently serves, but the alliance strengthens our company’s resolve to continue to support STEM initiatives,” stated Jim Lee, President.  “While parents and teachers have an important role in encouraging students to study one or more of the STEM fields, companies also have an obligation and should create opportunities to engage and mentor young people so they’re excited about seeking advanced schooling.  Not only will it be beneficial to their future, it will be beneficial to the future of our industries.”

This year’s awards will be given to STEM innovators for their outstanding contributions.  Honorees include:

STEM Leadership Star of the Year: Mike Freeman

STEM Educator of the Year: Charles Parker

STEM Mentor of the Year: Nathan Pell

STEM Business Innovator of the Year: Harris Corporation

STEM Non-profit Innovator of the Year: National Space Club, Florida Committee

These influential teachers, mentors and organizations have impacted the lives of many Space Coast students of all ages, inspiring and expanding the interest and exploration of STEM fields.  simpleQuE is proud to sponsor this event which recognizes these innovators and the members of SCWID.  Congratulations and thank you for your dedication!

SimpleQuE Spotlight – Shirley Kennedy

20151107_144826 (2)It’s a new year and with it comes our latest simpleQuE Spotlight.  This month we are shining the light on simpleQuE Program and Marketing Manager, Shirley Kennedy. Shirley has had a successful career in a variety of roles, all of which have revolved around one simple word, service.  Here’s a look at our spotlight conversation with Shirley. Continue reading “SimpleQuE Spotlight – Shirley Kennedy”