Wondering What To Do For ISO 9001 For Small Business? Best Practices For Certification

Wondering What To Do For ISO 9001 For Small Business? Best Practices For Certification

You may be wondering exactly what to do for ISO 9001 for small business. Keep in mind that ISO Certification is a significant step for a small business to raise its reputation. Indeed notes that ISO certification allows a company to establish its credibility among consumers, business partners, and other stakeholders. For small businesses, ISO 9001 certification can make them stand out in a crowded field. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) informs us that ISO 9001 deals with the establishment and maintenance of a quality management system (QMS). Unfortunately, the road to certification is complicated. Most companies need to delve into what to do for ISO 9001 for small business. Luckily, we can break down the process in an easy-to-understand way.

The Overview Of the Process

We’ve covered a simplified method of getting ISO 9001 certification before, but for small businesses we’ve condensed the process into a few appropriate steps:

  • Adopt the standard: Buy the standards publication, read it, and decide that you want to achieve certification.
  • Find a consultant: Ideally, a company that knows how to help small businesses meet the needs of the standard would be what you’re looking for.
  • Examine existing processes: See what your existing processes are and how they compare to the standard.
  • Make necessary adjustments: If your systems are already functioning in compliance with the standard, there’s nothing to do. If they aren’t up to standard, then you need to make changes and re-examine.
  • Select a registrar: This body will perform an external audit to ensure that you conform to the standard.
  • Deal with issues: After the audit finishes, you should address the shortcomings that the registrar found to achieve your certification.

The process seems simplistic when laid out like this, but each one of these steps has many smaller parts involved. Achieving certification is an ongoing process. Even after the certification, you will need to renew it every few years, which requires the systems you put in place to remain operational. Luckily, the ISO 9001 process has something designed just for this purpose.

The PDCA Cycle

If you want to know what to do for ISO 9001 for small businesses, the core of the continuous improvement process hinges on the PDCA cycle. PDCA stands for Plan-Do-Check-Act. It describes how a company should deal with meeting and maintaining the standards prescribed by the ISO 9001. Each of these steps has its own responsibilities:

  • Plan:

The planning stage defines the aims of the component, and the material and personnel needed to achieve those aims in line with the business policy.

  • Do:

Once the plan is finalized, the business proceeds to work to meet the previously outlined plan’s goals.

  • Check:

The process is monitored and compared to the plan. This step is usually where documentation happens, and corrective measures are suggested to ensure that the process conforms to the plan.

  • Act:

Suggestions proposed in the previous step are tested for viability, and if they are workable solutions, the business can then implement them.

A Wholistic Alignment: Understanding What To Do For ISO 9001 For Small Business

The ISO 9001 standard is unique in its approach since it allows businesses to align their business objectives with the implementation of their QMS. Part of the process requires that companies look inward and define their strengths and weaknesses, as well as external threats that could impact their industry. Additionally, the inclusion of employee awareness as an integral part of the process keeps everyone on the same page. It helps promote buy-in at the employee level to establish and maintain the ISO 9001 standard.

Interested in seeing what ISO 9001 can do for your small business? Contact Sync Resource today to find out what to do for ISO 9001 for small business.

What You Need to Know About ISO 9001 Awareness Training

What You Need to Know About ISO 9001 Awareness Training

We’ve previously covered management commitment to ISO 9001 certification, but ISO 9001 awareness training should also be top of mind. For a business to succeed in implementing their ISO 9001 standards, the employees must also buy into the vision. As The Houston Chronicle notes, if you don’t communicate how your QMS works or which aspects of quality you’re focusing on, your program will fail. In the case of ISO 9001, awareness training is how businesses can seek to inform their employees about the QMS and what constitutes “quality” in the company’s terms. But what defines quality, and how can you communicate that to employees effectively?

Understanding ISO Quality Awareness

An employee does not need to know all the details of the ISO standard. In fact, adding that information to their plate can overwhelm them and make them less likely to support the standard’s implementation. ISO quality awareness has a much smaller scope. For ISO 9001 awareness training can help employees understand their role in the QMS, and how their specific duties impact its functioning. Therefore, awareness training allows employees to learn how their actions play a critical part in the implementation of the ISO 9001 standard. Quality awareness doesn’t mean the employee knows the ISO standards definition inside and out. It means that they are aware of how their contribution affects the company’s push towards compliance.

