ISO 9001: How to ensure Long Term Internal Benefits?

I

IsoClaire

#1
Hello!

I have been working for 2 months on ISO 9001 implementation project for our distribution center (70 employees), but we have not really started because I have not yet received the OK from our president.

Although he believes our company would benefit from ISO 9001, especially to reach new markets, he is most interested in ISO 9001 as a way to improve the internal operations. He does not question the success of the implementation project either.

What he is not convinced about is the "sustainability" of ISO 9001. He is convinced that a few years from now, the first improvements will fade.
I could not find the right answer when he asked me to prove that ISO will continue to improve our operations. We discussed building a culture, respect but that lead us to HOW? using control and supervision?

I don't know how to convince him.
I understand his concern but I have no solution. Please help!

Thank you,
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
#2
Hello, Clare:

Great questions! Management always ask the right questions, in my experience. It's true that often improvements come and then are lost in time. The benefit of having a documented system is that the improvements become defined as part of the QMS, rather than simply 'tribal knowledge'. I've seen examples of great improvement projects from 'kaizen' events which fll by the wayside, because they weren't documented.

Furthermore, the cornerstones of audits and management reviews should - if he participates in the right way, should ensure sustainability - because it's on his 'radar screen'. Basically it's up to him to drive it, using the tools available to him. He probably just doesn't see how it all fits together for him.
 

atitheya

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
Continual Improvement. It does not stop at first improvements, and has to be carried forward to the next, and so on.

.... that ISO will continue to improve our operations. ....
ISO or ISO9001 does not improve your operations, YOU do, People of the organisation do, Top management does, by incorporating ISO9001 in your operations / management system, by understanding the requirements of the standard and effectively applying them in your operations.

Clause 8 - Measurement, Analysis and Improvement and Clause 5.4.1 - Quality Objectives are the particular answers to your situation.

Also, please refer to Para 1. Scope, of ISO9001:2000 - 1.1 General
 

howste

Thaumaturge
Trusted Information Resource
#4
I understand your president's concern. It is possible to have a system that doesn't lead to real substantial improvements. This happens in systems that are set up just to meet requirements and pass audits.

To ensure that this doesn't happen, the system must be established based on the needs and goals of the organization. The objectives established should be real business objectives based on the real business processes. Management reviews should be focused on results achieved against the established objectives. Internal audits should also focus on effectiveness of processes to achieve the desired objectives.

My truth is, a lot of the long-term success of the system is dependent on top management. They must ensure that appropriate process and system measurements are in place, and they should review them regularly. Top management must hold the system and people accountable to achieve results. When the right results aren't achieved, they should make decisions and assign actions to improve. The tools listed in clause 8.5.1 must really be understood and used effectively to achieve long-term improvement and sustainability.
 
I

IsoClaire

#5
I might be a little bit of the devil's advocate her but:
Let's say, top management embraces its role (management reviews, corrective actions, objectives...) but that is the people out on the floor who do the job and how can we ensure that they will always do it with quality?
I understand ISO becomes part of the way they work but how does that happen? What type of training? What level of supervision?

And, how can you estimate the buy-in (management's and employees')?

So many questions.... :thanks:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
I

IsoClaire

#6
Continual Improvement. It does not stop at first improvements, and has to be carried forward to the next, and so on.



ISO or ISO9001 does not improve your operations, YOU do, People of the organisation do, Top management does, by incorporating ISO9001 in your operations / management system, by understanding the requirements of the standard and effectively applying them in your operations.

Clause 8 - Measurement, Analysis and Improvement and Clause 5.4.1 - Quality Objectives are the particular answers to your situation.

Also, please refer to Para 1. Scope, of ISO9001:2000 - 1.1 General
I did mention the continous improvement element of ISO 9001 but my president was not convinced. He was saying that hourly employees who will go back to old habits after a while.

Thank you for the detailed references to the standard, that helps a lot!
 

