Celebrating 25 Years of ISO 9000

Sustaining Edge Solutions, Inc. Newsletter

Performance Improvement Solutions for Your Business                              April 2012

This Month
* Celebrating 25 years of ISO 9000
* Quality Measurement to Drive Business Value
* New ISO Standard Environmental Accounting
* BPM Pitfalls
* Training Courses



May 21-23, 2012
Anaheim, CA
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Our newsletters provide information on business management systems ISO 9001, AS9100 Aviation, Space and Defense, ISO/TS 16949 Automotive, ISO 27001 Information Security, ISO 13485 Medical Devices, ISO 14001 Environmental, and others.  This includes performance improvement methods such as Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, and other topics of interest to our readers.


If you have any questions regarding the content or have a topic of interest for a future newsletter, please let us know.



Celebrating 25 years of ISO 9000  

March 15th marked the 25th anniversary of the ISO 9000 series standards.  (If you’ve been around for a while, you know that British standard BS 5179 preceded the ISO standard and the U.S. Mil-Q-9858 predated the British standard.)  Auditable quality system standards go back nearly 45 years, but the real impact certainly launched on a worldwide basis with the release and adoption of the ISO 9000 series standards.  Since the standards were released in 1987, they have gone through three revisions: 1994, 2000, and 2008.


In 2000, there were far-reaching changes made to ISO 9001, the international QMS standard. These changes were based on an extensive International Organization for Standardization (ISO) user survey but were also made at a time of widespread criticism of the standard and the third-party certification industry. Prior to 2000, ISO 9001 was purely a conformity assessment standard; viewed by many as a manufacturing standard however, following the changes, which were rooted in key quality management principles, the standard became not only this but also a framework for managing and assessing organizations against accepted management best practices.


Possible changes ahead


With the existing agreement on the common structure and text for future revisions on all ISO management systems standards, there is room to speculate about likely changes for the next version of ISO 9001. For instance, acknowledging the fundamental purpose of all management systems standards, currently numbering in excess of 40, is to prevent things from going wrong. Therefore, if prevention is to become the defining purpose of an ISO 9001 management system, this must inevitably lead to the consideration of risk; not a risk management system that focuses solely on risk, but the systematic control of risk through the management system, which is vastly  different.

Management system standards such as AS9100 Aviation, Space and Defense and ISO 13485 Medical Devices have introduced the systematic control of risk within requirements. These standards do include all of the ISO 9001 requirements, but the systematic control of risk through the entire management system is still lacking.  Additionally, the common text and structure of the standard should define the need for an organization to consider changes relative to both its external and internal environment.


There have been a number of independent studies over the years demonstrating the benefits of implementing ISO 9001. One study was published in a peer-reviewed academic journal from Harvard Business School. The article encapsulates some of the key organizational benefits for ISO 9001 certification, stating: “ISO adopters have higher rates of corporate survival, sales, and employment growth.”


Given that now more than one million organizations in more than 150 countries use the standard to manage their value-creating processes, it’s arguably one of the most influential piece of business management literature ever written.

Here’s to the first 25 years with greater realized impact to the enterprise and its customers in the next 25!


Click here to read the Harvard Business School Article.


Quality Measurement to Drive Business Value

Organizations understand the importance of measuring and tracking quality, particularly in product manufacturing. However, applying rigorous quality measurement on an enterprise wide scale, beyond manufacturing and service levels, is relatively new. Nonetheless, some organizations have made strides toward establishing quality measurement programs and systems that serve the entire organization and its customers.


These types of organizations realize that creating innovative ways to measure and improve the quality of all processes benefits the business just as much as product and service innovations. Plus, improvements in how enterprise quality is measured affect the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization for years to come.

In 2011, the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), one of the world’s leading proponents of knowledge management, benchmarking, and best practices business research, set out to learn how organizations are applying quality principles enterprise wide in its best practices study, Using Enterprise Quality Measurement to Drive Business Value.

After a series of conversations with organizations already leveraging effective quality measurement practices and with others in search of those practices, the study team identified eight imperatives for an enterprise quality function. Without these practices in place, organizations typically struggle to arrive at any defined and replicable way to increase quality throughout the business.

The enterprise quality function imperatives are:


  1. Align enterprise quality with strategic goals and initiatives.
  2. Establish structures and resources to get the desired results.
  3. Create supporting policies, procedures, and tools-not mandates.
  4. Select, define, and standardize quality measures across the enterprise.
  5. Allow business unit leaders to establish the performance targets for enterprise quality measures.
  6. Report enterprise measures at least quarterly.
  7. Design quality measures to focus on value-added quality activities and core strategic objectives.
  8. Use measures to promote a culture of quality.

The study identified specific practices that enable organizations to achieve each imperative. It uncovered both the solid, foundational practices that most organizations are using to measure quality and the emerging practices that a few organizations are just starting to employ.

