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  • support 1:16 pm on May 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , sustainability surveys,   

    The Sustainability Leadership List 2012: How Do Telecom and Energy Brands Rank? 

    If you follow BIZPHX on Twitter and Facebook, you know that we often provide links to relevant news articles that impact our world of quality management.  In particular, we follow trends in TL 9000, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and corporate sustainability.  We recently provided a link to this study featured on one of our favorite blogs, GreenBiz.com.

    Each year, the results of The Sustainability Leaders — a GlobeScan/SustainAbility Survey of sustainability experts is released.  This survey includes corporate, government, NGO, academic, research and service organizations in 75+ countries.  The 2012 survey results were released this month.

    The survey poll asked respondents to name up to three companies that they consider to be leaders in integrating sustainability into their business strategy.

    The top ten brands (in order) for 2012 are:  Unilever, Interface, GE, Patagonia, Walmart, Marks & Spencer, Natura, Nike, Novo Nordisk, Siemens, Toyota, IBM and Nestle.

    This survey is often criticized for a variety of reasons ranging from a popularity contest to basing the rankings on a single metric.  Some have trouble reconciling results with what other sustainability rankings show.  The very nature of The Sustainability Leaders Survey is competitive.  Respondents have to pick one or just a few companies who they think are top performers above others.

    However, two points are always proven to be clear:

    • Companies remain concerned and driven to advance sustainability objectives, whether by intelligent business design or due to consumer demand or government regulation.  This trend is advancing not reversing.
    • The leaders have clearly defined messaging which they integrate into their business strategy.  Their plans are concise, focused, transparent and easy to communicate to stakeholders and employees.  They are able to leverage their brand’s awareness as a result.

    What then, does it take to crack the top-ten most frequently named leadership companies in the poll?  It’s not quite that simplistic and we encourage you to read the article and survey presentation in its entirety.  You can also access a podcast interview with executives from GlobeScan, Unilver and Patagonia at 2degrees network.

    Unilever ranked #1 is a consumer goods giant and on the list are big pharma, automotive, food and retail conglomerates.  For the purpose of our article we are more focused on the industries represented and the gap that exists in the telecom and energy sectors.  Specific to telecom, what can we do to drive our TL 9000 and ISO 14001 quality management systems to tackle the elusive business challenge of corporate sustainability?  These are not buzzwords anymore.  They are critical business realities in a global economy.

    Siemens is as close as it gets in 2012.  This Munich, Germany based multinational corporation is the largest European-based electronics and electrical engineering company.  While they have an IT Solutions division, they are not focused solely in the ICT sector.  There is no telecom leader on this list.

    However, let’s take some pointers from Siemens.  Their goals are clearly defined and their objectives are driven at the employee level, which we know propels any successful QMS.  Visit the sustainability section of their website, which is very easy to find on their main landing page.  Also watch the brief video presentation from Barbara Kux, their CSO (Chief Sustainability Officer).

    ICT and telecom industries touch so many aspects of our personal and business lives.  As business operators in this space, we must learn from the leaders on this list and raise our own sustainability goals.  More importantly, we need to articulate objectives in a way that resonate with our consumer public and employees.

    In terms of quality management, we should look for ways to integrate these goals within the scope of our ISO 9001, TL 9000 and ISO 14001 frameworks to drive continual improvement in these areas. Specific to TL 9000, we have the ability define measurable outcomes and track them against benchmarking data.  It’s then more likely; we’ll see a telecom leader on a future list!

    For information on ISO 9001, TL 9000 and ISO 140001 implementation, contact info@bizphyx.com.

     

     
  • support 11:40 am on April 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ISO Service Standards,   

    ISO Standards And Their Increasing Traction In The Services Sector 

    For over a decade, we’ve been leading clients to ISO 9001, TL 9000 and ISO 14001 certification. Well over 60% of our customer base is in the services sector.  While we work with many different types of companies such as EF&I telecom suppliers and IT outsourcing firms, we’ve also had the privilege of leading accounting firms and advertising agencies to ISO 9001 certification.  As mentioned in a previous article, we recently led ARTÉMIA Communications in San Francisco to a triple quality management certification to ISO 9001, TL 9000 and ISO 14001.

