Promoting Your Certification

 

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Our newsletters provide information on business management systems and process improvement methods. These systems, our services include ISO 9001 QMS, AS9100 Aviation, Space and Defense, ISO/TS 16949 Automotive, ISO 27001 Information Security, ISO 13485 Medical Devices, ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard. Further subjects include methods of performance improvement such as Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, and other topics of interest to our readers.

 

Do You have a Subject of Interest for our Newsletter?  Please let us know.

 

Promoting Your Certification
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Certification to ISO 9001, AS9100, or another recognized global standard is highly useful as a marketing tool. While the main benefit to attaining certification is the improved accountability, efficiency and effectiveness it can bring, it is also a unique selling point and a great way of setting your business apart from your competition and marketplace.

While the general public has become more familiar with ISO standards and certification, a lot of its nuances and potential benefits will be lost on your audience if you don’t take steps to market them properly. Here are four of the do’s and don’ts of promoting your organization’s  certification to keep in mind.

 

Focus On Value
 
Achieving certification to a recognized management system is great, but what does it mean to your current customers, and your potential future customers? Make sure any messaging you put out to market your achievement is focused primarily on how your certification affects those who use your product or service. Here are some ideas:

 

  • Total Quality: Certification is all about repeatable, scalable processes – a certified quality management system ultimately means your customers can expect a more consistent experience every time they work with you. A predictable customer experience.
  • Lower Costs: Certified businesses are more efficient businesses – let your customers know that because you run a more cost-effective operation, you don’t need to cut corners to keep prices competitive.
  • Accountability: Certification also provides tools for addressing problems when they occur. While you don’t want your messaging to focus too heavily on this possibility, let your customers know that being certified by a third-party accredited certification body helps you achieve greater transparency, independent operations review, and supports a more effective communication process.
We understand that the specifics of your business and industry will determine how best to focus your messaging, but the key takeaway is that when promoting your certification, always put the Customer First!
Promote Your Certification in the Appropriate Forums
 
As important as social media is to broader marketing initiatives, its emphasis on short, impactful content means it is probably not the best place to promote your certification on an ongoing basis. Instead, consider white papers, case studies, your company website, and other forums where you can go into depth about the benefits it offers your customers.

When you’re sharing the release of these documents across your social media platforms, however, it’s an appropriate time to utilize hashtags that note your certification. Even if a reader doesn’t proceed with reading the content right away, they’ll see that hashtag and make the connection that your company is certified. You can tag the accredited certification body too, establishing a relationship with the team monitoring that organization’s accounts.

Use Consistent, Appropriate Branding 
 

Each accredited certification body has a unique registration mark or logo, which, with certain restrictions, you are entitled to incorporate into your branding.  For example, the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) carries rules for incorporating their symbol, which vary by your accreditation type. A management systems accreditation, for example, cannot apply the ANAB symbol to any and all documents- only those that pertain to accredited activities.

Some places where you can often apply the logo of an accredited certification body include:
  • Your website
  • Your email signature
  • Your company letterhead
  • Your business card
  • Your building’s signage, front lobby and branded vehicles
  • Trade show or convention advertising

Whatever methods you use to promote your certification, approach it as you do your company marketing efforts. Strategic focus, consistent, and measurable.  Thanks to NQA for their insights towards the content of this article, and often overlooked important subject.

 

Core Processes Create Value
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The current economic upturn and the always expanding  competitive market have created an enhanced awareness on how an organization creates the value needed by its products, markets and customer needs.

Becoming more efficient and effective is much more than eliminating process waste. Internal waste reduction may not be the primary need for an organizations markets or customers, thus waste reduction may not ensure continued sustainability of the organization.

A process management approach can help an organization prevent a narrow view of a business system. The process approach is a set of interrelated or interacting activities, that require specific input resources, monitoring and measurement opportunities (before, during, and after the process), in order to achieve consistent product and service. An organization wanting to improve its economic performance can use the process approach to link improvement to strategic goals.

The following questions is a good place to start:

  • What business are we in?
  • Who are our customers?
  • What do they do, and what do they expect from us (the value)?
  • What do we need to do to meet their unique requirements (capabilities)?
  • What is customer critical and what is less significant?
  • What are the critical core processes that will allow us to meet our specific capabilities?
  • Which core processes do we have, which do we need to create, and which do we need to manage better (process management)?
Let us not forget that the “economic value” or rationale is particularly important. Identifying the critical processes that need to be either created or improved to provide the needed strategic capabilities should drive the overall improvement effort and economic value.

This is the essence of process management-effectiveness of process = ability to achieve desired results, and efficiency of process = results achieved versus resources used.

Identifying the missing gaps and implementing the missing processes can be the quickest way to improve a system. The organization must ensure that process improvements are linked to strategy and core process execution. To be a success, an organization must continuously improve all its essential core processes to provide value and to always satisfy customer requirements.

Contact us for more information on how we can assist your organizational growth with an effective and proven process management approach.