Stijloor

Leader
Super Moderator
#7
I might be a little bit of the devil's advocate here but:
Let's say, top management embraces its role (management reviews, corrective actions, objectives...)
If Top Management embraces this new way of doing business and demonstrates their commitment and active involvement, that's the best scenario you can ask for. Missing in many organizations.

but that is the people out on the floor who do the job and how can we ensure that they will always do it with quality?
Constant guidance and enforcement. Positive examples set by their Supervisors.

I understand ISO becomes part of the way the work but how does that happen? What type of training? What level of supervision?
Well, "ISO" does not become part of the way they work, but if you mean the well-designed processes and support functions; yes.

Training? That depends on the difference between what's expected (competence requirements) and what they bring to the job (competencies). That's the job of the Supervisor/coach.

And, how can you estimate the buy-in (management's and employees')?
Simple: success breeds success. People buy in when they experience that their efforts make a true difference. You don't sell folks on quality, they've heard a lot of BS before....

So many questions.... :thanks:
No problem! We're here to help.

Good Luck!

Stijloor.
 
#8
My 2 francs worth ;)

Firstly, there are a couple of changes we have to make in management and supervision:

Management and supervision should aways be asking "What's the process?" of your people.

When something goes wrong, they must ask, "What happened?", not "Who did it?"

When action is taken, there's always follow through and they ask, "Show me the numbers that prove it's working"

Finally, I've learned that we all follow what our management do - like it is for our home life (in the main) we fashion ourselves after what's important to management. So, if your 'chef' adopts these behaviours and sticks to them, so will others.

BTW - if you involve the people in the improvements they will take ownership and he won't have to worry. No one likes changes forced on them, they have to participate!

Bon chance!
 

atitheya

Quite Involved in Discussions
#9
I did mention the continous improvement element of ISO 9001 but my president was not convinced. He was saying that hourly employees who will go back to old habits after a while.

Thank you for the detailed references to the standard, that helps a lot!
Two things here -

1. Improvement, I used continual and you have used continuous, both include each other. Having said that, the improvement needs to be in a planned manner and at an achievable pace within the ambit of your operations and at different levels - right from Top Management (organisational improvements) and at the individual process levels (including those contributing to organisational improvements among others) and then within the process maybe group level or individual levels. The progress of such improvement activities have to be reviewed periodically against the plan to ensure that these are made. (e.g. periodic review of objectives).

You may plan for only a few improvements at one time. All improvements do not happen at the same time (nobody should expect an overnight change!)

2. Standardisation of the processes where you ensure that all employees carry out a process in a specified way. Ofcourse, participation of such employees and their training holds the key. In the begining, though, some enforcement is also necessary, primarily because there may be some resistence to change. But before that, please review the employees 'old habits'. They may be equally effective for all you know. Also an effective approach here is documenting the process involving such employees (also gets their commitment), making only minimal and necessary changes if so required. Thereafter, finding out wether the process is carried out as planned and documented (one of the effective ways is internal audit).

Motivating the employees by making them understand (training) that the planned system will make their work more effective (make them more efficient) and will help in organisational growth may also help.
 
P

Peter West

#10
Let's say, top management embraces its role (management reviews, corrective actions, objectives...) but that is the people out on the floor who do the job and how can we ensure that they will always do it with quality?
Well this has become extremely pertinent in for me in the last 24 hours. We had a work do last night and whilst doing the socialising bit, i heard on several occasions - what's the point of QMS, why have they just hired someone (me) when they already have a person there, and are cutting back with other support staff?

Odd situation to be in but starting to realise that despite the full backing of management, the other employees have no understanding of:
a) what the QMS is
b) what its benefits are
c) why it is so essential
and most importantly have no interest/pep for it. Same goes for ISO 14001 which we are about to implement.

Now we have been 9001 certified for at least 3 years (as far as i am aware) and we do have full QMS training in place (which to me appears thorough).

I am now thinking we need to an internal advertising campaign to improve the QMS' image as its "sustainability" internally seems to be flagging.

Of course it is fun to turn to them and say "did your most recent client ask you if our company was ISO 9001 certified before considering us for the job" - then it starts to sink in as to what would happen if it wasnt there.
 
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