Continuous Improvement of Your ISO or AS Certified System

So, you’ve developed and implemented your ISO/AS quality management system and succeeded in obtaining its certification by a registrar. The proof is hanging on the wall - your certificate of registration. Congratulations!!! Your hard work has been rewarded. But certification is not the final goal. The goal is making real and sustained improvements to your overall business. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your ISO/AS system contributing to your overall effectiveness?
  • Do you want to improve only the quality system, or improve your entire business?
  • Have you integrated your ISO/AS system with your overall business system and objectives?
  • Are you happy with your ISO/AS system?

Our experience is that many companies who have been certified for some length of time will answer “No” to some or all of these questions.

The ISO/AS Standard obligates certified companies to do more than just maintain their certification; it requires that you continuously improve that system and be able to demonstrate that you have done so.

You’ve spent a great deal of time and effort in developing and implementing the business procedures and processes that provide the basis for your ISO/AS system and its operation. Once those procedures and processes have been identified, documented and implemented, it is important to measure their effectiveness and continually improve them.

Perhaps management is increasingly challenged with the day-to-day operations of the business and often does not find/take the time to adequately evaluate the effectiveness of the systems they’ve implemented. Whatever the reason, it may be time to take a good like at your system, or give it a shot in the arm.

That’s where AM&T comes in. We can provide your management and employee team with guidance in how to evaluate and audit the system, take effective correction action, keep on track, identify key measurements which will help you effectively monitor your implemented systems and identify potential opportunities for improving their effectiveness. Here’s how the process works:

1) If you haven’t already done so, we can identify the types of processes that are in operation in your business. When this step is completed, we will have separated your processes into three categories:
  • Core processes - those that are directly involved in converting your customer’s requirements into cash.
  • Support processes - those that facilitate and assist core processes.
  • Management processes - those that are used to plan, organize, and measure the effectiveness of processes that have been set in place.
2) We will review your system documentation; quality manual, procedures, work instructions, and help your team evaluate their relevance to your operation, and help revise if required. We can evaluate your processes identified in Step 1 to be sure that they are adequately documented and that the documentation agrees with how they are actually operating. We can help you improve those operations using Lean concepts and tools, and identify measurements that will give you the ability to assess how effectively those processes are operating.

3) We can help you monitor and assess those processes to be sure that they continue to operate the way they were planned. We’ll document any concerns we identify and make sure that management is aware of them. If desired, we will assist you in making corrective action necessary to address those concerns.

4) We can help your team set meaningful business goals, using Strategic Management principles, which will provide a framework for both process and business improvement.

One of the most essential tools for evaluating implemented processes is a set of “fresh eyes” - those of individuals who have not been close to the processes as they were being defined and implemented. AM&T can bring that capability to you and, based on out extensive process analysis experience, can help you identify opportunities for making improvements.

To learn more, contact Jim Cunningham at 607-725-1225