Holistic Performance Excellence


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Our newsletters provide information on business management systems and process improvement methods. These systems 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, and others. Subjects include performance improvement methods such as Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, and other topics of interest to our readers.

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

Holistic Performance Excellence Approach

graphic-chart-people.jpg As we discussed in a recent newsletter topic, the development and deployment of a management system based on the ISO 9000 series of standards can help an organization lay a foundation for creating and sustaining a performance excellence culture.


An evolution and outgrowth of hardwiring ISO is the linkage of the ISO Standards to the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria. The Baldrige Criteria can be used as a benchmark to provide an organizational-wide assessment to identify where key quality management system (QMS) process enhancements can be made to help drive an organization toward world-class performance, as well as provide a holistic framework to address the new ISO 9001:2015 QMS changes coming soon.


What About the Rest of the Organization?  

An ISO 9001 QMS provides the basic structure for senior leaders to begin the process of understanding the organization as it relates to the customer, while the addition of the Baldrige framework provides a more integrated systems-based business model, that can build alignment across the organization by making connections between and reinforcing organizational systems, processes, strategy, and results. Baldrige as a more integrative leadership system will also help address the rest of the organization (e.g., health, safety, risk, financial, HR, innovation, and environment), and reinforce the interlinking relationship and synergy between these areas to enhance effective results.


The newly released 2015-2016 Baldrige Framework features a renewed focus on managing and integrating All of the Components of the Organization as a whole and managing change to assure goods and services are aligned with meeting customer requirements and exceeding expectations.

The future ISO 9001: 2015 Standard is expected to rely less on “documentation” and shift away from the focus on a “Quality Manual” and “Mandatory Procedures”. This offers a less prescriptive approach that requires a more holistic systematic leadership framework to integrate, align, and embed the quality management system throughout the organization. The ISO 9001 move away from the “Quality Management Representative” requirement will also necessitate increased senior leaders ownership of quality to deploy a broader management system that is more holistic. In addition, the new ISO standards focus on risk management and prevention can assist an organization’s strategic efforts to address the impact of market uncertainty, when complimented by the Baldrige concept of “Intelligent Risk taking” .

In terms of your business results, this could also translate into preventing undesirable outcomes, such as nonconforming products, or “goods and services”, as described in the draft ISO 9001:2015 standard.

The Next Performance Level

Another example of taking the ISO approach to the next level would be the Baldrige Criteria asking for the organization to have a holistic approach to building long-term customer relationships, which is part of a customer relationship management system, including how the organization listens to the voice of the customer, builds customer relationships, and uses customer information to improve and to identify opportunities for innovation.

Although ISO 9001 requires the measurement of the quality management system processes and analyzes conformity to customer requirements and customer satisfaction, it is not unusual for an organization to focus on the customer requirements and miss the opportunity to manage the customer relationship, which can help acquire, retain, and build sustainable business market share.

Finally, another added advantage from the Baldrige framework is focus on organizational and personal learning. ISO 9001 addresses continual improvement as it relates to the QMS, which may infer learning, but may not translate into knowledge management. The Baldrige Criteria addresses learning by asking about new knowledge or skills acquired through evaluation, study, experience, and innovation. A systematic approach for organizational and industry knowledge management could become your competitive advantage for new business growth with increasing global market competition and opportunity.


Organizational Baldrige-based QMS Assessment 

Our new service includes this assessment benchmarked to the National Baldrige Criteria, and the ISO 9001:2015 Standard delivered by our new associate, Dennis Stambaugh, a National Baldrige Examiner and Judge for the Southwest Alliance for Excellence based in Arizona. With over 10 years of use of the Criteria as a state and national applicant, Dennis brings extensive knowledge and experience of the use of the criteria and Baldrige best practices for organizational assessments and improvement of an organization’s quality management system.


With this new service we are offering special pricing to our first four clients. For more information, any questions and scheduling of an assessment, please contact us today toll free at 888-572-9642, or Email Us.

Adding Value to Internal Audit Process


We hear so much about the importance of “adding value” during quality management systems (QMS) audits, but what does this really mean? Is it possible to add value without compromising the integrity of the audit. In principle, all audits should add value, but this is not always the case


There are several dictionary definitions of “value”, but all focus on the concept of something being useful. “Adding value” therefore means to make something more useful.

Some organizations have used the ISO 9000 series of standards to develop quality management systems that are integrated into the way they do business, and are useful in helping them to achieve their strategic business objectives – in other words they add value for the organization. Conversely, other organizations may have simply created a bureaucratic set of procedures and records that do not reflect the reality of the way the organization (think fill-in-the blank template system, or using your friend’s QMS documentation) actually works, and simply add costs, without being useful. In other words, they do not “add value”.


It is a question of approach:

A non-value-added approach asks “What procedures do we have to write to get the ISO 9001 certification on the wall?”


A “value-added” approach asks the question “How can we use our ISO 9001:2008 based quality management system to help us improve our business and increase our profits?”

