Aside from the financial intricacies of a merger or acquisition, what happens when one of the companies is ISO 9001 certified and the other one is not? Or what happens when each company has its own management system, both of which seems to be “working for them”. If you’ve found yourself in this position, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the answers to questions asked by some of our readers that may help you make the right decisions for your company’s success.
Q: Our Engineering firm was just bought by a company that has two sites (Dubai and India) which are currently ISO 9001:2008 certified -on the same certificate. They want us to implement a QMS that can be integrated into their certificate. Is that the best approach?
A: Having various companies under one certificate is highly desirable. Not just from the cost standpoint (less audits or cost of maintaining multiple certifications) but because by showing one certificate for the entire corporation you are demonstrating:
Although geographical locations may play a role here, I would not immediately reject the idea of integrating into their QMS, especially if they are a successful and mature company.
Q: Our company was just bought by a company who is ISO 9001:2008 certified. They are saying that they can add us to the certificate as ISO 9001:2008, but I do not see how? Since 2015 is the current version of ISO 9001, I would have thought any new company would have to be certified to the latest version! Is this possible for them to add us under the 2008 version?
A: Yes it is. Right now ISO requires all companies to migrate by September 2018. However they have left it up to every Registrar to decide how to do this. For example API has asked all their ISO certificate holders to migrate to the ISO 9001:2015 version by September 2016! On the other hand, DNV is issuing certificates to the old standard until September 2017. So their Registrar may be fine issuing certificates until 2017 or even early 2018. I advise you to reach out to that Registrar to verify.
Q: My company just merged with another company who is ISO 9001 certified. They would like to add us to their certificate. But I do not like them adding us to their certificate because if any location loses their certificate, then all will lose the certification.
A: Think about it this way: You are now the same company, you are all in this together, and you all want to succeed; so everyone should adhere to the same quality standards and this way you all win and improve. Losing a certificate is hard. Before you lose a certificate, you will go through a series of nonconformities, warning, and suspension notices before the Registrar pulls out the ISO certificate. Therefore, a company has to be really negligent and go months and months ignoring the Registrar’s pleads to improve before this happens. If you are worried about that, then your company may not have merged with or acquired a good company after all.
Miriam Boudreaux is the CEO and Founder of Mireaux Management Solutions, a technology and consulting firm headquartered in Houston, TX. Mireaux’s products and services encompass international standards ISO and API Consulting, Hands-On Training, Auditing, Document Control and implementation of Web QMS platform. Mireaux’s headquarters, located in the North West area of Houston, counts with a 6,500 square feet facility, which houses their main offices as well as their state-of-the art Training Center. Mireaux itself is certified to ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 27001:2013.
To get in touch with Miriam Boudreaux, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.