Fine Tuning Your ISO 9000 Quality System –
Back on Track to Pass the ISO 9001 Surveillance Audit
– A Case Study
Subsidiary of a Foreign Company in the USA
The company had been ISO-certified but had fallen behind in maintaining the system because of organizational changes and other business “interruptions”.
The Situation: The Surveillance Audit is Coming Soon
The management team realized they had just a few months until the annual surveillance audit for their ISO 9001:2008 certification. The implications of failing the audit went beyond just their U.S. operations. A failure could affect the parent company, a global organization marketing itself as ISO-Certified, i.e., globally certified to ISO. They sought help from Shavzin & Associates (SAI) to help “clean up” the system and prepare for a successful audit.
As SAI came on site, we found a number of areas that needed work. When one part of the system falls behind, everything is affected. We assessed the situation in order to understand the business, what their strategic priorities were, what the training/retraining needs were and where the other major gaps were in their existing quality system. Operational excellence and customer retention were critical objectives. We got staff involved at every level and laid out a plan to get things working more smoothly. We then set out daily, weekly and monthly goals.
With a focus on training, retraining, teamwork and clear objectives, the organization came together for the audit, just four months after setting out the game plan. The auditors did identify several findings and the company worked through these to successfully pass the surveillance audit. They had rebuilt the foundation – not just for passing audits, but also to ensure customer retention and new customer acquisition. More importantly, they redoubled their efforts to make “that quality stuff” an integral part of their daily work…”it is simply how we do business”.
The team avoided having to go through the expensive, time-consuming exercise of a complete re-audit. They were able to quickly shift into maximizing the return (ROI) on their ISO investment from a revenue and profitability perspective.