    BIZPHYX has been on the front line of a continuing trend–the increase in ISO certifications in the services sector.  In the March edition of ISO Focus+, ISO dedicates nearly the entire issue to this global trend.  You can access the online edition here > or visit ISO.org.

    So why now? Why this time and place for the services sector?  First and foremost, we are now part of a global, interconnected world economy.  Second, services represent the fastest growing segment of the global economy and service enterprises are also the largest component of GDP in the US and internationally (source: World Trade Organization).  Finally, consider for a moment that you cannot distribute manufactured goods without service infrastructures and devices supported by ICT (information communication technology) services.

    All of these market forces intersect to fuel the need for global standards that ensure quality, consistent business practices, uniform communications and sustainability in global supply chains.  While most corporate executives are generally familiar with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 (the environmental standard), many don’t know that there are dozens of industry specific ISO standards (that build upon ISO 9001: 2008) with many new standards currently being developed for the services sector.

    Some of these new standards include guidelines for the financial services, mobile person-to business payments (mobile commerce), network services billing, IT service management and even tourism.

    We encourage you to read the articles in the March edition of ISO Focus+ to learn about many of these new standards and the stunning trends regarding ISO certifications in the services sector.  Pay particular attention to the centerfold entitled “Services In Every Day Life”.  ISO states, “Trade in services is at present the fastest growing area of international commerce, creating new jobs and extending activities in areas running from the IT sector to tourist areas, each with its gamut of sub-services such as car hire and hotels, camping and accounting, among many others.”

    If you’re a service organization and part of a global supply chain, certifying to an ISO quality management standard will not only benefit your business in terms of reduced costs, improved productivity and better customer service–it may become a business inevitability.

    One guaranteed result from certification is that you will gain a significant competitive advantage.  In next week’s article we’re going to reveal the results of a case study BIZPHYX recently published that documents how a group of diverse service suppliers increased their top-line revenues as a direct result of ISO 9001 and TL 9000 certification (the ICT quality standard).

    For more information on ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and TL 9000 certification, please contact info@bizphyx.com.

     
  • support 2:38 am on April 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Does Certifying To ISO 14001 Impact Your Company’s Marketability? 

    Last week, we discussed ISO 14001 in depth and outlined its framework as a quality management standard.  In part 3 of our series, we will detail the many benefits of certifying to ISO 14001, including enhancing a company’s marketability.

    By implementing ISO 14001, a company can gain a competitive edge by decreasing costs through increased efficiencies.  These efficiencies can include lowering energy and raw materials use and reductions in waste and pollution.  Mitigated risks of accidents and emergency situations can also translate into greater profitability and productivity.   Equally, in areas where environmental responsibility is a requirement, certification to ISO 14001 can create and maintain business development opportunities.  But what about enhancing your company’s positioning and marketability?

    An organization can demonstrate environmental leadership by implementing ISO 14011.  Customers want to do business with organizations that are committed to protecting the environment.  ISO 14001 certification can help to establish your company’s environmental credibility and commitment to quality and can also improve your corporate image and community goodwill.  Certifying to ISO 14001 can also foster improved relationships with shareholders and environmental organizations.

    A study done by the Journal of Operations Management, which was featured in a March 24, 2011 article in GreenBiz.com, revealed some interesting facts about the impact of “green initiatives”, including ISO 14001.  The study, which was conducted by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Michigan State University, analyzed how environmental performance affects shareholder value through stock market reactions. Interestingly, the markets ignored announcements out recycling programs, eco-friendly products and even LEED certification.  Only 3 categories generated a positive reaction to share prices.  Certification to ISO 14001 resulted in one of the most significant positive reactions (full article in GreenBiz).

    Why ISO 14001 certification and not emissions reductions? ISO 14001 is a globally recognized quality management system.  It is audited by an independent third party and it validates that an organization has a serious commitment to environmental stewardship, sustainability and quality.

