Manufacturing Day 2019!

September 23rd, 2019

Held annually on the first Friday in October, Manufacturing Day on October 4th helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders.

Manufacturing Day addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is – and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry!  Get Involved!!

For much more information, visit the National MFG Day National Website.  For our home state of Arizona Events and Posting of Your Event, visit the Arizona Manufacturers Month Website.

Cybersecurity Information Management Standard

August 26th, 2019

The world’s First International Standard to help organizations manage privacy information and meet regulatory requirements has just been published.

It is no surprise that laws and regulations are rapidly being put in place to reduce digital world risks and protect our digital privacy. Cybersecurity is a growing concern, with attacks against business almost doubling over the last few years and is an increasingly significant threat to global stability.  ISO/IEC 27701, Security techniques — Extension to ISO/IEC 27001 and ISO/IEC 27002 for privacy information management specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving a privacy-specific information security management system. In other words, a management system for protecting personal data.  As we get more connected, governments all over the world are introducing various privacy regulations, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which organizations must adhere to. The new ISO standards will help businesses meet such requirements, whatever your business model delivers.

ISO/IEC 27701 Security Techniques can be purchased here from the ANSI Webstore.

Risk Assessment Techniques

July 25th, 2019

In 2018, a revision to ISO 31000 Risk Management-Guidelines was released in a timely and appropriate fashion, considering the new risk and opportunity management requirements in global management standards. This version delivered a clearer, shorter and more concise guide that helped organizations use risk management principles to improve planning and make better decisions.

Just published – IEC 31010 Risk management,  expands its range of applications and adds more detail than ever before. It complements ISO 31000, Risk management.  IEC 31010 describes the process to be followed when assessing risk, from defining the scope to delivering a report. It introduces a wide range of techniques for identifying and understanding risk in a business or technical context.

The IEC and ISO risk management toolbox features internationally agreed standards with best practice and benchmarks on how to manage risk, as well as a risk management framework, agreed principles and processes.  The standard is useful both as part of a process to manage risk and when comparing options and opportunities so that decisions are based on a good understanding of risk.

We recommend that you take a look at this effective wide range of techniques for identifying and understanding risk in a business or technical context with IEC 31010 Risk Management. This guidance document can be purchased at the ANSI Webstore.   Let us know what you think!

Common Symptoms Risk Management Approach

June 26th, 2019


Risks are also often managed centrally through management team channels. Organizations commonly lack the insight, scope and flexibility to handle risks that occur at a grass-roots level, where the work gets done. Decisions to prevent and mitigate risk can sometimes be delayed as employees do not have the capability to assess risk, or the time to define and reduce the risk. 


The following are common symptoms which could highlight to you that your approach to risk management could be improved:

  1. Uncertainty – the organization struggles to collect the right, or enough information about its risks. Checks are too infrequent, must be recurring and beyond annually. The scope of information about the organizations risk is narrow.
  2. Complexity – the organization is collecting enormous amounts of information about risk to the low level weeds areas. Decision makers cannot interpret the information. Opportunities are overlooked.
  3. Ambiguity – the organization is not able to formulate the correct questions in order to understand its risk. Additional information is useless because risk is not understood or documented effectively, and is some cases not documented at all.
  4. Lack of Common Language- there are multiple interpretations of risk between individuals across the organization. Risk management is mutually exclusive or in conflict. A power struggle usually ensues between individuals with conflicting views and beliefs.
  5. Silo mentality (larger organizations) – different departments resist communicating information about risks across the organization. This typically leads to a condition of both uncertainty and not my problem mentality.

Defining, mitigating and eliminating operational risk factors requires a holistic team approach.  Get your employees at all levels involved!  

ISO 14001 EMS Implementation Guidance

May 22nd, 2019

Implementing an environmental management system (EMS) based on ISO 14001 may seem like a large task, but that doesn’t mean it is just for major industries in any market. Breaking it down into phases is the key. A newly revised guidance document just published helps businesses of all shapes and sizes put an EMS in place in the way that suits them – and reap the benefits every step of the way.

ISO 14005:2019, Environmental Management Systems – Guidelines for a flexible approach to phased implementation, provides small to medium size companies with a means to overcome this by enabling them to meet the requirements of an EMS in a phased, flexible way that is adapted to their specific needs. It allows them to start benefiting from the very beginning while ultimately meeting the requirements of the ISO 14001 EMS Standard.  The standard has just been revised to ensure it is up to date and continues to meet market needs.  Improving environmental performance is made easier with formal systems in place. However, small and medium-sized enterprises often find EMS implementation difficult due to fewer staff and resources.

ISO 14005:2019 allows companies to easily measure the business value and benefits of implementing an EMS and ensuring they get a return on their investment.  You can purchase ISO 14005 EMS Guidelines at the ANSI Webstore.  Contact us with any questions, or seeking assistance with implementing an effective ISO 14001 EMS for your organization.

Performance Excellence Recognition

April 16th, 2019

Recently the R.E. Darling Company, Inc., a Tucson, Arizona-based Sustaining Edge Solutions client was recognized for its Performance Excellence achievement at the 2018 Southwest Alliance for Excellence (SWAE) Sharing of Best Practices and Awards Luncheon at the East Valley Institute for Technology in Mesa, Arizona.

R.E. Darling Co. is a manufacturer of specialty rubber and composite products serving aerospace, defense, and industrial customers. Gary Darling, CEO (second from left with team members) accepted the award on behalf of R.E. Darling Co., Inc. and recognized the 5 Performance Excellence Improvement (PEI) Teams who have been instrumental in guiding the company Performance Excellence efforts.

Level 1 Recognition is given by SWAE to organizations in Arizona, Utah and Nevada for development of an organizational profile that describes the organization, its strategic context, competitive environment and performance improvement system. Based on an initial Baldrige-based Excellence Assessment provided by Sustaining Edge Solutions, the REDAR 5 PEI Teams are following a multi-year road map journey through the SWAE Steps to Excellence Levels 2, 3, and 4 to become eligible to apply for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Sustaining Edge Solutions provides Baldrige-based Gap Assessments, Executive Coaching and Breakthrough Performance Methodologies. This includes Performance Excellence Team and Award application facilitation to partner with organizations from all business sectors (manufacturing, healthcare, education, service, and government) to guide their Journey for culture change and sustained operational excellence. Congratulations to our client R.E. Darling Co.!  For further information on achieving performance excellence within your organization, please contact us.