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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.

You’ll learn

  • 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

Resources

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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Currently, there are around 1,077,884 valid ISO 9001 certificates globally – which beats the second runner, ISO 14001, by over 600,000!

There is no doubt that the Quality Management Standard, ISO 9001, is still the most widely adopted ISO Standard – and for good reason!

ISO 9001 is basically a model for running a successful and profitable business. It provides a common framework for things that all businesses should have in place, including defining your companies unique ‘way of working’.

In addition to being a blueprint for a business’s operation, there are many other benefits to be gained from implementing ISO 9001. Today, Mel explains a few of these benefits in greater detail.

You’ll learn

  • What is ISO 9001?  
  • Why Implement ISO 9001?  
  • The benefits of ISO 9001

Resources

In this episode, we talk about:

[00:30] Why talk about ISO 9001 benefits? Often times, Mel gets asked for benefits of ISO 9001 so a business case can be put forward.

[01:00] What is ISO 9001? For a detailed break down of the Standard, go back and watch ‘Episode 36 – What is ISO 9001?’

[01:45] For those that have Implemented ISO 9001, what are the benefits? We’d love to hear from you! If you have some stories to share – feel free to leave a comment on which ever media player you’re listening on – or email us. We’d love to share some of your experiences in a future episode.   

[02:09] Benefit #1: Win new business – From a sales and marketing perspective, ISO 9001 is essentially a passport to trade. It demonstrates credibility to Stakeholders as it’s a mark of quality.

[02:55] Benefit #2: A framework that can fit any business – This can be for any industry sector and business size. It helps businesses figure out what is working well and what’s not working so well.

[03:10] Benefit #3: Identify opportunities for Improvement – It helps businesses figure out what is working well and what’s not working so well. It can help identify issues such as: Bottlenecks in processes, resourcing and external factors.

[04:05] ISO 9001 helps you to look at your business – warts and all. It does no one any good to bury their head in the sand and ignore issues, especially as Stakeholders and clients will see through this.

[04:40] Benefit #4: Put quality controls in place to mitigate risk and raise your standards – If you have complaints or need to do a product recall – you need processes in place to handle this. ISO 9001 gives you the tools to do so, creating an effective framework everyone can follow.

[05:40] Benefit #5: Improve efficiency – ISO 9001 helps you identify the best way of working and pushes you to optimise that. That could include eliminating aspects of you business that waste time, or create burdens.

[06:05] Benefit #6: Creating a unique Blueprint – ISO 9001 isn’t an out of the box solution – it can be tailored to your way of working. It helps to establish relevant Policies and Procedures that improve your business operations.   

[06:24] Benefit #7: Enhancing customer satisfaction and employee retention – Good quality business practices will inevitably help you to keep ahold of good clientsand good employees too! This can be achieved by having clear roles and responsibilities in addition to vision and goals for the business.

[07:20] Benefit #8: Increase profitability – Businesses often look at the cost of poor quality – where is your business leaking money? Addressing those issues is a direct cost saving.

[08:21] Businesses who have grown through acquisition often find ISO 9001 a great tool to help standardise their way of working, so they can easily integrate other businesses and services.  

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

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Richard Matheron is the Quality and Continuous Improvement Manager at BP Chargemaster. He’s had a long career as a quality professional and hands-on Manager, with his background mostly being in engineering and manufacturing management.

Currently, Richard is working for BP Chargemaster helping them transform themselves from an SME to an international world-class business. BP Chargemaster is the UK’s biggest name in electric vehicle charging. They design, build, sell and maintain the most popular charging units in the country, and have begun to expand their business worldwide.

Today, Richard is here to discuss his experience with implementing ISO 9001 (Quality Management) and ISO 14001 (Environmental Management). These have been a fundamental component in his management of transitioning the company from an SME to an international organisation.

Richard explains why these ISO’s are so necessary, and why it’s so important that a company has someone who can focus on continuous improvement within their business. He reiterates the importance of people to not be afraid of change and discusses some of the most effective ways to carry out positive improvements within your organisation.

