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Wasting Time Is the Biggest Risk of All

Standing still means falling behind

Published: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 11:01

The internet of things (IoT), robotics, augmented reality, 3D printing... look at megatrends, and despite their unique attributes and myriad differences, you’ll find that they all have one thing in common: time—or more precisely, the fact that there’s always less of it.

No matter how long your sales cycle, or how many years you’ve been in business, your company’s clock as well as your deadline dates are ticking. Those little notches between seconds seem to be shrinking. One of the hidden traps in all this time compression is that rushing to do things more quickly introduces its own set of new risks. Cut a corner here, dispense with a best practice there, and soon enough you’re spending your time correcting mistakes caused by “hurry up” instead of harvesting the benefits of high-speed organizational competency.

In this pressure cooker, the smartest way to save time is to do things the right way from the beginning, each time and every time. Management system standards provide that platform, whether it be ISO 9001 for quality, ISO 14001 for environmental management, or others for industry-specific challenges, such as IATF 16949 for the automotive industry, AS9100 Rev. D for aerospace, or ISO 13485 for medical devices. The list goes on and on.

Once your appropriate system is in place, you can confidently step on the accelerator across all your facilities knowing that your workforce and your supply chain “gets it” and will reliably execute everything in the most efficient manner possible. By that we mean efficient in terms of time to market, efficient in terms of error reduction, and efficient in terms of maximizing customer satisfaction.

Speaking of standards, and speaking of time...

Once again it is running out. Certain ISO standards have recently undergone structural updates and the deadlines for implementing them—or losing your certification—are fast approaching. So much so that at the time of this article, we are almost halfway through the point of no return with regard to the transitions to the newest versions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

The ISO global organization pulls the plug on the current versions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 in September 2018, but certification bodies have finite resources to execute such transitions. The more organizations that wait to schedule their recertification audits, the bigger the risk of creating a backlog that will make it impossible to address everyone on time, no matter who you are certified by.

“In addition to updating current certifications, we are seeing a surge in newly earned certifications based on the positive marketing and updates to the newly established standards,” says Jason E. Teliszczak, CEO and founder of JT Environmental Consulting Inc. “We’ve seen a progression in the standards from focusing on corrective actions toward preventive actions, and now they have come full circle to incorporate a true risk-based approach built into the standard(s). This assists organizations to link management standards to overall business performance like never before. In the current global economy, many organizations incorporate more than one standard to remain competitive and relevant for the products and/or services that they offer.”

It may not be the shiny and newest iPhone, but ISO 9001:2015—along with its environmental sibling ISO 14001:2015—is a dramatic step forward.

“It’s a big change and update to be sure, but don’t worry just yet,” says Teliszczak. “Any organization that is currently certified should have no trouble meeting the new standards as long as some preparation, homework, and updates are implemented accordingly.”

In particular, Teliszczak points to the increased requirement for top management’s involvement, and the need to account for organizational effects outside the four walls of your own organization.

“You have the tools to make the transition, it’s more of a mindset issue. If there is a good foundation in place, simple additions/updates could easily be implemented to an older system to ensure that an upgraded certification can easily be achieved,” adds Teliszczak.

Both standards adopt what ISO calls a “high-level structure” which reframes the layout and number scheme of the published standards, but ultimately allows for a much more seamless experience for organizations being certified to multiple standards. In addition, key ISO concepts and phrases such as “context of organization” take on new meaning, requiring a much broader view of what the audited entity is responsible for including within their documentation system. Among other updates, it brings the whole concept of supply chains control deeper into the audits, particularly with the effects you are being asked to know about, and share responsibility in, in terms of the way materials and end products are handled before, during, and after they enter your facilities, and how this may affect or be a part of any service roles.

Without change, there cannot be progress. The key is how you and your organization manage it. When it comes to the changes within the updates to the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards, it’s all good, as they say. But time is not something you want to waste—ever—and in relation to becoming certified to the new standards, the time to act is now!

On Thurs., May 25, 2017, join Violet Masoud, director of sales, MSC, for DNV GL Business Assurance North America; Jason Teliszczak, CEO and founder of JT Environmental Consulting Inc.; and Quality Digest editor in chief Dirk Dusharme for the webinar, “Risk Management: A Hands on Approach and Transition Strategies,” beginning at 9 a.m. Pacific and 12 p.m. Eastern. Register here.


About The Author

DNV GL’s picture


DNV GL enables organizations to advance the safety and sustainability of their business. It provides classification, technical assurance, software, and independent expert advisory services to the maritime, oil and gas, and energy industries. It also provides certification services to customers across a wide range of industries. Combining leading technical and operational expertise, risk methodology, and in-depth industry knowledge, it empowers its customers’ decisions and actions with trust and confidence. It continuously invests in research and collaborative innovation to provide customers and society with operational and technological foresight. Operating in more than 100 countries, its professionals are dedicated to helping customers make the world safer, smarter, and greener.