How can we ensure that an audit is useful to an organization in maintaining and improving its QMS?(We should recognize, however, that there may be other perspectives that need to be taken into consideration.)

Some tips for the auditor on how to add value include

Audit planning:

  1. Understand the auditee’s expectations/corporate culture

  2. Any specific concerns to be addressed (output from previous audits)?

  3. Risk analysis of industry sector / specific to organization.

  4. Pre-evaluation of statutory/regulatory requirements

  5. Appropriate audit team selection to achieve audit objectives

  6. Adequate time allocation

Audit Technique

Focus more on the process, and less on procedures. Some documented procedures, work instructions, check-lists etc. may be necessary in order for the organization to plan and control its processes, but the driving force should be process performance.

Focus more on results and less on records. In a similar fashion, some records may be necessary in order for the organization to provide objective evidence that its processes are effective (generating the planned results) but in order to add value, the auditor should be aware of and give credit for other forms of evidence.

Looking to improve your internal audit system? Contact Us.

The Value of Accredited Certification


With the U.S. economy on the upswing, we have found much more interest lately from start-ups to small business inquiring about the tangible benefits of seeking certification to the standards we deliver and more. 


With this in mind, let’s take a look at The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) who undertook a global survey to capture market feedback on the value of certification.  The results show that not only is certification being used as a tool to deliver internal business improvement and to meet regulatory compliance, but businesses confirm that it has a positive effect on revenue.  

The survey, which was translated into 22 languages, was promoted in each economy by the accreditation and certification community, stakeholder groups and business intermediaries. Responses to the questions were not mandatory, and so the quoted percentages are based on the businesses that provided a response.

The main findings of the report showed:

  • Approximately 50% of the 4,000 respondents to this survey, reported an increase in sales as a result of certification.
  • In terms of general added value, 80% felt that certification had given them real value.
  • Nearly 50% cited internal business improvement as the main reason for seeking certification.
  • An overwhelming number of respondents cited certification as being important to their customers.
  • 80% reported that certification has helped them to meet national regulatory requirements.

Small Business was the major contributor to this survey. Seventy-one percent of respondents work in organizations employing less than 249 people. The majority of businesses that responded have management systems certification, with 51% a quality management system, 18% environmental management.

Further tangible value respondents stated included:

47% of respondents stated that the primary driver was to improve internal business operations and processes.

89% confirmed that they commission the services of a certification body based in their national economy.

62% of respondents confirmed that they strongly agreed or agreed that the certification process provided value for money.

60% of businesses used the services of an external consultant to support them through the certification process.

Businesses taking part also reported high levels of satisfaction with the certification process in terms of the timeframe to achieve certification and the competence of the assessment teams. Given these positive findings, businesses perceive accredited certification as providing value for money.

Interested in more information, would like to converse with our clients on the value their business achieved?  Let us know!  


In the News
Coming Soon: ISO 9001:2015 Revision and Update Webinars and Workshops

Sustaining Edge Solutions will be conducting webinars and workshops in 2015 on the subject of the future ISO 9001:2015 Risk-Based QMS Standard. Who’s going to be affected by this future revision? Customers, supply chain, certified companies, end users, consumers, certification bodies, auditors, regulatory agencies and You!

Sign-up now and we will notify you of future dates in advance.   


Guidance on Data Storage Security

A new IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) International Standard for data storage security ensures your valuable information stays in safe hands.

EC and ISO’s latest International Standard, ISO/IEC 27040:2015 Information technology – Security techniques – Storage security provides detailed technical guidance on how to effectively manage all aspects of data storage security, from the planning and design to the implementation and documentation.

It includes guidance on mitigating risks of data breaches and corruption and takes into account new technologies and the complexities of connectivity and supports the requirements of an Information Security Management System.

ISO/IEC 27040:2015 aims to:

  • help draw attention to risks

  • assist organizations in better securing their data when stored

  • provide a basis for auditing, designing and reviewing storage security controls.

For more information, visit the IAF Website.

ISO 14001 Revision to Final Stage 

ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) has progressed to Final Draft International Standard – the next stage in the ISO standard revision process – following approval of the latest draft by an impressive 92 % at the end of 2014.

The current revision is an important step in the evolution of the standard and will see some improvements on the previous edition. Some of these changes are based on a user survey conducted by the committee, which received over 5000 responses from 110 countries. As a result, the new version will see greater focus on:

  • Strategic environmental management

  • Leadership

  • Protecting the environment

  • Environmental performance

  • Life-cycle thinking

This means that experts revising the standard will go through all the comments received during the previous public consultation (DIS) at their next meeting in Tokyo on February 2-7, 2015. The outcome will be a final draft, which will be put forward for voting. Once approved, the standard will be published. The new version is expected by the end of 2015.

Training Courses

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Don’t see a course or schedule that fits your needs?  Contact us.

Achieving sustained business performance and exponential revenue growth requires a new approach.  Take advantage of our new organizational-based QMS assessment service, and special pricing.  One of our clients already has.

Best regards,

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




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