    Imagine creating new business opportunities, enhancing marketability, decreasing costs and improving your organization’s productivity with one strategic move: certifying to ISO 14001.  Next week, we will clarify the difference between ISO 14001 and other environmental initiatives such as R2 and e-Stewards and we’ll begin to review the current catch phrase: “being green”.  For assistance with ISO 14001 implementation contact info@bizphyx.com.

     
  • support 1:01 am on April 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: benefits of ISO 14001, , EMS,   

    Can ISO 14001 Help An Organization Improve Its Environmental Performance? 

    Last week, we began our new series on ISO 14001 and corporate sustainability by framing the basics of an EMS or environmental management system.  In this installment, we are going to provide some depth to ISO 14001 and what a company can hope to achieve through its implementation.

    An EMS based on ISO 14001:2004 provides management with an exceptional tool that enables an organization to identify and control the environmental impact of its activities, products or services and improve its environmental performance continually.  ISO 14001 helps the organization implement a systematic approach for setting, obtaining and documenting the achievements of environmental objectives and targets.

    ISO 14001 is based on the plan-do-check-act methodology, which has been expanded to include 17 elements, grouped into five phases that relate to plan-do-check-act (e.g. environmental policy, planning, implementation & operation, etc.).  Because ISO 14001 does not specify levels of environmental performance, the standard can to be implemented by a wide variety of organizations, whatever their current level of environmental maturity or size.  However, a commitment to compliance with applicable environmental legislation and regulations is required, along with a commitment to continual improvement.  A fundamental principle and goal of the ISO 14001 standard, is the concept of continual improvement.

    ISO 14001 is a tool that can be used to meet internal and external corporate objectives.  Internally, it can provide assurance to management that it is in control of the organizational processes and activities having an impact on the environment.  It can also assure employees that they are working for an environmentally responsible organization.  Externally, ISO 14001 can communicate to stakeholders such as customers, the community and regulatory agencies that the organization complies with environmental regulations.  Additionally, ISO 14001 can support the organization’s claims about its own environmental policies, plans and actions.

    Most importantly, it provides a framework for demonstrating conformity.  ISO 14001 is a standard that is audited by an independent certification body.  In the current business climate, concerns about corporate sustainability and a company’s carbon footprint are front and center for many businesses, regardless of specific regulatory requirements.  Environmental impact and stewardship is equally about positioning and marketability.  In next week’s article, we will outline how a company can gain a significant competitive edge by certifying to ISO 14001.  A recent study completed by the Journal of Operations Management will be reviewed.  This study illustrates how markets respond to sustainability efforts.  It may not reveal what you think…so stay tuned!  For more information on ISO 14001 implementation contact: info@bizphyx.com.

     
  • support 3:51 am on November 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BIZPHYX TL 9000 Consultants, ,   

    Marketing Your Quality Certification: What Is Your Value Proposition? 

    This week, we are concluding our series with tips for “marketing” your certification.  If you have followed along for the last 3 weeks, we’ve outlined the benefits of ISO and TL 9000 certification and how to sell these benefits to potential customers.   This transitions nicely into what you can do to “market” your certification.  When you’re in front of a potential customer, selling them on the value of your TL 9000 or ISO 9001 certification, you should be providing a value proposition which includes what you can do for that customer, as a direct result of your quality certification.

    Simply put, a value proposition summarizes why the customer should buy your service or product.  This statement should convince a potential customer that your product/service will add more value to their supply chain or better solve a problem, than other similar offerings (competitors).  This value proposition, which can include the benefits of your certification, should also be used in your company’s marketing materials.

    While including a certification logo on your website or business cards is a good idea, there are many other things you should do to market your certification and position your organization as a “quality certified company”.  Consider creating a quality section on your website, where you can state your value proposition, post important statistics and provide your company’s quality policy.  You should also issue press releases on the web about your certification.  What about Twitter posts or putting your TL 9000 logo on company vehicles?

    These are just a few examples of the many tactics that can be used to position your company above the competition.  In 2011, BIZPHYX will be offering a course on “Marketing Your Quality Certification”.  Check our website for the latest courses offered live or on our LMS.  Next week, we will cover accessing performance data reports and then we begin an in-depth series on project planning.  For more information, please contact bclancy@bizphyx.com.

