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  • support 1:47 am on February 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CoPQ, , Irv Briks,   

    Introduction To The Cost of Poor Quality (CoPQ) And Its Impact On Profitability 

    BIZPHYX Senior Consultant and QuEST Forum Fellow, Irv Briks recently delivered this educational webinar as part of the QuEST Forum Small Business Lecture Series and Small Business Initiative.

    This presentation is now available as an on-demand learning feature on our website and on our social sites through You Tube.

    In this course, Irv clearly defines the Cost of Quality and the Cost of Poor Quality (CoPQ) and provides concepts and examples that can implemented in your organization to improve profitability:





    If you would like Irv to assist your organization with process improvement and any of the techniques discussed in this course, please contact him at irvbriks@bizphyx.com.  You can read his bio and connect with him directly off of our website and/or through LinkedIn.


  • support 3:16 am on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: corrective action plan ISO 9001, , , , , , root cause analysis,   

    Effective Use of Your Corrective Action Plan In Quality Management (QMS) 

    A corrective action plan is far more than picking up the phone to call another department to report a defect.  In this video training clip, we feature BIZPHYX SVP, Bob Clancy providing tips on how to strengthen your organization’s corrective action plan.

    He discusses data collection and analysis to support “lessons learned” and as a way to prevent problems in the future. Bob details how to verify if you have a formal corrective action plan that includes true root cause analysis and how to maximize that process.


    For further assistance please contact bclancy@bizphyx.com.

  • support 7:41 pm on January 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ISO Survey Of Certifications,   

    ISO Survey Of Certifications and The Year Ahead 

    In December of 2011, ISO released their latest edition of The ISO Survey of Certifications.  The yearlong study conducted during 2010 outlines the global relevance of the ISO management system standards for quality, environment, medical devices, food safety and information security.  The study results reveal an increase in certificates of 6.23% for a worldwide total of 1,457,912 certificates and users of one or more standards in 178 countries.

    A key aspect of the study is the trend line involving certain standards.  The biggest increases in certification are to the sector-specific ISO 22000:2005 food safety management system standard which is up by 34% and to the issue-specific ISO/IEC 27001:2005 information security management system standard which has risen by 21%.  However, ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 (environmental) and ISO 13485:2003 (medical devices) all saw strong increases and are reflective of industry trends in the USA.

    ISO stated that the attraction and stability of the ISO management system model, pioneered by ISO 9001 for quality management, has helped other sectors face specific challenges in both public and private organizations.

    ISO 9001:2008 (which gives the requirements for quality management systems) remains firmly established as the globally implemented standard. The 2010 survey represents an increase of 4% over 2009.

    ISO/IEC 27001:2005 gives the requirements for information security management systems.  At the end of 2010, at least 15,625 ISO/IEC 27001:2005 certificates had been issued in 117 countries and economies.  The 2010 total represents an increase of 21% over 2009.

    ISO 14001:2004 (which gives the requirements for environmental management systems) retained its global relevance for organizations wishing to operate in an environmentally sustainable manner.  Through the end of 2010, at least 250,972 ISO 14001:2004 certificates had been issued in 155 countries and economies which revealed a year over year increase of 12%.  According to ISO-China, Japan and Spain are the top three countries for the total number of certificates, while China, the UK and Spain are the top three for annual growth.

    We see many of our clients looking to expand their existing ISO 9001:2008 and TL 9000 certifications to include ISO 14001 and we have created a unique dual certification program to help new organizations achieve this goal.  Please visit our ISO 14001 page for more information.

    If you would like to access The ISO Survey (which includes data from 1993-2010) you can obtain a free “principal findings” version available on our Knowledge Base or here at ISO.  The complete study including industry breakdowns is available for purchase from the ISO store.

    Other important ISO news was released at the close of 2011 and some of these stories may be of interest to you as well.  Click on these links to access additional articles at ISO.org:

    ISO 19011 (Updated Edition Of The Auditing Standard)

    New ISO Standard Regarding Emergencies At Nuclear Facilities

    Faster and Better ISO IT Standards and The First ISO IT Forum

    New ISO Standard For Emergency Management

    ISO Focus + On Sustainability

    This year we will be addressing many aspects of environmental quality including occupational health (OHSAS 18001).  In addition, we will help you better understand the proposed refinements to TL 9000.  TL 9000 is becoming an even more comprehensive communications standard due to next generation networks and the “hand-in-glove” relationship between network systems and information technology systems and products (ICT).

    In 2012 we will also help frame ISO/IEC 27001 and CMMI’s relationship and integration with TL 9000, the telecommunications quality management standard.  Next week we will provide and update on TL 9000 from the 2012 QuEST Forum Annual Leadership Summit and Executive Board Meeting.  For more information on implementation, training or internal audit of the standards mentioned above please contact us at info@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 12:48 am on September 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: best practices, CAPA system, , , , ,   

    Using The CAPA System To Address Audit Findings 

    An important aspect of any quality management system involves communicating the results of quality audits and inspections to employees so that the same mistakes are not repeated.  It is important to do this systematically, so that the communication of lessons learned can be done more than once and that lessons learned aren’t lost over time.   As a best practice, many companies use their corrective and preventive action (CAPA) system to address audit findings and handle this communication methodically.