He explains the ways having a priority board and suggestion box can help to drive continuous improvement, and how often the best solution for an issue isn’t a complicated one but is one of the simplest…

Website: www.bpchargemaster.com

Mobile phone: 07813098736

Email: Richard.matheron@bp.com

You’ll learn

  • How the demand for electric charge vehicles is changing. 
  • The types of tax incentives and grants that are available for businesses who use electric cars.
  • Why digital security is more important now than ever before.
  • How to grow your business from an SME to an international organization.
  • The most effective ways to drive continuous improvement.
  • The best ways to track the effectiveness of new improvement measures.
  • How ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 have helped Richard.

Resources

In this episode, we talk about:

[00:30] Who Richard is, what he does for a living, and what he’ll be sharing with us today.

[01:50] The types of dance that Richard teaches in his free time.

[03:44] BP Chargemasters position in the electric vehicle charging market.

[04:55] How demand for electric cars has changed over the last year.

[05:39] The tax incentives and grants that are available for businesses for using electric cars.

[07:14] What Richard does as the Quality and Continuous Improvement Manager at BP Chargemaster.

[10:05] The value of data and the importance of digital security.

[12:29] How to best manage a company that’s growing from an SME to an international enterprise.

[18:22] The way Richard drives continuous improvement at BP Chargemaster.

[20:43] What ‘8 D’ is and how it can help to identify the causes of problems and the best ways to improve on them.

[25:06] How Richard tracks the different improvements that he puts in place.

[27:27] The book Richard recommends to those working in the business world.

If you need assistance with implementing ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 – Contact us!

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This episode’s guest has experienced at first-hand what it’s like going from Chaos to Calm amidst the impact of the Coronovirus Pandemic, and how she has slipped into seamlessly delivering her work remotely, which typically would have been done face to face.

Lorna is founder and Director of Leonard Business Services, and is almost at the end of completing an ISO 9001 implementation project, so I thought it would be good for Lorna to share her experience of working remotely amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic and her experience of being audited to ISO 9001 remotely.

Top tips for remote working during a Pandemic

  1. Keep calm and carry on
  2. Keeps spirits and morale high with group online sessions – just 10 minutes is fine to share a hobby or fun group activity, or half an hour on Friday at the end of the day to share ‘end of the week’ drinks (virtually)
  3. Keep connected – 15 minutes ‘start the day’ get-together.
  4. Plan your agendas to work remotely to maximise your time.
  5. Use the time for reflection on how you can operate more efficiently
  6. Review resources and optimise on investments made (people/products/process)
  7. Consider ways to operate more sustainably after ‘Lockdown’ i.e. remote working to avoid travel/CO2 emissions.

To quote Lorna ‘Keep calm and Carry on’ as we continue to adapt to the situation.

Contact us to grab a copy of our Remote Working Guide at: enquiries@blackmoresuk.com

Click HERE to learn more about Lorna’s business, Leonard Business Services.

If you would like to learn more about IS0 9001, we have an ISO 9001 Steps to Success series available to listen to HERE.

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Before I dive into the most popular standard in the world, I’d like to begin by busting some of those myths around ISO 9001.

Myth – You need to have a Quality Manual

Myth – You need to have lots of lengthy irrelevant procedures

Myth – You need to have a Quality Manager

Myth – It’s just a tick box exercise

None of these statements is true – Maybe some of them were correct in 1982 (the old BS 5750 standard), but not in 2020!

This weeks ISO show provides an overview of ISO 9001:2015, where we interpret the standard (as a technical document) and break it down into very simple terms what the requirements actually mean.

Although there are 10 clauses, only 7 of these are actually requirements that you need to put in place (Clauses 4.0 – 10.0), and they all make sound business sense.  What business doesn’t need to have a system to explain to employees what they need to do? What business doesn’t need to monitor and measure the performance of their business (including any costly mistakes)?

ISO 9001 is basically a model for running a successful and profitable business – if implemented in the right way (which, by the way, is not buying a certificate and ISO in a box online – that’s for the cheaters!).

The quality standard provides a common framework for things that all businesses should have in place, including defining your companies unique ‘way of working’.  It provides a ‘hub’ a ‘go to place’ for all company policies, procedures and forms/templates.  So ultimately your ‘blueprint’ for business operations and success.