Employee Engagement and ISO 9001 Awareness Training

We covered in a previous blog post how managers who want to engage their employees properly should approach implementing the ISO 9001 standard. Employee engagement goes hand in hand with awareness training. To properly engage an employee, management must understand their competencies. What are those particular employees good at? Once you determine the roles they are best suited for, you can engage them by showing them how their actions impact the larger picture. ISO compliance requires all hands to be on deck. ISO 9001 awareness training allows employees to judge whether their actions are compliant with the standard. Employees can then take corrective action, with the end goal of being compliant in line with the business’s goals.

Knowledge Fosters Self-Correction

Employee buy-in, combined with the knowledge of the employee’s specific role, can help develop a self-correcting positive feedback loop. Employees within a company should demonstrate autonomy for certain things. Internal audits form a part of the ISO certification process, but if an employee can self-audit the company benefits. An employee who can determine his or her compliance makes the internal auditor’s overall job much more manageable. When the business gets to the point of external auditing in anticipation of certification, each employee’s self-auditing nature ensures that the company remains compliant. Whether the company can rely on employees to self-audit comes back to ISO 9001 awareness training.

What Employees Should Know

The standard has a series of requirements that employees need to know:

  • The company’s quality policy
  • The quality objectives for the employee’s department
  • The employee’s specific contribution to the success of the QMS
  • What benefits improved performance will bring to the company
  • What non-compliance means and the consequences of failing to meet the standard

These key points offer employees the motivation and the knowledge to contribute to the QMS in a meaningful way. It serves to empower and inform the workers so that they can align themselves with the company’s vision. By offering employees this level of knowledge, management shares the burden of responsibility and makes the employee feel like an integral part of the company. This feeling is crucial to achieving employee buy-in and raising engagement.

If you’re looking for a professional consultant to help you develop tools for your ISO 9001 awareness training, Sync Resource remains dedicated to helping our clients achieve their certification goals. Call us today, and let us help you train your workforce to self-correct!

What-You-Need-to-Know-About-ISO-9001-Awareness-Training

ISO 9001: The Key Importance of ISO Employee Training

ISO 9001: The Key Importance of ISO Employee Training

ISO employee training, also known as competence and awareness training, is critical in ensuring that a company complies with ISO standards for certification. Yahoo Small Business mentions that, no matter how good your QMS system is unless people are aware of its existence, it might as well be invisible.

Competence and awareness forms a significant part of several ISO standard, including ISO 9001. It is crucial for businesses seeking ISO certification to take the necessary steps for proper training. Ensuring employees have ISO employee training as part of their preparations for certification is crucial to success. But what does ISO competence and awareness training consist of?

The Roles Within the Company

Because ISO 9001 encompasses the entire organization, each department has its own responsibilities to ensure that employees are competent in using the system and aware that it exists. Three departments within an organization spearhead the responsibility for ensuring ISO employee training. These are:

Human Resources Department

This department holds the responsibility for ensuring that employees are adequately trained in using the system. Alongside departmental heads, HR will ensure that employees meet the competence standards in using the QMS. HR will also verify that employees follow all procedures according to the ISO guidelines.

If any breaches of compliance are detected, the HR department then moves into planning mode. This shift allows them to figure out how to resolve the problems that have arisen. Documentation is a significant part of the ISO 9001 standard. HR is responsible for documenting all training that has happened within the organization.

Departmental Leaders

Within each department, there is a single leader responsible for ensuring each worker underneath them has undergone ISO training. Their first responsibility lies with ensuring that all employees within their department are competent with the regulations.

They are a redundant check on the HR department. Their interest ensures that all employee records about workers in their department are updated regarding their training. Regular reviews are also the purvey of these departmental leaders. Ideally, they would take time to advise employees under their management about what needs to be changed.

They should also help in arranging training for employees. Some workers may need further clarification on critical issues within the company’s strategic plan. Training plans may need to be modified to fit specific workers’ needs.

This action helps make the ISO training a more robust system that addresses individual weaknesses within the organization. Businesses that prefer to try a one-size-fits-all approach are likely to find it challenging to encompass their staff’s unique needs. Departmental leaders are a vital part of ensuring these training exercises pinpoint specific needs within the workforce.

Managers

Management hands down the mandate for the company’s transition into ISO compliance, but in keeping with that goal, a few responsibilities also rest with them. The requirements for competency that the business will judge its employees on will be developed by management.
This responsibility ensures that those lower down the hierarchy are well-aware management’s vision for the company’s compliance with ISO 9001. Creating requirements is only the first part of the solution. The second part requires following up with employees to ensure they are competent. Again, this redundancy ensures that departmental heads are taking their responsibilities in employee training seriously.

