ISO 9001 Certification for Highly Distributed International Company

U

unueco

#1
Greetings:

I work for a highly distributed company. Our main headquarters, admin, and financial departments are in one country. Our manufacturing and order processing center is on another. And our sales, warehouse and distribution centers are located in several other countries.

I am curious to know if we pursue ISO9001 certification, what situation will we face? Will auditors need to visit each of these locations? If not....then what?

Thank you for your advice!
 
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drgnrider

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
Re: ISO Cert for highly distributed company

If one certificate covers all your locations, then yes someone will eventually need to visit each location.

A certificate scope can be set for one facility and what they do there.

We are also an international company, (eight factories and one Corporate and multiple regional offices spread over five continents), each facility maintains it's ISO system/certificate independent of the others.
 
L

lk2012

#3
Re: ISO Cert for highly distributed company

Agree with previous poster.
All production facilities will have their own cert and they'll be linked to the 'supporting' locations.
They will all have an audit, the supporting locations will have theirs typically a month earlier than the main one.
 
#4
Greetings:

I work for a highly distributed company. Our main headquarters, admin, and financial departments are in one country. Our manufacturing and order processing center is on another. And our sales, warehouse and distribution centers are located in several other countries.

I am curious to know if we pursue ISO9001 certification, what situation will we face? Will auditors need to visit each of these locations? If not....then what?

Thank you for your advice!
It depends on how your quality management system is structured. If you have each location doing their "own thing", with little or no oversight from the HQ (or at least "top management" and no central co-ordination of audits, customer feedback corrective actions, resources etc. then individual certificates will be necessary and all locations will be visited each time in the 3 year certification cycle.

If you share a common QMS with HQ "oversight", the locations can, over the 3 years, be sampled, if that's what you want.
 
U

unueco

#5
Thank you to all who have replied.

It seems I will have to have an intense discussion with upper management as to how they wish to proceed. Interestingly enough, I work in the manufacturing facility and the push to "Go ISO" is coming from the admin offices (in a different country).

Another question that arises is that, should only one facility have the ISO cert, how does that affect our ability to advertise as a "ISO 9001 certified company"?

Thanks again!
 
#6
Thank you to all who have replied.

It seems I will have to have an intense discussion with upper management as to how they wish to proceed. Interestingly enough, I work in the manufacturing facility and the push to "Go ISO" is coming from the admin offices (in a different country).

Another question that arises is that, should only one facility have the ISO cert, how does that affect our ability to advertise as a "ISO 9001 certified company"?

Thanks again!
Simple answer is that you can't make a claim to be an ISO Certified "company" if only one site is under the audit scheme. There are very strict rules, passed down through a CB about what you can claim. It's also going to be on your certificate - which you will want to make available (on a website) or on demand from customers. It's a double edged sword - when it comes to using ISO certification for marketing. Those who are informed will see it's not applied across the company and will draw their conclusions. Worse, your competitors will have a field day when their sales people are talking to your customers...
 
U

unueco

#7
Hi and thank you again for your informative reply.

There are very strict rules, passed down through a CB about what you can claim.
Can you suggest some resources to research these restrictions?
 

Big Jim

Super Moderator
#8
Hi and thank you again for your informative reply.



Can you suggest some resources to research these restrictions?
You should very soon start talking to certification bodies. They can help you with most if not all of your questions, and they should have no trouble providing you with their guidance document on the use of certification marks.

For your benefit, I'll outline a few in what is a typical set of rules.

Typically, certification marks are used on the web site, business cards, letterhead, stationary, catalogs, advertising, and other literature. Using the marks is completely optional. You don't need to use them at all, or you can use them on any or all of the typical things I listed.

Certification marks include the use of "ISO 9001 Certified" and closely related wording. It also includes the seals that belong to your certification body, and the seals that belong to their accreditation bodies.

Certification marks may not be used on the product, product packaging, or in a manner that would indicate that the product is certified. Certification applies to your quality management system and not to the product.

Certification marks may not be used in a manner that makes it look like more is certified than what is in the scope of certification. That includes facilities are are not part of the certification. It also includes activities that are not part of the scope of certification. For example, if you have six locations, and only one is certified you must not use the marks in a manner that makes it appear that any of the other five are included in the certification.

If your scope of certification includes manufacture of car parts, and the manufacture of buggy whips is not included in the scope, then you cannot claim that your certification covers the management system that manufactures buggy whips.

Generally speaking, you can use the certification body seal by itself. If you use accreditation body seals, they must only be the ones on your certificate, and they need to be used with the certification body seal.

There are details about the size, shape, and colors used on the seals, and that detail is provided on the guidance document.

Auditors are instructed to check on the use of the certification marks on every audit.
 
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