One huge barrier to sales for all manufacturers is how to prove that your company is reliable and produces quality goods safely. Companies that meet strict standards set by certifications like ISO and OSHA automatically communicate to customers a message: they produce quality in a very safe manner. For the smaller or mid-size manufacturers, meeting stringent manufacturing quality standards levels the playing field with much larger competitors.
Customers around the world are familiar with these certifications and manufacturing quality standards, what it takes to acquire them and the benefits a certified manufacturer can provide.
Why ISO matters
Beyond the manufacturing quality standards, ISO certifications provide a real template for improving quality, the company culture and the bottom line.
ISO-certified companies can boast:
• Increased sales through new opportunities
• Improvements in productivity with better internal processes
• Entry into new markets
• Higher-quality products that inevitably lead to happier customers
• Elimination of waste
• Employee training programs that maintain the established standards over the long-term
What your Company Needs to Do
Meeting manufacturing quality standards means being prepared to document a ton of details about the business. This sounds intimidating for even the most experienced manufacturer, but the whole process boils down to four critical steps:
1. Write the documentation: With most manufacturing quality standard certifications, a company will be expected to prepare documents like quality manuals, procedures and complete highly detailed certification forms. These documents will need to be prepared in a strict format according the governing organization’s guidelines.
2. Training the staff: The entire staff will need training. Training requirements will vary depending on the roles of individuals working at the manufacturing facility. The training program focuses on the manufacturing quality standards themselves and any new procedures or findings introduced as a result of the documentation process.
3. Practice with the newly adopted standards: All of this training and documentation will no doubt lead to changes and the governing organizations for manufacturing quality standards will want to see the company live with and perform the new processes for a few months before certification audit can begin.
4. The audit: The number of auditors and length of the inspection will differ depending on the complexity of the production processes and size of the company. Basically, an auditor will review all the documents, interview employees on all levels of the organization and then offer feedback for changes and improvements. ISO auditors report on problems called “nonconformances.” Major nonconformances will lead to a denial of certification while a minor nonconformance will need to be corrected before certification is approved. A number of minor nonconformances can lead to a failure of certification.
Start the Process Today
• ISO Gap Analysis
• ISO 9000
• ISO 9001
• ISO 2000 Upgrade
• ISO 14000
Learn more how ISO certifications and more manufacturing quality standards can transform your manufacturing business. For more information, contact John W. Kennedy, Ph.D., COO of NJMEP, at (973) 998-9801 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image Credit: ISO.Org.