I walk our ISO Show listeners through the 7 Key requirements and highlight some of my favourite parts that I believe add the most value in terms of investing in ISO 9001.

7 key requirements

  • Context of the organisation
  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Support
  • Operations
  • Performance evaluation
  • Improvement

For supporting information check out:-

FREE copy of a Communications Template – just contact us at enquiries@blackmoresuk.com

Want to learn more about ISO 9001? Listen to our Steps to Success Series.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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What is the future for ISO 9001? It only seems like yesterday that the latest version of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 was released, even though this was back in November 2015.  How time flies as they say! All organisations have now transitioned to the latest version, however, standards, the same as businesses can never afford to be left to stand still.  In true Deming fashion (Plan, do, check, act), the time has come for the next review and revision.  Next year, in 2020 the review process begins again…….

I was delighted to be joined on the ISO Show this week by Paul Simpson, Chair of the ISO 9001 Technical Committee in the UK (TC 176) and Director of Strategy to Action. 

In the ISO Show this week Paul explains:-

  • How Annex L supersedes Annex SL
  • What is the role of TC 176 and what they are currently doing in relation to ISO 9001?
  • The future concepts for ISO 9001
  • Views on whether ISO 9001 could change much following the review which begins in 2020

If you would like to find out more about Paul Simpson and his company, Strategy to Action, Action to Success, click HERE.

If you would like to find further information about the ISO 9001 Quality Technical Committee, click HERE.

Need assistance with ISO 9001? We’d be happy to help, simply Contact Us.

To help out the ISO Show:

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An introduction to ISO 20000-1

ISO20000-1:2018 – International Standard’s best-kept secret.

The ISO 20000-1 IT service management standard is often overlooked by organisations and has become the ‘best kept secret’

in the world of management system certification. This is now set to change with ISO20000-1:2018 being welcomed into the fold of the High-Level Standard (HLS) framework.

Whether your service is IT, Transport, providing Health-Related Day Care services, or any kind if Service Management that involves service planning and helpdesk activities, ISO20000-1 is the ideal tool for helping your organisation to establish the systems and processes necessary for achieving improved service planning and implementation, cost-effective delivery of service and customer satisfaction through continual improvement. Furthermore, ISO20000-1 lends itself to enhancing other standards such as ISO9001:2015; ISO27001:2013 and can be supported by ISO22301:2012.

This webinar was held on the 15th of November and covers the following:-

  • What is ISO 20000-1:2018?
  • Who should implement ISO20000-1?
  • What’s the difference between the 2011 and 2018 standards?
  • What are the benefits of ISO 20000-1:2018?
  • How ISO20000-1:2018 can enhance existing ISO certifications
  • How Blackmores can help you to achieve ISO 20000-1 certification

Need assistance with ISO 20000-1? Contact us on: enquiries@blackmoresuk.com

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The support and advise I get from our assigned auditors is immense. Forward planning for the following year is great and they are flexible and always willing to help.

Kalil Vandi

“Blackmores have assisted us almost since the start of our adoption of the ISO 9001 quality standard. Their input has improved our processes since the start, and enabled our goal of continuous improvement to be achieved. The people are also extremely easy to get on with, and they really understand our business, giving us a great deal of confidence in their advice.”

David Gibson

Photon Lines Ltd

“Blackmores are the perfect bridge between working on your ISO as an individual or company, to being audited each year.  We find that any queries we have are covered and we feel sure that we have everything as needs be before going into an external audit.”

Mandy Welsby

Jaama Ltd

“We have been extremely impressed with the service and support provided by Blackmores.  There knowledge and assistance through out our ISO journey has been amazing!”

Philip Hannabuss

Dome Consulting

“Blackmores have really kept us on our toes with the broad scope and level of detail they apply to our internal audit schedule. They always stay abreast of ISO standard changes and help us to adapt our processes and documents to embrace these changes accordingly. Having Blackmores shadow our external audits provides invaluable confidence and peace of mind – would highly recommend their services!”

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Kingsley Napley

“Our ISO 27001 certification project has gone so well, that there was no doubt in who we were going to ask to help us with our aspirations of becoming ISO 14001 certified. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Blackmores, and we are really looking forward to working with them for the foreseeable future.”

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