The ISO 9001 series of standards form the basis and framework of an effective management system for all types of business covering virtually all industry sectors. The standards were developed and published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and have over 100 member countries. In many industries today quality systems are a prerequisite for doing business and with expanding global competition this has led to higher customer expectations with regard to quality. To be competitive, businesses need to have processes that are based on effective and efficient systems.
What are the benefits of ISO 9001?
Your business can realize the following benefits:
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Greater quality awareness
- Positive cultural change
- Real and sustainable success/improvements
- Increased productivity
- Reduced costs
- Competitive Edge
- Market Share
ISO 9001 will provide an additional level of security knowing that "Quality Assured Company" means your supplier has been audited, approved and pre-qualified to supply you, the customer. If a business is ISO 9001 registered it means that they have met the requirements of the standard, have been assessed by an independent third party and therefore are a more quality-driven business than a company that has not undertaken ISO 9001 certification. A commitment to Continual Improvement leads to prevention techniques being established which drives quality to new levels of measured achievement.
In today's demanding business world it is not enough to just be compliant with ISO 9001. That is why ISO 9004 (Managing for Sustained Success) has been developed as a stand-alone Standard. ISO 9004 now provides mature companies the opportunities to show that they exceed the minimum requirements of certification to ISO 9001:2008 and are complaint to the optional requirements of ISO 9004.
Many organizations are now being forced to show commitment to demonstrating that they have an effective environmental management system in place to reduce their environmental impact. One way of demonstrating this commitment, as well as compliance with environmental legislation, is by achieving the internationally recognized environmental standard ISO 14001.
We can combine your ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 Certification during one surveillance audit.
By achieving this Certification the company can also obtain the following benefits:
- Improved public image
- Reduced waste
- Reduced energy consumption
- Reduced risk of litigation
- Improved work environment
- Safeguard existing markets
The Occupational Health and Safety Assessment specification has been developed to be compatible with ISO 9001 (Quality) and 14001 (Environmental) Management Systems. ISO 18001 enables any organization to control its OH&S risks and improve performance.
By achieving this certification the company can obtain the following benefits:
- Establish OH&S Management System to eliminate or minimize risk to employees and other interested parties who may be exposed to OH&S risks associated with activities.
- Implement, maintain and continually improve the OH&S Management System and significantly reduce associated costs.
- Demonstrate conformance to others.
Integrated Management Systems
Globalization, advancement of technologies, and heightened concerns for controlling environmental risks have motivated many organizations to implement quality, environmental, and occupational health and safety management systems. A significant number of U.S. industries are driving these implementation efforts along the supply chains prompting customers to require management system certifications of their suppliers.
Integrating quality, environmental and occupational healthy and safety management systems increases and organization's ability to strategically manage its mission, vision and objectives through policy development, system design and implementation, adherence to protocol, increased control of risks and improvement of processes.
Quality, environmental and health and safety management systems are based on a number of similar, if not identical, requirements such as:
- roles & responsibilities
- processes & procedures
- operational control
- monitoring & checking
- competence & training
- statutory & regulatory requirements
- management reviews
- document and record control
Organizations have found that integrating these systems together makes fundamentally good business sense.
The organizations which stand to gain the most benefits from system integration are those that have more than one management system standard and wish to achieve maximum value from the combined systems. Other organizations which would benefit from system integration include: (a) those that wish to have one holistic system to manage their organization; (b) those that wish to introduce several management systems at the same time; and (c) those that have one management system's standard already and wish to introduce another one.
Many organizations choose to implement one management system standard at a time, building off the structure of the previous system implementation and lessons learned. This approach is sound but the key to the success is to implement the management system's standard with the most rigorous and extensive requirements first (ISO 9001). If this is done, all additional management systems can utilize the pre-existing systems in place (e.g. document control, record control, management review, corrective/preventive action, internal audits) then add only the specific requirements of that management system (e.g. aspects, impacts, external communication). This technique reduces redundancy and inefficiency, saving time and resources, which usually equates to saving money.
For those organizations with existing separate management systems the Process Approach is key to the success of system integration. A process is any set of interrelated or interacting activities that uses resources to transform inputs into outputs. The process approach systematically identifies and manages the linkage, combination and interaction of a system of processes within an organization. These processes could be operational, service-related or production related and also support processes like training, maintenance, engineering, purchasing and internal audits. Organizations that have been successful integrating their current management systems have benefitted from understanding their management system process flows, both operational and support, then integrating the common processes together.
ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and the improvement standard ISO 9004 are based on a process approach to management. The process approach emphasizes the importance of understand and meeting requirements and objectives, obtaining results of process performance and effectiveness and continual improvement. The understanding of process flow and sequencing is vital to the success of system integration. Many organizations have stumbled upon non-value added processes when implementing systems together and were able to reduce costs by eliminating these unnecessary activities.
The integration of management systems provides benefits at all levels. Top management will realize strategic benefits since all systems will be seen as part of an overall business management system, contributing to the continual improvement of the results of the organization. Integration also increases an organization's ability to strategically manage its mission, vision and objectives through policy development, system design and implementation, adherence to protocol, increased control of risks and improvement of processes.
Integrated management systems are especially important for organizations where a design change may introduce downstream environmental or safety and health risks. Personnel in operations and support can benefit from a streamlined, consistent approach to doing business and an improvement in communications between processes. The overall organization will realize financial benefits achieved through the reduction of resources and the avoidance of duplication in systems. With all things considered, integrating management systems simply makes good business sense.