Miriam Boudreaux

October 30, 2009

ISO and Other Quality Initiatives Can Improve Our Processes, But Can They Improve Our Sales?

When a quality management system is implemented, results are evident immediately: reduction in warranty cost, reduction in rework, reduction in scrap, higher profit margins, etc. Would you agree that ISO and other quality initiatives such as Lean, Six Sigma, 5S can significantly improve any company’s processes -if requirements are correctly implemented? Why, if you know ...
October 16, 2009

When Top Management Believes, Breakthroughs Can Happen

Ok, so we’ve been certified to the ISO 9001 standard for the longest. Yes our processes are better, we have gotten new customers over the years because of the certification, and yes we track our objectives and customer satisfaction. But is there anything else left to be extracted out of our program and its recurrent ...
September 18, 2009

The History Behind MXI-CON-HOU-SOP-2-009-A

Back when the ISO 9001 standard came about over 20 years ago, emphasis was on documentation and unfortunately not much on the organization’s processes. Although the standard was well intended it caused many companies to produce a chart similar to the one below: Most organizations had the exact same chart on their manuals and whether ...
September 4, 2009

What Does Calibration and Approved Suppliers Have in Common?

When you think about equipment that is used for measuring and test activities, you think about important equipment that is used to pass/fail product but may not necessarily find correlation with suppliers. However this very equipment – whether is calibrated in-house or off-site – does involve a supply chain one way or the other and ...
August 28, 2009

Was is Necessary to Revise ISO 9001:2000 to ISO 9001:2008?

Since the inception of the ISO 9001:2000 revision it was clear that this version of the standard was so robust and coherent that more people were able to understand its tremendous value and potential for improving a company’s overall processes rather than being a mere documentation guide. In fact the standard was so well written ...
August 21, 2009

How to Handle Out-Of-Calibration Equipment Appropriately

If you have ever found equipment that is out of calibration, then you know it is not something to take lightly. Whether you manufacture children’s toys or automobile tires, you know that the implications and ramifications of the decisions you make, can be devastating for your company. Although the requirements from the ISO 9001 standard ...
August 14, 2009

How to Boost Your Preventive Action Program

One difficult task of many companies is the ability to instill in its employees the mindset of error or problem prevention in order to prevent problems or mistakes from happening and to improve the processes in place. This consequently translates into a low to none ratio of preventive actions against corrective actions issued which may ...
August 7, 2009

Twenty Two Years After the Standard’s Inception, Why are There Companies Still Not ISO 9001 Certified?

Even after many years of hearing the word ISO 9000 and seeing many organizations get ISO certified, there are still companies who are skeptical when it comes to registering for ISO 9001 certification. For some, a misconception on the objectives of the ISO 9001 standard or the lack of knowledge may steer them off this ...
July 31, 2009

Do You Need a Consultant to Achieve ISO 9001 Certification?

Well, a simple answer is no, you don’t need a consultant to achieve ISO 9001 certification. In fact many companies achieve ISO 9001 on their own, by appointing key employees to the task. The implications however of trying to implement a system on your own can be a set back to your business if resources ...
July 24, 2009

How to Pass an ISO Audit?

I’ve worked with several companies over the years and dealt with different individuals, different processes and different levels of ISO 9000 understanding. However when an organization is getting ready to apply for ISO 9000 certification, the question remains: “Are we going to pass the audit? Similar questions I have been asked are: How many of ...
July 17, 2009

ISO Audit Results and Nonconformities

There are some misconceptions about what ISO audit findings are. In this article, I attempt to explain clearly what audit findings are, what types of findings may be generated in an audit and the guidelines that is widely use to categorize audit findings. What are the results of audits? Depending on the audit style adopted ...
July 10, 2009

Understanding the Background and New Approaches of ISO 9001

Philosophical Background of ISO 9000 When ISO 9001 started more than 20 years ago, it started as a progression to the guidelines applied to a defined set of institutions, specifically the military, whose functions, products and services were always the same. The standards where indeed tweaked a few years after so that they could be ...
July 3, 2009

Effective Evaluation & Reevaluation of Suppliers – Part 2

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June 26, 2009

Effective Evaluation & Reevaluation of Suppliers – Part 1

The ISO 9001standard’s requirements in regards to suppliers are very short and concise but carry a lot of punch. This requirement can be very deceiving and in fact is very often misinterpreted and carried out poorly or partially. By implementing this clause correctly, an organization will get the full extent of the benefits sought out ...
June 19, 2009

The Right Time to Implement ISO 9001?

Although ISO 9001 is a certification claimed by thousands of organizations all over the world, some companies still have a tough time taking the step to world class quality. We are too busy, we don’t have enough people, our customers don’t require it, we don’t need it, etc, etc. Let’s look together at the pros ...