     
  • support 1:48 pm on November 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Selling Your Certification: A Case Study In Root Cause Analysis and Corrective Actions 

    Last week our blog post was about the importance of educating prospective customers about the benefits of TL 9000.  We discussed several, including how TL 9000 helps reduce supply chain risk and cost.  My reasoning was that when you meet a new prospect they don’t automatically know about TL 9000 or its inherent benefits.  Beginning your discussion with “you should use our company because we are TL 9000”–doesn’t resonate.  Instead, explaining why you will make your prospect’s life easier by reducing their supply chain risk and cost–is a much more effective sales strategy.  Point out the benefits first—then talk about how TL 9000 helped you achieve them.

    Here’s a case study that speaks to this very subject:

    A colleague of mine was explaining to me that their firm recently had an issue with a service activity and had cleaned it up effectively using customer satisfaction and corrective action techniques learned and applied as a result of TL 9000.  This firm’s quality is actually excellent, but in the case of this one stumble, the customer was able to compare how they handled the issue versus how competitors would have done it.  The difference was apparently night and day, because the contact paid management a special compliment stating that they had planned to put them on a stop work notice until the company demonstrated that they had taken action.

    “Show us your root cause analysis”—sound familiar?   Instead, the company preempted the customer’s request for action with a prepared corrective action that included a detailed root cause analysis and corrective action plan to prevent future issues.   The customer saw right away that the incident had been thoroughly and effectively analyzed with appropriate actions in place to correct the initial problem and a corrective action plan going forward.  Most of us know that despite our best efforts things can sometimes go bump in the night and that a proper response can be a real differentiator.  Now–here’s the best part.  My colleague was able to say with all sincerity “it was TL 9000 that helped us realize we needed to be proactive and to put a system in place where we address problems before they are out of hand.” The customer apparently agreed, because the stop work order was never carried out.

    This is an example of how to build trust and gain positive publicity for TL 9000 and your company.  Again, this true story demonstrates the need to make your case as a quality supplier (and why) and to wrap it up in the package of TL 9000.  You wouldn’t have the ability to take these steps without TL 9000 certification.   Now that’s an example of “selling your certification”. Next week, we conclude the series with some tips on “marketing” your certification.  For more information contact bclancy@bizphyx.com.

     
  • support 3:58 am on November 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Marketing Your TL 9000,   

    Selling Your TL 9000 Certification: Doesn’t Everyone Know The Benefits? 

    You have achieved TL 9000 certification and now companies should rush to your doorstep right?  Unfortunately too many executives, especially from smaller firms think this way.  They expect that once certification is achieved, getting new business should be a snap.  To be blunt it’s not.  Certification to TL 9000 or any other quality standard is not easy or cheap, so here are some pointers to help you obtain new business.  You have to learn to “SELL” your certification, by educating your potential customers.

    Consider why you did TL 9000 in the first place.  What advantages does certification give you with your customers?  TL 9000 allows your firm to minimize risk in your customers’ supply chain through better testing, a disaster recovery plan, a security plan and a risk management plan.  In many cases, certification helps you reduce the cost of your products to customers.  How?  By eliminating or reducing rework and shortening cycle time.  You can be as much as 15% more efficient than you would be otherwise.  This means you can be the low cost and high quality provider which is a winning combination in anyone’s book.  Do you include any of this in your company’s “value proposition”?

    When you meet a new prospect, they don’t automatically know about TL 9000 or its inherent benefits.   Avoid the mistake of assuming that your prospective client knows why TL 9000 is important. Actually the reverse is likely to be true.  You have to take the time to explain to your prospect that you’re better because you have stronger testing, because you plan to be in business if a disaster strikes and because you manage risks.  In other words, during your sales conversations lead with the benefits you bring, NOT with the fact that you are TL 9000 certification.  Point out the benefits first, then talk about how TL 9000 helped you achieve them.

    Finally, be patient.  Sales cycles can be long and it takes time to build a relationship that will make people want to buy from you.  Don’t get discouraged. If you have something people want and you can show why buying from you is a SAFE purchase, you are well on your way!

     
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