Engineering and manufacturing organizations have experienced many changes over the past 20-30 years. This rate of change continues with innovative processes and materials developing side by side with proven older technology.
The control of change and standardized methods of working are therefore vital. Management systems standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and others ensure a consistency of approach that drives efficiency forward. Controls to ensure that change is managed and risk minimized are critically important for a variety of reasons — including the need to be conscious of the effects of these changes on the environment and health and safety.
NQA clients in this sector include Haldex Brake Products Corp., Saint-Gobain Abrasives, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc., and Ecolab, Inc. For these and other organizations, we have played a key role in certifying their engineering and manufacturing management systems to some of the following standards.
ISO 9001 is one of the most recognized management standards in the manufacturing industry, and an important certification for any organization concerned about improving quality control. It is a critical part of a comprehensive manufacturing management system and can have significant benefits for engineering firms, too. ISO 9001 helps streamline processes, improve business performance and drive efficiency in a continuous improvement cycle.
The most recent version of ISO 9001 was published in 2015, bringing the standard in line with directives set out in the Annex SL high-level document, and making it easier to leverage existing policies toward certification with specialized quality management systems such as ISO 14001.
ISO 14001 standards cover an organization’s environmental management policies, from long-term sustainability and carbon management to day-to-day waste reduction and resource allocation. For engineering and manufacturing firms, environmental management is of critical importance – and a key component of corporate social responsibility. Organizations that are proactive about environmental management are better positioned to reduce costs and waste across the supply chain, meet current and future regulatory compliance requirements, and make their operation more profitable and sustainable over time.
An ISO 50001-certified management system formalises your organization’s energy management policies to reduce your carbon footprint and operating costs. The certification process involves locating gaps in your current energy management policies and identifying ways to improve efficiency overall. This is done by establishing an energy use baseline, conducting a management review and performing ongoing efficiency audits.
ISO 50001 is especially useful for engineering and management organizations with high overhead costs or complex working requirements. It is closely related to ISO 14001, making the process of certification simpler for any organization that already has an effective environmental management system in place.
Improving occupational health and safety is an important goal of an engineering or manufacturing management system. ISO (OHSAS) 18001 is a management-level framework for improving health and safety in your organization. Hallmarks of an effective ISO 18001 management system include clear, measurable objectives, and a structured approach to risk assessment around occupational health. Implementing a management system with these characteristics can lead to fewer on-the-job accidents and less productivity lost due to injury and illness.
Although ISO 18001 is set to be replaced by a new standard, ISO 45001, in 2017, starting the process of attaining ISO 18001 certification today will make the transition faster and easier.
Information security is a topic of critical importance to all organizations. Not all cyberattacks are high-profile leaks involving major organizations – small- and medium-sized businesses in all industries are equally likely to become victims, too. ISO 27001 is a progressive framework for mitigating the risk of data breaches or other online attacks. Implementing an ISO 27001 information security management system can help safeguard your intellectual property, maintain regulatory compliance and ensure business continuity should an incident occur.
Like all ISO standards, ISO 27001 is based on a continuous improvement cycle. As technology and culture change, and the risks against your data evolve, ISO 27001 provides an adaptable framework for keeping your critical assets safe.
FOR ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING FIRMS, QUALITY MANAGEMENT MATTERS
Engineering and management firms face a set of highly specific challenges, including a complex regulatory landscape and increasing competition in a global marketplace. No matter the size of your organization, or the specific industries you serve, you can benefit from certification to one or several of the above quality management system standards.
ISO certification gives you a competitive edge when entering new markets, as it represents a known and trusted standard of quality. Implementing an ISO-certified manufacturing or engineering management system can also help you:
- Shorten cycle times and improve accountability
- Achieve compliance with new regulations faster
- Become recognized in your field as an environmental leader
- Streamline your supply chain and reduce your reliance on fossil fuels
- Enhance awareness and improve your overall security and safety posture
- Engage staff at all levels and secure executive-level participation in quality management goals
Together, these advantages make for stronger organizations that can effectively use sophisticated management tools to grow and succeed, even in an uncertain economy.
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