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A new requirement for the ISO 9001 in 2015 was the introduction of the context of the organization. This clause stipulates organizations must review the external and internal issues dramatically impacting the planning and strategic objectives of the company’s QMS. This change affected clause 4 and caused confusion for some organizations.However, the requirement simply asks organizations to define the influence of different elements on the business, and how these elements impact the QMS and other important elements of the company. It is meant to identify risks and protection opportunities for the organization. Embark on these five steps to ensure your organization is compliant with the ISO 9001:2015 requirements.

1. Look for Existing Compliances

There are some existing compliances amongst organizations because some newly established requirements match the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Manual. Companies who have already followed the ISO 9001:2008 have already defined their scope of quality and QMS according to the new standards through flowcharts or texts. Companies starting with the 2015 version from scratch will need to find the scope of QMS, then identify each process and their specific interactions. The documentation of this process is the output the auditor will need before inspection begins.

2. Identify Issues

Internal and external issues need to be identified and this might be considered to be a general statement. Be careful not to be overly expansive in identification of issues. Focus on the issues that directly affect customer satisfaction and the delivery of the quality in products or services. Specifically, the internal context focuses on the environment of the company. This includes management approach, contract fulfillment, and interaction with investors. Consider ideas related to the business’ values, culture, and environment. The external context issues are revealed through consideration of the company’s ethical, legal, political and economic environment. Some examples of external context include, but are not limited to:

  • competition
  • government laws
  • technology changes
  • outside events that affect the organization’s image

3. Identifying Separate Parties and Needs

Start this process by considering what parties, whether external and internal, have opinions that matter. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • end users
  • direct customers
  • suppliers
  • CEO
  • shareholders
  • employees
  • investors

Identify the needs of these essential groups to help provide additional value within the organization. Ask their opinions to discover ways to improve overall company production.

4. Documentation

The most important part of the process is getting the changes on paper. In fact, the standard specifically instructs companies to document changes made to improve the context of the organization. Create a new document to replace the old Quality Manual to be presented before the audit, or simply add to the existing Quality Manual. Adding to the manual is only an option if a manual was created for the 2008 guidelines, however, it is the cheaper, more practical choice. Further, updating interested parties only means highlighting changes, not presenting a full document.

5. Review and Monitor Changes

This last part is one of the most significant parts of the overall change. Organizations may push this aside, but, with practice, it will become habit. Monitoring the external and internal issues and looking for chances for corrections will make any future changes easier on the organization. Two common acronyms for monitoring are SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and PEST (political, economic, social, and technological). Use these acronyms for monitoring, and you’ll reach beyond the minimum standards toward improved overall processes. Do not make the context of the organization requirement one that is fulfilled for the audit then forgotten. The information gathered for the requirement is often useful, and should be taken seriously. In fact, some organizations will continue to update this requirement simply to gain the helpful information it provides. Further, the organization will be ready for upcoming changes to the ISO 9001.

To learn more please contact Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd

 

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Workplace injuries severely impact not only the company that a person works for but the person themselves. A serious workplace injury can complicate the rest of someone’s life. Moreover, not only will that injury impact that person but also their loved ones, family, and friends as well. In some cases, that person may require permanent disability or have limited employment because of their injury. Others may require care for the remainder of their lives.

These injuries not only put a burden on the company that person worked for but also on the person as well as their family. Therefore, investing in workplace safety is considered a highly regarded choice irrespective of costs.

Below are 10 benefits that the company obtains from implementing a rigid workplace safety program and ensuring that it is upheld at all costs:

  • It Lowers Rates of Absenteeism: The rates of absenteeism plummet when the workplace is safe. People desire safety in their work environment and want to feel like they are cared for. Investing in a safe workplace has potential to substantially improve employee morale

  • Working Equipment is More Productive:Equipment that is in good order and is safe for employees to use will befar more efficient in delivery and improve bottom line than equipment that is in poor repair. Keeping equipment up-to-date can ensure that employees have the tools they need to do their jobs effectively as possible.

  • Safe Work Environment Helps Workers Be More Productive:If workers are confident that the machinery, equipment, materials, and supplies they have on hand to do their jobs they will be able to work more quickly. Workers that work quicker will help raise the profitability of the company. Over time, this increased productivity will far outweigh the cost of properly maintaining the machinery and equipment.

  • A Safe Work Environment Will Produce a Higher Quality Product:An environment in which the machinery and equipment is in good working order will be able to produce a higher quality product no matter what industry you work in. The higher quality product can demand more money which can raise the company’s bottom line.

