Quality and environmental management are top priorities for many organisations, backed up by the increasing number of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certificates being issued every year.
Aside from being a popular requirement on tenders, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 provide a robust framework for businesses to ensure they follow Best Practice, enhance their businesses performance and put measures in place to reduce their environmental impact. We often see these two Standards being implemented in tandem, as is the case with todays’ guest, Asynt.
Asynt is a global provider of world leading technologies and services for scientific research, developed by chemists for chemists, their laboratory equipment responds to the real demands of industry and academia across the globe.
Today we welcome Siobhan Ellwood, Sales Support at Asynt, as she explains their journey towards ISO 9001 Implementation, and how they embedded ISO 14001 along the way using our online learning platform – the isologyhub.
- Who are Asynt?
- How did Siobhan get involved with ISO Standards?
- What was Asynt’s main driver for obtaining ISO 9001 and ISO 14001?
- What did Asynt learn while implementing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001?
- Siobhan’s experience using the isologyhub to implement ISO 14001
In this episode, we talk about:
[00:55] An Introduction to Asynt – A global provider of world leading technologies and services for scientific research. Based just outside of Ely in Cambridgeshire, they just celebrated 20 years in business!
[02:10] Siobhan’s role and how she got involved with ISO Standards: Siobhan is the Sales Support Manager for Asynt, she assist with raising quotations, managing sales orders and providing support for the warehouse.
In January 2023, 3 members of the Asynt Team were tasked with researching and obtaining ISO 9001, with a view to adopt ISO 14001 later on. Siobhan had experience working with Quality Standards thanks to her previous work in aviation and automotive companies, and had even previously implemented the Standard. Naturally, she was a perfect fit to head the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 project at Asynt.
[05:40] What did Siobhan enjoy most about Implementing ISO Standards? Initially, realising that she had a lot more knowledge about ISO than she gave herself credit for. Also, making use of the 5 Why’s to identify where something has gone wrong, implement a solution and preventing it from recurring.
[06:40] What were the main drivers behind Implementing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001?: For ISO 9001 – Top Management saw the need to have proper procedures in place, to ensure that everything was written down and could be communicated and conducted by other staff if needed. Ultimately, they wanted a cohesive system where everything, included roles and responsibilities, were documented and managed.
For ISO 14001 – Customers often ask for ISO 9001, but ISO 14001 was also starting to pop up in conversation more. Top Management at Asynt wanted to get ahead of the curve and make the move towards becoming more environmentally friendly. It was also seen as a stepping stone towards being in a position to calculate their Carbon Footprint and make further improvements.
[09:50] The ISO 14001 Coaching Programme – Asynt were one of the first companies to go through our ISO Coaching Programme, hosted via the isologyhub. This programme combined the DIY digital platform with group coaching sessions, allowing all participants to work collaboratively towards creating their own Environmental Management System.
[10:20] Siobhan’s experience with the ISO 14001 Coaching Programme: Overall Siobhan had a very positive experience in the coaching programme, a few highlights include:
Sharing ideas: Other participants come from a wide range of industries, and each brought their own unique ideas to the table, encouraging others to look at things from many different points of view.
Support: If another participant is struggling with something, there is a group of people to support and provide possible solutions. Siobhan gave an example of where she provided an Excel guide to another member who was looking for a solution.
Resources: Siobhan had previous experience with implementing ISO Standards, so she was aware of what type of documentation was required. She found the resources on the hub useful to refer to outside of coaching sessions, to enhance Asynt’s own ISO Standard Implementation.
[12:20] What was the biggest Gap identified during Asynt’s Gap Analysis? Mostly it was the lack of documentation, which required a lot of work to get everything written down in cohesive processes and procedures.
For ISO 14001, Asynt are fortunate enough to own the buildings that they operate in. So, gathering the initial information required where potential energy and environmental improvements could be made was fairly easy.
[15:00] What differences did Asynt see after addressing the identified gaps? For ISO 14001 – Some elements were already in place (recycling waste ect), but weren’t being monitored in any meaningful way. Now Siobhan has got processes in place to ensure the recycling is being separated correctly and weighed so they can properly gauge their impact.
For ISO 9001 – It was the introduction of the 5 Why’s, which Asynt have used to great effect to identify problems and implement solutions. An example of this can be found in their warehouse, lanes and shelves weren’t labelled, causing confusion. It was a quick fix that could have been implemented years ago, but the 5 Why’s forced a much needed change.
[18:00] What did Siobhan learn from the experience of Implementing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001? Integrating a Management System can save on a lot of paperwork! Initially the plan was to have just an ISO 9001 System, with ISO 14001 implemented at a later date. Going through the process of Implementing them as the same time highlighted how much easier it would be to combine them, thanks in part to how many elements overlap between the two.
It also makes the system a lot easier to interact with, having everything in one place rather than spread between two separate systems means staff don’t have to waste time digging for policies and Procedures.
[20:00] Certification plans: Asynt are well on their way towards ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification with their Stage 1 in October and Stage 2 in November 2023. With just under 2 months before the Stage 1, Siobhan plans to continue working through some opportunities for Improvement, raised by Blackmores in some recent Internal Audits.
[21:41] Siobhan’s top tip: Trust in the process and make sure that you have the right person in your business to lead the ISO project.
Also being open to change, being honest with yourself about where the gaps are and trying to get those closed but also manage expectations within the business.
[23:50] Siobhan’s book recommendation: Salt path by Raynor Winn.
[26:05] Siobhan’s favorite quote: “Personal growth is not a matter of learning new information, but unlearning old limits” – Alan Cohen
If you’d like to learn more about Asynt check out their website!
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