ISO Standards Will Help Improve Organizational Performance

Implementing ISO standards can help your organization improve the way it response to both an internal and external environments. The standard bridges the gap between the organizational existing processes and international best practices. My experience in the field have showed that no organization implements any of these international standards without experiencing positive change in terms of improvement in their processes, strategies, customer satisfaction, reduction in errors and increase in corporate profitability. Organisations that have implemented any of the standards have reasons to continue, when it is properly implemented, because it bring more management commitment to good corporate governance and saving the systems from some mistake normally attributable to poor management decisions. Below are some other benefits of Implementing ISO Standards.

Benefits of Implementing  ISO Management Systems

  • Cost savings — simple cost saving activities can be found through analysis of business processes and activities while implementing QMS
  • Better communication in all departments and management levels — getting people talking to each other about the business and process improvements
  • Leadership involvement engaging and motivating other employees
  • Identification of opportunities for your organisation —QMS makes you think strategically
  • Improved product/service reliability through better control of business processes and activities
  • Improved organisation reputation giving confidence to stakeholders and customers
  • Ensuring compliance with legislation and other requirements — reducing business risks by properly identify stakeholders requirement and plan to achieve these requirement.
  • Strategic business QMS achieved through integration of quality into core business management — the QMS encourages organisations to look at all their processes and make efficiency and quality improvements
  • Providing a competitive and financial advantage through sales improvement, bidding opportunities.
  • Annual assessments to maintain the high standards achieved with ISO 9001:2015
  • Monitoring and measuring of business operations leads to fact-based decision making. It enables you to make decision from data like nonconformity report, complaints trends; percentage achievement of targeted objectives, risks, strategic, stakeholder and suppliers performance metrics etc
  • Improve employee morale as they are engaged in the implementation process and their views are collected, collated, analyses and corrective measure taken
  • Promotes a culture of continual improvement by identify nonconformities, root causes and taking corrective actions.
  • Reduces the key man risks by encouraging effective knowledge management through knowledge sharing, checklists, work instructions, process flow charts, procedures and reports.

Methods of implementing ISO standards

Speedy Implementation method: this involves the development of minimal required documentation, creating awareness, conducting internal audit and management review. The organization can now approach the certification body for external body and try to close every non-conformances identified during this audit. The method is, however, very fast but not sustainable.

Gradual integration of the standard into the existing system: This method, although time consuming, is the most sustainable approach bringing about the changes desired in the management system. It utilizes the seven 7 ISO management principles of that include customer focus, involvement of people, leadership, process approach, system approach, continuous improvement and relationship management. Every unit head/ unit and their subordinates are involved in their process decisions. Read the case study below for more on this.

Case study

At the beginning of our implementation process, DU&T Consulting conducted SWOT analysis, stakeholder forum and survey as well as GAP Analysis to identify gaps between the existing system and the ISO standards. Identified gaps opens up the processes to work on.  We conducted Lead auditor training for the compliance management or internal auditor and lead implementer training for the management representative and some assistance while we conduct internal auditor training for all HOD or their representatives in every department or process. This would ensure that each auditor will never audit their own work.  We develop with the client  their scope, policy and objectives for the organization and every process. We assisted every process owner (HoD) to improve and document their existing processes and procedure. After all these, several awareness programmes like training, pasting of poster, banners and visual signs to communicate the importance of QMS, New or improved processes and procedures as well as the new roles of every employee.

We conducted the Customer feed survey and supplier focus group meeting. We then conducted mock audit and closed every non-conformity /corrective action in reparation for internal audit. The internal audit team watches how the mock audit is conducted from our team to prepare them for the next internal audit.  The internal auditor also learns to follow up and verify corrective actions. The internal auditor and the audit team will conduct internal audit with our supervision as observers to correct their mistakes during the audit. Final non-conformities and corrective action are closed out before the management review. We guide the management through the review process by providing them, with the MR and internal auditor, every detail/ information prior to the review. After the review, the MR and internal auditor ensure the closing of any non-conformity before selection of the certification. We guide the team to select certification body. Where non-conformities were identified in the internal audit, the internal auditor will ensure that the affected process owner or departmental head take corrective action, which the internal auditor in conjunction with DU&T Consulting will verify before implementation. We stay with you to ensure that you achieve your certification goal.

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