  • A Safe Work Environment Limits Employee Insurance Claims:A safe work environment will help limit employee injuries and therefore insurance claims for injuries. The less claims the company has against them the more money they save. Not only will the company avoid paying unnecessary medical bills and workman’s comp they will also avoid increased insurance rates if they are seen as a “risk” by the insurance company.

  • Incorporating Workers Ideas Helps Them Feel Valued in Safety:Your own workers do their jobs every day and are some of the best assets you have in developing a quality workplace safety program. Reach out to them and incorporate their ideas and inputs into the program. If they feel their voices are heard they are much more likely to care about the rules and safety program than if they feel that rules are just being “forced upon them” by the company.

  • A Quality Safety Program Makes Customers Notice:Customers sit up and recognize any company that goes the extra mile to take good care of their employees, especially when it comes to their safety and well-being. Going the extra mile to take care of your employees can  help you get and retain customers for a long time to come as it creates extra goodwill for the company.

  • A Good Safety Program Drives Up Profits:Companies with a quality safety program and limited worker injuries helps limit the disruptions in day-to-day operations of people getting hurt or not being able to work because of injury. The more seamlessly the business can run the more profitable it will be.

  • Protect Your Most Valuable Asset:Protecting your most valuable asset cannot have a price tag of cost vs. profit put on it. The most valuable resource you have is your workers. Remember that without your workers your company is nothing, so protect them and treat them as they are precious as they really are.

  • It Saves Lives:This is no exaggeration to say that people literally die at work. The Bureau of Better Business Statistics estimates that 50,000 people die from work-related incidences. While not all of thesedeaths are preventable many of them, such as construction accidents, are very preventable. Ensuring you have a safe place to work can indeed literally save lives.


Conclusions: Workplace safety should be the top and central priority of any company looking to be the best at what they do. You can’t put a price tag on anyone’s well-being, health, and life. In the end, taking care of your employees is taking care of your business.

Spending the extra cash on the proper maintenance of the machinery, equipment, materials, and supplies you use to run your every day business will come back to help make your business more profitable.

It will also return every employee home to their family safely at the end of each day because you can’t put a price on someone’s well-being and their life.

For more information on Workplace safety matters and having more effective strategies to reduce likelihood of such issues, please contact Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd

 

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ISO 37001 is an International standard for organisation’s to reduce bribery and corruption. The number one focus of it is to address bribery by the organisation, its personnel as well as business associates.

It addresses only bribery – not other forms of corruption or fraud. It endeavours to apply to any organization. So, who should implement it?

The standard is designed for organizations of all sizes and provides a set of guidelines that are consistent with best practices used by multinationals.

So, ISO 37001 should be at least considered by any company that conducts business outside of Australia, regardless of size and industry. The standard has been carefully designed for broad application and to be used either on its own or in conjunction with existing management systems. Because it is widely known, then adopting it publicly can help assure customers and business partners that a solid anti-bribery system in place. It can also reduce your liability if bribery happens involving an employee, contractor, or associate.

Because of its broad application and the fact that it is designed to assist a company establish their own policies, it can be adopted by companies of all types. It adds an air of neutrality that might not be visible if only applying Australian standards or, worse, if applying U.S. standards because they seem to be more reasonable.

So, why would you not want to do it?

First of all, the ISO guidance tells you to apply different levels of due diligence to different types of business associates, but gives no advice as to how. This is a large hole in the standard that may require input from other sources – and may cause issues if a third party decides to use it as an audit standard, or even for internal audits.

Also, implementing ISO 37001 may result in the need to change existing practices however this is less likely to be a concern for Australian companies, but more likely if you operate across multiple jurisdictions. The very people who need an international standard the most are likely to be the ones having the most problems implementing it across their various divisions.

On the other hand, it may help with compliance with certain Australian regulations. For example, it may help with the requirement to have “proper compliance controls and procedures” to avoid being charged under proposed laws that create a new offense of simply allowing foreign bribery. This law would put businesses on the hook if an employee attempts to bribe a foreign public official – and will make it vital for Australian businesses operating overseas to have good policies and training in place. As a recognized international standard, ISO 37001 may help with this. This means that ISO 37001 may, in fact, be the easiest way for Australian businesses who operate or do a lot of business overseas, and for foreign businesses with a strong Australian presence to implement the kind of anti-bribery systems needed to protect them from the impact of this law.

if you already have a system which works which is further away from the standard, especially if you only do domestic business, then implementing the standard may be more work than is strictly needed.