Why Is ISO Employee Training Important?

In summary, ISO employee training exists as a method of ensuring that the vision of ISO compliance doesn’t die with upper management. Competence and awareness are crucial parts of implementing a working QMS because each employee needs to be aware of the situation.
Knowing what the QMS is being used for and how they play a part within its success is of critical value in maintaining the business’s certification. Overlooking this requirement could lead to the company entering non-compliance very quickly. Sync Resource has helped many companies develop training programs that address competence and awareness. Contact us today for guidance on how to develop these training regimens.

ISO 9001 Management Principles

ISO 9001 Management Principles

Getting expert help with your ISO 9001 certification will save you time and money.

Eight ISO 9001 Management Principles of ISO 9001 Standard

Enlisted below are the top eight ISO 9001 management principles:

  • Focus on Customers’ Needs and Demands
  • Top Leadership Commitment
  • Employees’ Engagement
  • Fundamental Process Approach
  • Basic System Approach
  • Continual Improvement Cycle
  • Evidence-Based Approach for Decision Making
  • Supplier Vendor Relationship

Mandatory ISO 9001 Certification Documentation

  • Objectives and criteria to measure success
  • Quality Policy
  • Customer Feedback
  • Management Reviews
  • Internal Audits
  • Document Control
  • Process Interaction and its Approach
  • Supplier Relationship
  • ISO 9001 standard copy

What are the Options to Implement ISO 9001 Certification?

There are two basic options to get ISO 9001 implemented in any organization.

  • Hiring an ISO Expert Consultant
  • DIY (Do It Yourself Approach)

Get the ISO 9001 Certification Cheat Sheet.

ISO 9001 Implementation with the Help of ISO Expert Consultant

If you have decided to take an external help i.e. hiring an ISO expert consultant who has success-proven experience of implementing ISO 9001 standard and the ISO 9001 management principles.  Here are the following benefits an ISO consultant should offer you.

  • A consultant will Get Your Work Done on Your Behalf

After hiring a consultant, all the implementation process and documentation will be the job of the consultant. Ensure your team uses consultants and provides them support whenever needed and the consultant is well-supervised by the higher management. Your consultant should follow the ISO 9001 management principles.

  • Corrective Actions in Documentations

The consultant will have a detailed study about existing documentation of your organization and will advise and discuss the required amendments. After management approval, the consultant will make sure to do necessary corrections and will assist your team to implement such mandatory corrections.

  • Training

Make sure your consultant will educate and train your staff about all the mandatory requirements of ISO 9001 standard and will ensure that the team knows and deeply understand.

ISO 9001 DIY (Do It Yourself) Approach

The DIY approach might not be workable for every business type and every business need depending upon the number of employees being working for the group. In this case, your own employees will be responsible for doing process analysis, conducting various interview sessions, designing and even re-designing documentation process but that would again depend on how much your employees are being trained and educated on ISO 9001 standard or if they have some relevant exposure or not.

Make sure your employees are not overwhelmed with other day to day projects because daily routine work might overburden your current employees and they won’t be able to focus on actual most important task i.e. ISO 9001 implementation. Getting your documents ready by your own employees will make them feel empowered and will definitely increase their competency level by making them learn in their own way to sustain ISO 9001 management principles in their system.

How to Decide Which Approach Is Best For Your Business?

There is no hard and fast rule to implement ISO 9001. It is dependent on your current business situation.

Go For Hiring A Consultant Only If:

  • You have time limits. ISO 9001 implementation is a time-bound process so hire an ISO expert consultant if you have a time crunch.
  • Your employees are busy with current projects and not able to manage ISO 9001 implementation as a priority.
  • You are confident about the competency of the ISO consultant.

Go for DIY Approach Only If:

  • You have ample time before the audit and your employees have prior experience and knowledge of ISO standards and implementation.
  • You had a bad financial year and cannot afford to hire a consultant.
  • You don’t believe in knowledge sharing.

Before Hiring Any ISO Consultant

Some ISO consultants might help you by going the extra mile to get you ISO 9001 certified. On the other hand, some ISO consultants prefer to get their job done, go for certification, get paid and move to the next job.

Being a major stakeholder of your company, do your homework first in order to make sure you hire the best of the best ISO consultants.

Looking to get ISO 9001 accreditation for your business?