    Here is how it works:

    Once the audit is complete, an audit finding is entered on a corrective action.  The action is assigned for root cause analysis and once the analysis is done, the appropriate correction is selected to address the audit finding.  Then, an action plan is developed to prevent the root cause of the finding.  This discipline forces more effective analysis and problem solving.

    The important last step is to circulate the results of the analysis and the actions taken to other employees. This allows each employee to benefit from all of the analysis and problem solving effort.  Consider having frequent job huddles with affected employees where corrective actions are shared.  Other methods to consider include using a web portal for employees to view them or conducting “lunch and learn sessions.” Many different communication methods will work, but it is important to make sure that employees are made aware of the results of audits, inspections and other corrective/preventive actions.  You may want to combine several of these methods.  Studies have shown that in order to get a message across you need to put the information in front of individuals seven times!  Over-communication is the key!  For help with quality management best practices and questions, contact bclancy@bizphyx.com.

  • support 5:01 am on September 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , implementing a quality system, , , ,   

    The Value of Your QMS: How Serious Are You? 

    I’m always curious why organizations spend the money to implement a quality management system and then don’t use it.  We see this on occasion when working with clients that spend considerable money and human resources implementing a QMS and then they let it go in the years that follow.  This is unfortunate because quality management systems can bring cost reduction and measurable customer satisfaction to a company.  It’s even more unfortunate because they are highly front loaded, as it takes a great deal to get a QMS going, but once in place they’re relatively easy to maintain.

    There are different reasons why this happens, but I believe that the root cause lies with management and corporate leadership, in the same way many business successes and failures do.  Management only has to look in the mirror to understand why their quality management system is a failure.  Maybe management never intended to take the QMS seriously once it was implemented.  Perhaps their original intentions were good, but management grew tired or bored with the whole thing.  In either case, the result will be the same.  If the quality system isn’t important to the organization’s leaders, it won’t be important to the company’s employees. So before you decide to implement TL 9000 or ISO 9001, you might ask yourself, “Am I really serious?”  If your answer is “no”, our advice is save your money!

    Here are some tips for “getting serious” with your QMS:

    First, make sure you’re committed for a good reason.  Become convinced that a quality system will help you change behaviors to systematically improve customer satisfaction and product quality. Understand that if you do this, you will lower the cost of customer acquisition, product development, marketing and customer satisfaction.  Commit to calculating these performance indicators when you start and also commit to measuring the improvements.

    Then, communicate these benefits to your employees.  Lead the way by conducting personal communication and information sessions.  Nothing has a greater impact on the message of “quality”, than when the company’s top executives deliver it-repeatedly.  Drive a “no-blame” corporate culture where all of your employees can work together in a common direction to correct process defects without putting themselves in harms way.  If you make your QMS a culture, your journey will be very successful.  For more information on TL 9000 and ISO 9001 QMS maintenance, contact bclancy@bizphyx.com.

  • support 4:29 am on September 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Can You Save Personnel With Your QMS? 

    While working with a client recently, we covered how their QMS could improve corporate profitability and a discussion of employee retention developed.  Can you actually save and retain quality personnel with your QMS?  Quality management systems such as TL 9000 and ISO 9001 are known to be effective in many ways, but have you considered that they may actually help you keep from losing valuable people? While there is no real data to support this contention, companies will provide numerous anecdotal accounts suggesting that this is true.  The difference is how management identifies and handles quality problems.

    There are basically two completely opposite methods used by management to deal with quality problems.  One method is to use the “ready, fire, aim” approach.  Management jumps to a quick solution after weak analysis and blames an employee or group of employees.  This is acceptable to employees at large, until they themselves become the targets of the blame game.  Once this culture takes hold it doesn’t take long for employees to duck problem solving to avoid being “called out.”  In the end, many employees will leave a company that has a corporate culture of blame.

    The second method is to use quality management techniques to solve quality issues.  For this to work, top management must insist on a culture of no blame, in which process change is the result of deep and effective problem analysis. In this culture, problems are viewed as opportunities to make the overall business better. The focus is on “process failure” rather than “personal” failure and problem analysis and corrective action are conducted in a formal way.  Because we rely on formal problem solving techniques, we seek data and facts to determine the root cause of a problem.  Does this mean that people never cause problems?  No.  However, when it turns out that a problem is the result of direct human failure, it is dealt with as the “exception” versus the rule, with the employee being dealt with in private.  For more information on deploying these and other techniques in your QMS, please contact us at info@bizphyx.com.

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