The takeaway is that all companies which do business outside Australia should look over the new ISO 37001 standard and determine whether adopting it is a good idea for them – and with the way the laws are moving, it is likely to be good for almost all companies involved in foreign trade.

To learn more about ISO 37001 please contact Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd today

http://www.ethic-intelligence.com/experts/18461-five-questions-compliance-officers-ask-implementing-iso-37001-anti-corruption-management-system/

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=c3feedc3-1a42-4968-aba8-27bebca77f1c

http://www.fcpablog.com/blog/2016/3/28/alexandra-wrage-the-pros-and-substantial-cons-of-an-iso-anti.html

http://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/iso-37001-anti-bribery-management-systems/

https://www.dlapiper.com/en/australia/insights/publications/2017/04/australia-foreign-bribery-laws/

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Hackers, thieves, competitors as well as interested parties are constantly seeking to permeate company databases and access information. They want to steal information to make money, sell credit card numbers, hold data hostage or just to obtain a competitive advantage. For that reason, firms constantly must be aware of their information security issues. To do so, they are encouraged to implement information security management systems. These have several drivers and benefits.

Information Security Umbrella

Information security is imperative for businesses to keep in mind. However, it encompasses several different components. The overarching idea is that employees, partners, vendors, buyers and other stakeholders must act with discretion when dealing with any sensitive information.

They should not share unnecessary information with friends and family, nor should they leave documents in open and accessible locations. Rather, they should guard corporate information vigorously.  This typically includes financial information, key design or innovation plans or even private employee data. Employees have to be cautious not to share their password or download suspicious files they receive over email. They must keep their anti-virus software up to date and regularly change passwords as well.

On the other hand, IT security is much more specific and includes the implementation of two factor authentication, multi-level encryption, advanced firewalls and anti-virus software. IT security includes examining the technical systems including the hardware, software and network links to all individuals. This is just as important as Information Security.

Rationale

Hacking into a system can cause major disruptive issues. Recently, hackers captured computer systems all around the world with their WannaCry virus. This virus froze computers and demanded a ransom in order to unlock them. The virus infected computers in the UK’s national health system, as well as systems throughout Asia and Australia. Those companies and organizations paid millions to hackers and millions more to fix their systems. This was purely one example of many types of hacks that have occurred over time.

Drivers

The key drivers of increased ISMS are the exponential increase in hacking and  its ramifications worldwide. Now that the power of the Internet is in the hands of billions of people all around the world, anybody with access can learn the dark arts andattempt to steal information. While it takes an organized effort with financial sponsorship to create the most powerful hacking groups, there are millions around the world that already have the knowledge and capability to launch initial attacks.

These attacks vary widely. One tactic is to send millions of data requests to one server to bring it down in order to leave a network vulnerable. This DDOS attacks is very difficult to prevent. Other hacks include stealing passwords or breaking codes to enter a network. Still other hackers simply trick users into downloading viruses which enable the hacker to control the computer. These techniques continue to grow and become more sophisticated.

Benefits

The benefits of applying ISMS are quite clear. First of all, it is like an insurance policy that protects against the possibility of enormous financial damage. Keeping information security up to date minimises the vast majority of attempted hacks.

Secondly, businesses need to show they are engaging in information security for legal liability and government compliance purposes. Without investing in ways to prevent attacks, they are leaving themselves open to lawsuits and government fines. Investing in the technologies gives companies a good defence against allegations of negligence.

Lastly, ISMS gives management greater control of their business. They install more management tools, get better server data and control the flow of information inside the company. That ultimately helps them to run a better, more profitable business.

Learn more about how to plan and manage Information Security by contacting Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd today.

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An unexpected accident that causes serious bodily harm may result in a scheduled OHS regulatory body (Worksafe) inspection. Accidents that involve death or dismemberment will prompt a formal worksafe investigation. These post-incident OHS inspections can potentially result in hefty fines, mandatory upgrades and temporary business closure. Here are some of the best practices recommended for incident management preparation.

Proper Documentation

The first tool of incident management is ensuring proper documentation has been established and maintained. Creating safety policies and specific procedures for dealing with accidents is widely regarded as integral to effectively dealing with Incidents.  Many employers add a statement on the job application regarding pre-employment drug screens for the purposes of safety.  Every year, have supervisors review the various safety procedures and policies during employee meetings. Require that all employees sign and date that they have attended these meetings. Keeping a binder full of documented safety training sessions can represent a defence against a critical OHS inspector. Finally, it is recommended that all employees are put through a formal day safety training covering all OHS policies and processes along with the site rules and on the job training.

