Common Challenges in ISO Management Systems
Being ISO compliant presents a unique set of challenges, from planning and getting started to business integration. This article will dive into the issues of getting ISO certified, but first, let's find out why getting ISO certified is so important for different organizations.
What is ISO?
ISO, which stands for International Organization for Standardization, is an independent, non-government organization and is considered the largest developer of worldwide proprietary, industrial, and commercial standards. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and works in 168 countries.
Through the ISO standards, businesses increase their productivity with minimal errors and waste. Moreover, the standards have helped companies provide safe, reliable, and high-quality products. These standards also stand as a safeguard to all consumers and the end-users of services and products. Overall, the standards ensure that products conform to minimum standards that are set internationally.
There are 2 types of standards:
- Generic standards, which is deemed applicable to all types of organizations. This standard is the most common and widely used management system globally;
- Industry-specific standards, which is created to address the exact needs of vertical markets. A good example of which is the AS 9100, which is intended for exclusive use by the aerospace industry --aviation, space, and defense organizations.
Challenges in ISO Management Systems
Organizational Context. To implement an ISO Management System, there must be an understanding of the internal and external factors that could cause an impact on the ability of the organization in meeting its objective. This also entails identifying business opportunities and threats.
Leadership. Ensuring that leaders step up to lead the organization towards the right path can be a concern for some companies. It is important that top management is familiar with the leadership requirements of ISO, and has the commitment to ensure the effectiveness of the QMS, continuous improvement, and having clear objectives and Quality Policy in place.
Risk-Based Thinking. Being among the most challenging, this method encourages weighing the risk and opportunities in achieving the desired outcome.
Improvement. Another challenge is for an organization to recognize that on some level or aspect they need to improve. For ISO Management Systems, it is a requirement to continually improve the performance of the quality management systems.
Engagement Between People. When people at all management and levels are engaged, empowered, and competent, the capabilities to create and deliver value are present.
Customer Focus. One of the primary challenges is finding the balance in quality management and customers. Companies have to understand that Quality Management Systems are based on customer satisfaction.
Decision Making. In most large companies and organizations, decision making should be done with precise timing. A project plan that mainly includes the timing of awareness, training, and education could definitely make the journey to success less risky.
Workflow Automation for Effective Quality Management
- Simplifies the tasks involved in management Quality Management Systems
- Shorten supply chain cycle for approvals and receipt of goods
- Streamlines simple to complex document approval processes, allowing attachments and digital signatures
- Helps companies in enforcing standardized quality and safety reporting, product quality control and governance
- Breaks down organizational information silos
- Prevents issues and mistakes from happening.
Use Case Examples
Policies and Procedures AuthoringWorkflow for authoring and approval routing of policies and procedures. The workflow manages the approval of line managers and management. Automate the document approval process. Send email reminders for open tasks.
Case Management and Non-Conformances
Workflow for tracking the completion of cases that includes documentation, classification, actions, current status, and completion. Case files are attached to each process for easy retrieval. Ideal for NCR or CPAR processes. Ensures that cases are documented and closed in a timely manner.
Workflow for tracking critical tasks such as audit preparations and audit reporting.
Workflow to ensure that all regulatory deadlines are met. Business renewals, employee remittances and etc. Critically important for Real Property Taxes, BIR, SSS, and other mandatory submissions. Avoid Penalties.
ISO Workflow Automation with Activity Factory
Due to the intricacies of regulations and requirements, many companies still struggle to secure compliance. One of the critical steps to ensuring compliance is the streamlining of workflows, which not only simplifies tasks but also provides a safety net for the organization. The purpose of a workflow is to divide processes into smaller steps, which are passed to different people with the company.
Implementing an ISO Management System can be made efficient and easier by a Workflow Automation Software. With Activity Factory, the review and approval routing of procedures and other documents can be streamlined and would thereby help improve compliance.
Activity Factory is a workflow automation tool that allows companies to build consistent and auditable compliance and operational workflows, ensuring that the right processes are followed at the right times while staying compliant.