Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How ISO 9001 Improve Management Of Your Company?

Regardless of the size of a business, management plays an important role in keeping it alive. This is why a lot of businesses these days try to implement solid management frameworks to keep things running as smooth as possible. Without proper management, it would be difficult for a business to carry out projects and produce high-quality products. In many countries, businesses usually fail because of inefficient management systems.

Created by a group consisting of representatives of local standards organizations from different countries around the world, ISO 9001 can greatly improve the production output by renovating the way a business is operated. Careful documentation is implemented, providing managers with a better overall view of their businesses. It also helps in keeping the workers motivated, and it improves the efficiency of business processes by minimizing losses and expenses attributed to defective products or other liabilities.

ISO 9001 contains a series of business and management prerequisites that help a company to keep up with international standards. Upon successful implementation, an ISA registrar will issue a certification as proof that a business meets all the business specifications set by ISO 9001.

The ISO 9001 standard is applicable to any kind of business, department, or branch that wants to improve the way it operates. However, by implementing ISO 9001 in an entire company instead of a single branch, a company can get the most out of the quality management system. With the entire business system working uniformly, any business will be able to see significant improvements in overall production and income.

The good thing about ISO 9001 is that it is a highly compatible standard. This means businesses with existing standards, such as one that has ESD 20:20 certification, can further optimize their profits without having to perform too much management restructuring, potentially saving lots of time and resources. Existing standards, combined with ISO 9001, even become more effective.

Any business interested in streamlining their operations should get a copy of the ISO 9001 standard. Although not all points in the standard are required to be eligible for certification, implementing them all ensures a company will get the most out of the standard.

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What Are The Differences Of ISO 9001 And ISO 14001?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a managing body that was founded to provide quality and environmental management systems to industries across the world. The ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 standards are accreditations that are issued to organizations that meet or exceed the criteria set by the ISO. The certifications, which differ in criteria, have been proven to increase profitability and commercial status for the holding parties.

Some of the core differences between ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 stem from the criteria covered by each standard. As a quality management certification, ISO 9001 is awarded based on set standards being met in key areas. These areas include quality management systems, management responsibility, resource management, and how quality performance is measured, analyzed, and improved.

The standard ISO 14001 is an environmental management certification that is designed to assist organizations as they develop in-house environmental management systems. This standard is based on a model of continual improvement, which differentiates it from the fixed criteria that must be met to be awarded ISO 9001 accreditation. For an organization to achieve the certification, it must develop an ISO 14001-compliant environmental management system through a process of planning objectives, implementing processes, measuring and monitoring the processes, and improving the system based on the results of the monitoring stage.

As a part of ISO 14001 accreditation, a continual improvement process (CIP) is required. This CIP is based on expanding the environmental management system across all sectors of the business, using the system to enrich other processes and improving over time by continual monitoring. Many organizations seek to be awarded both ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 certification as it demonstrates a high overall standard of quality and environmental management structures.

The scope of each standard is what defines the differences between ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. The routes to accreditation and methods of maintaining the systems once certification has been achieved are similar across both standards. Both ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 standards can be applied for once a compliant management system has been implemented following the ISOguidelines. An intensive external audit will be required for either standard with an additional internal audit required for ISO 9001.

Both ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 are measures of the processes used by an organization, not the end product. This means that a company that holds ISO 9001 accreditation can still produce a poor end product providing the correct paperwork is in place and the quality is consistent. Similarly, ISO 14001 certification simply means that there is a system in place to meet that organization’s specific environmental targets.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

ISO 9000 Document Management Software System

Today’s manufacturing companies that seek ISO 9001 compliance-(regardless of their motivation to do so) probably don’t find it that difficult to create intelligent documentation. After all, a few days with a good consultant or a quality manager can take care of document creation. The problem lies in the gap between what employees are doing and what employees are supposed to be doing (in terms of adhering to documentation) and the gap between the manner in which processes are being implemented and the manner in which they should be implemented ( in accordance with documentation). In other words, the problem lies in the way processes are strategized and applied and in the way employees commit to standards when compared against existing documentation. How can a company overcome these issues? The answers may be simpler than you think.

Automation is the Answer for ISO Control
If your underlying processes are poorly strategized then an automated document management software system won’t be of much use. However, once the processes have been effectively planned (and applied) a document management software system can speed process-to-process management by leaps and bounds. Companies that automate not only to comply with ISO standards but to generate more revenue by performing less administrative labor save weeks and even years worth of time just by automating their processes and documentation control with a document management software system.

Making Amends
The right document management software system and ISO document control would also allow companies to find deviations and nonconformance events faster and move those events to resolution phases in a small fraction of the time they were originally routed—if they were routed at all. Some ISO 9000 document management software systems may even be combined with a CAPA QMS solution. This is especially valuable when determining the root cause of major to minor deviations.

A Document Management Software System and Employee Training
ISO standards do not require any type of automation but ISO standards lend themselves to automation in a way that’s quite remarkable. Take for instance the following document management requirements from the official ISO 9001 International Standard.

ISO 9001 Section 4.2.3
ISO standards make it clear that ISO 9001 “approved” companies must define (i.e., document) how they will approve documentation, how they will identify documentation changes, how they will update/reapprove revised documentation, how external documentation will be managed and how assurance will be provided that documentation will be available when it is required. 1 And that’s only a shadow of things to come! A document management software system designed for strict compliance can automate the approval of documentation, the identification of document changes, updates and reapproval notifications, external documentation management and high-level document security. Some solutions also integrate training and online exams as well.

How Much Could You Save?
Chances are high that automation will save you thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars annually depending on the size of your company. Just foregoing a typical document routing process (a manual process) can save many employees fruitless trips back and forth from one office to another. Who wouldn’t want to avoid those time consuming searches through 3-ring binders and lost documentation due to employee absence or neglect?

Regulation and control are the future for manufacturing. Gone are the days of free experimentation and a blind eye toward material waste. Today is the day of premeditated design, quality assurance and web-based automation. If your company plans to be, or already is, compliant with ISO 9001 standards why not consider automating those ISO 9001 controls with a document management software system.

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