Going Beyond the ISO Certification
While an ISO certification is important for your business, implementing the strategies that you need to take your company to the next level can be quite difficult. Just like any business venture, the planning process is not as hard as the implementation phase. Most importantly, it is worth noting that the top tier undertakes the planning stages and rely on the employees to implement their plans. If the management team does not relay the information in a concise manner, mistakes are likely to happen.
What to do after getting the certification
Getting the ISO certificate means that your company is taking the right steps to achieve and maintain high levels of excellence. However, the certification demands that you continue striving to improve and keep up with current customer needs. There is a need to keep your company competitive and meet the needs of your employees and customers. While you might have the best plans on paper, such plans can go astray if you do not develop a formidable implementation strategy.
Employees have to understand how their daily tasks relate to the vision of the company. If the employees understand that they make a huge contribution toward the accomplishment of the company’s goals, they will work diligently to achieve these objectives. Do not expect your employees to perform some duties without giving them a set of clear targets and objectives. When the workers understand that they are working as a team to achieve a particular milestone, they will collaborate efficiently. Such teamwork is critical in the growth of your business. Besides investing in the equipment you require to do your work, you must invest in the human resources as well.
Having some specialists who can make the most of the available technology is a good way to maximize your returns and cut your costs. This process entails addressing the following issues:
• Improving the company’s internal structures to guarantee efficiency and performance
• Meeting the diverse customer requirements
• Exploring new heights to exceed the current levels of performance
• Adhering to the standards in your industry
Identifying your priorities
Continuous improvement beyond ISO certification does not entail making drastic improvements in all aspects of your business. It would be unrealistic to expect an organization to improve all of its departments within a short time. Considering that every improvement requires the commitment of funds and other resources, organizations must undertake some rigorous studies before identifying their priorities. The management will prioritize every improvement after brainstorming and identify the areas that will benefit from such investments.
While identifying the aspects of your business that require such improvements, you can rely on:
• The levels of customer satisfaction
• Customer complaints and feedback
• Stringent market research and analysis
• Inputs from your suppliers, employees, and other stakeholders
• External and internal audits if your existing system
• Accounting records of profits and losses
• Data from the available instruments and yardsticks that show the current trends
• Your ability to meet the projected outcomes based on your previous record of accomplishment
Cutting the losses
Continuous improvement also entails meeting the requisite ISO standards, cut the losses, and boost your revenue in the following ways:
• Replacing worn-out equipment with efficient machinery and programs
• Reducing the floor space to cut your costs and avoid wasting money
• Reducing the storage space by adopting new filing systems such as cloud storage
• Finding solutions to your past failures
• Constant innovation to open new avenues
Documenting the continual improvement process is not mandatory. However, documentation can help you to keep some relevant records that could help in the improvement of your administration systems. Always strive to define and control your operational processes to ensure that you stay on the right track. If you do not achieve your goals within the stipulated timelines, you can refer to your notes and see where you erred in the implementation process. In addition, you can decipher whether you were implementing a flawed system from the onset or whether you failed to implement it correctly. Documentation involves developing and implementing a set of procedures and taking stock of the following activities:
• Identifying the feasible improvement opportunities
• Evaluating, implementing, and prioritizing the improvement opportunities
• Development of quarterly reports
• Record keeping
If you are looking for a formidable improvement plan, ISO templates can help you to embark on the job, especially if you do not know where to start. Besides helping you to identify your priorities, these templates enable you to determine your progress through a set of measurement tools. You can also consult with an ISO/Quality expert to get more information on how to customize the templates to the needs of your organization. An ISO consultant will also ensure that your priorities are consistent with your long-term development goals. The main goal of implementing the continual improvement system is to boost the customer’s satisfaction. The customer’s satisfaction is measured by an increase in the company’s profit and annual revenue.
A preventive action plan involves taking some steps to eliminate the causes of a potential reason for nonconformity, preventing losses, and other undesirable situations. The best way to identify the causes for non-conformity is analyze the existing data, looking at the audit reports, evaluating the performance of the suppliers, and getting feedback from the customers. Undertaking periodic appraisals and evaluating the performance of your staffs can also help to eliminate the existing non-conformities. Undertaking the requisite preventative actions is a great way to reduce your risks and increase your profits.
Since every organization is unique, it is vital to define a process that addresses the needs of your organization. While ISO certification encourages continual improvement in the course of time, your efforts will not bear fruit if you do not eliminate the non-conformity in your organization. Ledge will ensure that besides getting the ISO certification, your organization will continue to meet the stipulated ISO standards and implement a successful continuous improvement plan.
In need of assistance with developing your plan for beyond the ISO Certification? Contact Ledge today for assistance.
President, Ledge Inc.
Adam is a Penn State engineer that has served as a Data Analyst and Engineer at St. Onge Company for 5 years, prior to establishing Ledge Inc. While maintaining a focus on simple solutions, Ledge Inc. has provided quality system implementation, process design, database development, quality tools, quality training, and data analysis to over 35 companies in South Central Pennsylvania and throughout the country. Adam currently serves as the sitting Chair for American Society for Quality Harrisburg Section 503 and as a member of the board for The Manufacturers’ Associations of South Central PA.