From the organizations in this study, business leaders can learn valuable insights and strategies for implementing systems, intranet, collaborative sites, assessment tools, scorecards, and more that can bring an enterprise together with a vision for quality.


To download a free copy of the report, visit APQC’s website.

New ISO Standard Environmental Cost Accounting


Want to know how to increase productivity while reducing environmental impact? A new ISO standard does just that, by helping business cut costs linked to waste and emissions and enhancing their environmental performance.


The standard, ISO 14051:2011, Environmental management – Material flow cost accounting – General framework, assists organizations to better understand the environmental and financial consequences of their material and energy use practices, so that they can identify opportunities for improvement.


ISO 14051:2011 establishes a management information system approach called Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA), which can be used to trace and quantify material input and output flows and stocks within an organization. The system helps identify material and energy use practices, and understand these in costs and physical terms. The information can then be applied to reduce losses and increase gains.


Prof. Katsuhiko Kokubu, Convenor of the working group that developed the standard says, “Many organizations are unaware of the full extent of the cost of their material losses because this data is often difficult to extract from conventional information, accounting and environmental management systems. MFCA produces such precise and clear data that it can motivate managers to enhance material productivity and significantly reduce unnecessary waste far more effectively than through conventional means.”


MFCA is applicable to all industries that use materials and energy, including extractive, manufacturing, service and other industries. It can be implemented by organizations of any type and scale, with or without environmental management systems in place, in emerging economies as well as in industrialized countries.


MFCA is one of the major tools of environmental management accounting and is primarily designed for use within a single facility or organization. However, MFCA can be extended to multiple organizations within a supply chain, to help them develop and integrated approach to more efficient use of materials and energy.


To purchase the ISO 14051: 2011, Environmental management – Material flow cost accounting – General framework go to the

ANSI Standards Store.

Business Process Management Pitfalls

Business process management (BPM) delivers significant benefits to organizations, but some have faced many problems due to wrong turns along the way, according to John Dixon, research director at Gartner. They have identified five BPM threats that business process improvement (BPI) leaders need to be mindful of as organizations progress with their BPM initiatives.

Pitfall No. 1: Being caught unprepared to demonstrate value delivered. With this pitfall, the BPM team may well have delivered some value to the organization, but if it did, it failed to keep a record of these achievements, or to routinely communicate them to those who matter.


Pitfall No. 2: Deploying a BPM system without understanding BPM as a discipline. Deploying a cutting-edge business BPM system will solve nothing unless the organization also applies BPM as a discipline. BPM is not about technology. Because it fundamentally changes how people work, BPM is about change.


Pitfall No. 3: Launching a BPM effort based on perceived problems, without validating facts. BPM activities must be based on facts and data rather than reactions to those who shout the loudest. When starting a BPM initiative, it is good practice to allot a period of time to set up and gather metrics before process improvement work occurs.


Pitfall No. 4: Developing BPM capabilities without delivering business value. A BPM team must build its capabilities, but this effort must be balanced with a degree of realism. The organization wants to see some return on its investment, often relatively quickly.


Pitfall No. 5: Focusing on mapping processes instead of improving them. BPM teams can get lost in mapping processes, acting under the assumption that this mapping activity amounts to “doing BPM.”

This period should be agreed to upfront with the BPM steering committee or project sponsors to properly set expectations.


Training Courses

To see the course description, schedule, and on-line registration click on the course title below. We deliver onsite training for these courses and customized training to fit your specific needs.  We offer group discounts.

View all our Courses


View Our Web Based E-Training Courses


ISO 9001 Quality Management


Understanding and Implementing ISO9001:2008

ISO 9001:2008 Process Based Internal Auditor

Documenting Your Management System


AS9100 Aviation, Space and Defense


Understanding and Implementing AS9100C (9110 &9120) Aviation, Space and Defense

AS9100C:2009 Process Based Internal Auditor

Documenting Your Management System


ISO/TS 16949 Automotive


Understanding and Implementing ISO/TS16949:2009 Automotive

ISO/TS16949:2009 Process Based Internal Auditor
Documenting Your Management System


ISO 14001 Environmental

Understanding and Implementing ISO14001:2004 Environmental
ISO14001:2004 Process Based Internal Auditor

Lean Enterprise and CI

5S Five Pillars of a Lean Workplace Organization
Continuous Process Improvement
Lean Six Sigma
8 Disciplines (8D) of Problem Solving


ISO 13485 Medical Devices


Understanding and Implementing ISO 13485:2003 Medical Devices
ISO 13485 Process Based Internal Auditor


ISO 27001 Information Security


Understanding and Implementing ISO 27001:2005 Information Security
ISO 27001 Process Based Internal Auditor


All courses can be delivered at your company. Don’t see a course, location, or date that fits your needs?

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