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FAQ

Do I need a quality management system?

There are three key reasons for gaining formal registration to a management system

1) To protect existing revenue streams; that is to ensure existing clients don’t close doors that are currently open to you
2) To open new revenue streams; that is to get on tender lists that make these standards a pre-requisite
3) To define, codify and most importantly improve your internal processes and procedures; the way your work works, which is actually what the standard was invented for!

Why will a (quality) management system benefit my business?
Why will 9001 benefit my business?

All management system standards seek to ensure the processes undertaken by an organisation are more effective and more efficient.

There have been many studies that have looked into the difference between value adding and non-value adding work; the difference being “waste”. One study1 (there are a number of others in different sectors giving similar results) gave the following percentages to the following three categories of work:

1. Value creating work (5-10%)
2. Work that is necessary to support the creation of value (30-35%)
3. Waste (55-65%)

Managed properly a robust management system seeks to eliminate waste and unnecessary activities from a range of business processes.

The Lean Construction Institute

What is ISO 9000 ?

ISO 9000 is in fact a series of published standards:

• ISO 9000 covers the fundamentals and vocabulary
• ISO 9001 details the requirements for quality management systems (this is the one you’d get registered to)
• ISO 9004 outlines hints and tips in the guidelines for performance improvement

Who are ISO ?

ISO stands for the International Standards Organisation. ISO is an independent, non-governmental membership organisation and the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards. The body is made up from 162 member countries representing the national standards bodies around the world; they are based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Essentially, international management standards are focused on two things:

1) Making things work
2) Ensuring they are continually improved

They seek to ensure quality, safety, environmental performance and efficiency and are instrumental in facilitating international trade.

ISO itself has published more than 19,500 international product and management standards covering almost every industry, from technology, to food safety, to agriculture and healthcare. ISO standards impact everyone, everywhere

What are the core aspects of a management system ?

The core of a management system focuses on the products and services your customers or stakeholders want you to deliver to them. For most commercial organisations this has three core components:

• Get work – marketing and sales
• Do work – operations (the process of delivering the product or service required)
• Bill work – invoicing and getting paid

Other aspects

However depending on the standard being pursued there are other aspects that will also need to be addressed, for instance:

• Strategic activities – planning and objective setting, legal compliance
• Support activities – training, development and HR activities, …..??
• ISO activities ????

Planning, objectives and targets
Most organisations will have a plan of the things the leaders want to do to grow and develop the organisation, in some instances this will be written down (in our view, unsurprisingly, probably not enough), in others it might simply reside in the heads of the leaders and managers. However, future plans often have an impact on the core processes, so it is important to understand the connection between these plans and how day-to-day processes might at some later date be altered. It is also important to understand the external risks and opportunities that ….

Legal and regulatory requirements
In the case of the ISO 14001 environmental standard and the OHSAS 18001 health and safety standard there is a requirement to understand the legal framework in which the company operates, and to assess compliance against these legal requirements. Depending on the business you are in there could be anywhere between 10-50 items of legislation that will affect you and most organisations will be compliant with the majority of items, but there are often a few tweaks to make.

Aspects and impacts, hazards and risks
In the case of the ISO 14001 environmental standard and the OHSAS 18001 health and safety standard there is a requirement to understand environmental aspects and impacts and the health and safety hazards and risks that the company, its staff and anyone else might be exposed to.

If the company already has a quality management system that reflects how the work works then it is relatively easy to review these processes and create a matrix of both environmental aspects and impacts and the hazards and risks associated with each activity or task.

Policies
A short overarching policy will usually be created for each standard that is being worked towards. All policies will need to make a commitment to continual improvement and communicating the policy; depending on the standard being applied for other commitments might include:

• To comply with the law
• Pollution prevention
• Preventing accidents and incidents

What is an integrated management system ? Should I integrate my management systems ?

An integrated management system (IMS) combines all related components of an organisation business into one system for easier management, operation and control.

The focus of the system is, or at least should be, the flow of activities through the organisation which details way in which products and services are delivered to the client or stakeholder. The way in which the “work works”.

Once the above workflow has been determined it can be reviewed to establish the points at which particular activities relate to any standard:

• ISO 9001 – Quality management system
• ISO 14001 – Environmental management system
• OHSAS 18001 Health and safety management system
• ISO 27001 Information security management system

How long does it take?

The short answer is that depends. There are many variables for instance:

• The size of the organisation
• The complexity of the processes
• The number of staff undertaking the same processes
• The number of different locations (and how consistent their working methods might be)

However, for a single site organisation with say between 30-100 staff the process of implementing a management system might take between 6-9 months. It’s useful to know that the assessing certification agency will usually require at least 3 months of evidence that the system has been in place and is working properly.

Why will ISO 9001 benefit my business? Why will OHSAS 18001 benefit my business? Why will ISO 14001 benefit my business?

Other than the desire to, in some small way, ease the environmental pressure on the planet, there are a variety of sound commercial reasons for obtaining registration to ISO 14001; a few are listed below:

• Increasingly supply chains demand their partner organisations to have independently certifiable environmental management systems
• Cost saving through reduced waste
• Cost savings through reduced energy use
• Environmental compliance can help expand business opportunities
• Meeting legal obligations wins greater stakeholder and customer trust

What is ISO certification ?

The ISO web site states “Certification can be a useful tool to add credibility, by demonstrating that your product or service meets the expectations of your customers. For some industries, certification is a legal or contractual requirement.”

The host company wanting to register to a management standard would be described as being “certified” or “registered” to that management system.

What is accreditation?

Accreditation provides independent confirmation of competence. To find an accredited certification body, contact the national accreditation body in your country or visit the International Accreditation Forum.

As such the company “certifying” the host company would usually be an “accredited” certification agency.

What is continual improvement ?

A continual improvement process, also often called a continuous improvement process (abbreviated as CIP or CI), is a requirement of all robust management systems and has been defined as “an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes. These efforts can seek “incremental” improvement over time or “breakthrough” improvement all at once”.

At Statius we see a significant difference between organisations wanting a “badge on the wall” and those using standards to improve the way in which their “work works”.

One of the things that we like to do is look at the performance of the top performers in a sector, look at their profitability and compare that to our client companies. For example; take 2 companies delivering a similar turnover, say £1.8m, one delivering 8% profitability the other delivering 5%:

Company one, profit at 8% = £144k
Company two, profit at 5% = £90k

The difference is £54k and that is (largely) represented by “waste” in the system and in most service based companies waste is time spent but also might be waste in terms of TIMWOOD where waste manifests itself in different activities, for instance;

T – Transport
I – Inventory
M – Movement
W – Waiting and delays
O – Over production
O – Over Processing and
D – Defects

As part of the implementation process we’d be looking at and capturing these issues to improve the profitability of the client company, but obviously, there is more scope for biggest gains quickly with the 5% company, and with the 5% company we know we can make the gains as the competitor is already there!

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