 

Which Method Came First?
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We recently conducted a large process improvement project for a manufacturing client.  During the project a team member asked “Is Kaizen the same as Lean, and is Six Sigma on its way out?” I remember leading my first Kaizen/Lean project twenty-five years ago and hearing “Is Kaizen replacing TQM?” Not much has changed over the quality improvement timeline. Many enterprises whether service or manufacturing are looking for simplified answers and methods to cost reduction, improved quality and enhanced customer satisfaction.

 

It is not about what’s been around the longest, or some new improvement method you heard about that “everyone is doing.” It is about what your organization is facing today, and what it could be facing tomorrow if you do nothing. Do you have customer dissatisfaction, product returns or service issues, high operating costs? Maybe trying to improve cycle time, service delivery or reduce process waste? These are the type of questions you need to ask to determine what to do, and how to focus your resources to improve profit. 

 

Lean and Six Sigma have become the most widely known methods for creating breakthrough and sustained improvement. Keep in mind that these methods have evolved from previous proven methods created decades ago, which prompts the title of our article even further. 

 

Lean Improvement Through Waste Elimination

 

A lean core principal is based on creating a “pull system” to produce faster, rather than the traditional “push systems” used by most organizations. The goal is to always pull from the customer demand, not push to the customer and sub-optimize your capabilities. A method that started in manufacturing to reduce waste is now used to improve cycle time, and workflow in workplace and department performance, and reduce waste in hospitals, insurance companies, financial services, and nonprofit environments.

 

Value stream mapping is an important tool used in lean. It documents all the tasks (material and information flow) and process metrics (process time, cycle time, inherent costs, barriers) within a system including waste and non-value added activities. An example of a task level metric used in our lean events is called Complete and Accurate (%C&A).This equates to the time the downstream customer can perform the task without having to “CAC” the incoming work:

  • Correct information or material that was supplied
  • Add information that should have been supplied
  • Clarifyinformation that should or could have been clear.
The output metric is measured by the immediate downstream customer and all subsequent downstream customers. This process makes visible the problems or waste so that they can be eliminated, thereby making the processes faster and cheaper to deliver.
 
Creating “value” as seen by the eyes of the customer is the key component to lean. Providing value to the customer is why a supplier exists. Whatever does not provide value to the internal and external customer can be considered as process waste.
 
We will continue this requested and relevant topic in our next newsletter. Stay Tuned!

 

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In the News
Automatic ID and Data Capture Standards

The formation of a new Working Group – “Application of automatic identification and data capture standards.” is underway. As the U.S. member body to ISO, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) encourages relevant stakeholders to get involved.

 

Automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technologies are used to identify, record, and store information on billions of items on a global scale-for example, consumer products are tagged using bar coding and radio frequency identification (RFID). Automatic identification and data capture is used to support various industries, including retail, electronics, aerospace, transportation, and across the supply chain used for replenishment, storage, and quality control.
For more information visit the ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 31 group website here.

 

Secrets of Business Success in New ISO Standard 

The average lifespan of businesses is shrinking, yet some have been around for hundreds of years. How to stay afloat in a rapidly changing world? A newly published standard aims to help.

The freshly published ISO 9004, Quality management – Quality of an organization – Guidance to achieve sustained success, divulges the secrets and strategies of some of the longest lasting businesses around the world to help other organizations prepare for such challenges, optimizing their performance at the same time.

 

ISO 9004 draws on the strategies, best practice and experience of some of the most successful businesses around the world to provide guidance for any business, regardless of size or genre. This includes how to anticipate future challenges and how to achieve a higher level of performance along the way.

The standard is a revised version of ISO 9004:2009, building on previous guidance to help organizations improve their overall performance by releasing the full potential of their quality management system.  It will help organizations move to the next level beyond ISO 9001 (quality management systems) by addressing topics such as the alignment and deployment of strategy, policy and objectives within the broader context of the organization’s vision, mission, values and culture.

We highly recommend the purchase of the new ISO 9004 Quality management – Quality of an organization guidance. For more information visit the ISO Online Browsing Platform Site.

 

Training Courses
 
All courses can be delivered at your company or at our training centers. We do provide training beyond our home state of Arizona. Click on the course title for description, schedule, registration and payment. Group discounts are available. We also provide custom designed training to fit your specific needs. All training is fully documented for your training records and certificates of training are awarded.
 
Don’t see a course or schedule that fits your needs?  Contact us.
 

 

In a survey conducted by Deloitte, manufacturing employers reported that the most serious skill deficiencies of their current employees are:

* Technology and computer skills (70 percent)
* Problem-solving skills at (69 percent)
* Basic technical training at (67 percent)
* Math skills at (60 percent)

ISO 9001:2015 7.1.6 Organizational Knowledge states: When addressing changing needs and trends, the organization shall consider its current knowledge and determine how to acquire or access any necessary additional knowledge and required updates.  Training will  always be an evolving need for all organizations – What are you doing to improve your employee skills and knowledge?

 

Walter Tighe and SES Team
Sustaining Edge Solutions, Inc.
Toll Free 888-572-9642
 

 

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