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Beat the Challenges In ISO 9001 Implementation

Beat the Challenges In ISO 9001 Implementation

Beat the Challenges In ISO 9001 Implementation

[wpdm_package id=’223359′]Implementing a Quality Management System (QMS) in an organization, especially ISO 9001 implementation, where there was no former existence of ISO 9001 can result in a mess. So here are tips and tricks to overcome the challenges.

Top Challenges to Cope Up For ISO 9001 Implementation

The top challenges to overcome for successful implementation of ISO 9001 implementation in accordance with Quality Management guidelines.

Challenge # 01 – Documentation
While implementing ISO 9001 guidelines, you might feel like you’re under a mountain of paperwork and documents. If you or your team feel the weight of all the documentation due to implementation of ISO 9001 here is the way to take the situation in your hand again.

Solution of Challenge # 01:

Explain to your team the documentation in ISO 9001 will make everyone’s lives easier in the long run. Another plus of documentation is to have a proof of every compliance that you meet and further helps in circulating the right information (rather than a second hand information) to all stake holders.

Challenge # 02 – ISO 9001 Guidelines Are too Inflexible
ISO 9001 has stringent guidelines about every case and sometimes one may have feeling of too much rigidity being involved while designing working procedures because of too much rigidity and will ultimately feel less motivated.

Solution of Challenge # 02:

Due to evolving market needs, customers’ awareness level and magnitude of the competition QMS also evolves with same pace. Stringent rules and regulations help you to make your business more secure and guarantee consistent quality results in order to stay ahead in modernization and improvements.

Challenge # 03 – Loss Of Motivation
Sometimes one feel pressure from higher management to get ISO 9001 implemented and the emphasizing power of management can make one feel to be too much pushed resulting in loss of interest and motivation.

Solution of Challenge # 03

To get the best optimum outcomes, higher management should be on board. Each member of the team must feel and be able to take the responsibility for the quality of products and services that an organization offers to the customers. Another important point is to properly communicate the role and responsibility of every team mate in the QMS.

Challenge # 04 – Gossips, Rumors and Restlessness
Sometimes the workforce gets involved in various rumors and gossips about reason of ISO 9001 being implemented in the organization. Some might think and spread rumors about the reduction of head count in the organization also known as “Downsizing”.

Solution of Challenge # 04

Leadership must give a clear message to every team mate of the organization about the reason of ISO 9001 implementation way before spreading of the rumors and gossips among people so that motivation of your team cannot be lower down.

Challenge # 05 – Extra Workload
Due to implementation project of ISO 9001, your existent employees may feel an excessive pressure and stress to do day to day work and to put special focus on ISO 9001 implementation resulting in less motivation.

Solution of Challenge # 05

Get the best of your resources and team players for allocating the tasks of ISO 9001 implementation across the group. The implementation process should be first ignited by top level management and then to middle level management. Continuous recognition and appreciation is required to keep the morale of the employees boosted all the time. Please ensure that ISO 9001 implementation project is designated to only those who have a potential to do something by going extra miles for the company’s vision and mission and have magnified understanding about what the organization wants from them to deliver.

Challenge # 06 – Education and Training
Difference of opinions and difference in concepts might be faced during the ISO 9001 implementation meeting. There is a potential chance that the difference of opinions while discussion might result in potential or hard core resistance from your own team.

Solution of Challenge # 06

Before ISO 9001 implementation, it is mandatory for every management person of the organization to attend a training session and understand the concept of ISO 9001. If the step of Education and training will not be executed before ISO 9001 and QMS implementation then one might face difference of opinions on meeting table.

Straightforward Path for ISO 9001 Implementation Journey

  • No QMS is perfect for every business type so implement a QMS that is applicable to your business.

  • Development of an effective document management system is mandatory to keep information flow real and effective.
  • Use only a necessary level of details in documentation.
  • Ensure to involve each and every staff member of the organization so that everybody can contribute for the implementation of ISO 9001.
    Ensure all stakeholders are involved and are aligned.

  • Don’t lose your focus on customer satisfaction.
  • Ensure each team mate knows roles and responsibility of their own.
  • Make sure you have got the support of top leadership in each and every step of ISO 9001 implementation.
  • If the organization consists of more than one factory, then it is vital to coordinate with multi-sites so that the implementation process step remains synchronized in the pipeline.
  • Stay up to date with all the amendments being made in ISO 9001 and its certification and re-certification criteria.

Looking to get ISO 9001 accreditation for your business?

What questions do you have and how can we help?