Monday, February 09, 2009

Revalidating the Value of ISO in Tough Economy

Is your management team questioning the costs and value of ISO registration? In these tough economic times many organizations are turning every stone looking for areas to cut costs, including the direct and indirect costs, real and perceived, associated with ISO registration. Certainly, if your customers demand ISO registration as a requirement to do business the value of existing business and the opportunity to bid on new contracts is much easier to quantify. But what if your customers do not require ISO registration?
  • Does your organization use ISO to manage and continually improve its operations?
  • Is ISO registration used as a competitive advantage?

Here are some additional areas of opportunity one might consider when re-validating your QMS registration:

  1. Protect the corporation
    - Prevent defects due to workmanship errors resulting from a lack of documented procedures and ineffective training.
    - Prevent manufacturing escapes due to ineffective traceability & identification, and control of nonconforming product.
    - Prevent design flaws and defects due to inadequate controls in the development and management of change processes.
    - Assure claims substantiation in product design, and verification of statements, expressed and implied, on all product packaging and promotional literature.
  2. Deliver the brand promise
    - Ensure that your systems and processes are stable and capable to produce and deliver products and services that consistently meet customer requirements.
    - Build strong customer relationships through trusted, reliable, predictable performance.
    - Assure competitive advantage by offering value-add products and services.
  3. Legitimize your QMS effectiveness through accredited 3rd party assessments
    - Ensure the effectiveness of the your organizations' key business processes as well as the six required documented procedures of ISO (document control, record control, management review, internal auditing, control of nonconforming, and corrective & preventive action).
  4. Minimize and eliminate the need for customer on-site audits, the distractions they bring; and protect your trade secrets.
    - Similarly, minimize the costs associated with supplier audits by requiring that your suppliers and outsource (contract) manufacturers be ISO registered.

Opportunities for cost reduction associated with ISO registration may be realized by working with your registrar to move to an annual surveillance audit, and/or possible reduction of audit days as the result of any organizational downsizing. Too, perhaps you can share internal auditors with a sister operation.

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