JSAs and SWMS are Legal Defences

Every safety program should include accurate and comprehensive Job Safety Analyses (JSAs).  JSA simply looks at the work task and considers the safest way to complete it.  It is one way of becoming aware of the hazards involved in completing the job and taking required steps to prevent injury. These documents are an effective way to proactively reduce safety and health hazards in the workplace.  They should include detailed procedures on how to safely perform the task and they should identify the mandatory personal protective equipment (PPE). Be sure to have employees review and sign new copies of their updated JSAs during their annual performance reviews. Storing these in the personnel file is the best defence against lawsuits involving negligence.

Understand OHS Rules

OHShave in place specific record maintenance requirements that apply across all industries. The two essential documents that must be kept are the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, and the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. These two documents are typically posted in the employee lunchrooms by HR managers.  The Injury and Illness Incident Report, must be annually submitted to OHS.  OHS requires certain industries to conduct mandatory training in specific topics every year. These commonly cover PPEs, fire extinguishers, emergency action plans and hazardous communication (HAZCOM). For example, OHS requires companies that make workers handle chemicals to provide them with material safety data sheets (MSDS).

Time-loss and Light Duty

OHS considers any time an employee misses work because of an injury to be a “time-loss” incident. The higher the time-loss number, the higher the workers’ compensation insurance rates will rise. Each state’s occupational safety agency ranks and publishes these statistics every year. Time-loss problems can be avoided through assisting injured employees return to work as soon as possible through a light or modified duty program. Doctors who see the injured worker and fill out the medical paperwork should complete a ‘release to work’ document that specifies duty restrictions.  Sending them to the hospital with packets of information that include job descriptions will help the employee regain normalcy and their dignity.

The Ultimate Incident Management Tool

Most companies have a basic safety program, but this tends to be a collection of outdated safety policies and procedures. A certified safety program is one of the best ways to systemically reduce work hazards, improve worker safety and minimise accidents. Companies that voluntarily maintain an OHS-approved safety program may not have to worry about unexpected inspections. OHS’s most comprehensive safety program is called the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). It helps companies implement effective safety and health management systems and policies. OHS provides the initial certification and returns every five years for a re-certification audit and inspection.  There is also the AS/NZS 4801:2001Occupational Health and Safety Program.

As a final note, always thoroughly investigate and document accidents. It is best to take proactive measures to immediately rectify the hazard before OHS and insurance inspectors arrive. This demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being and accountability.

Discover more about a certified safety program at Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd

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John Maxwell (An American author and speaker) once said “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way” and these very words could not hold more truth when we look at the importance of Senior managers and their influence on driving QHSE management systems.

So Why is Senior management commitment so important?  Below are just some of the reasons:

  • If Senior Management does not provide the necessary support towards actively promoting the system, then it is not likely to work
  • If Managing Directors do not practice what they preach, then why would lower level production staff or labourers comply with procedural requirements?
  • Through senior management commitment and action, it provides a sense of truth and integrity to the Quality/Health and Safety and/or Environmental Policy statements

Consequences of a poorly executed level of Management commitment

Your employees must have that incentive and drive to adhere to all QHSE policies and procedures and this is heavily shaped by Senior management.  If people should perceive that the most senior managers in the organisation do not have any interest in Customer/OHS/environmental requirements, regulations or laws then why should they, the employees, care?.  It is integral that as a Senior management group, there are established communication channels reiterating the significance of compliance and this can be in any form including:

-Emails
-Documented policies and procedures
-Meetings
-Intranet
-Newsletter

Another major negative consequence of poor management commitment is the continuous breakdown of systems as a result of a lack of resources provided for by Senior Management.  Without the adequate resources (Human,Physical, Financial, technological), it becomes a nightmare for any organisation to sustain effective implementation of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 or AS/NZS 4801 programs and at best they might be able to just keep their heads above water.

One final such consequence of a lack of management commitment is the resulting poor culture that has the potential to surface within any organisation.  Whether any organisation is trying to promote Health and safety or continuous improvement or even a greater awareness of environmental aspects, it is such that impending outcomes on culture are greatly influenced by a proactive drive shown by Senior management towards achieving these outcomes.

The involvement of Top Management just shouldn’t be an optional exercise

There is just no point in wasting your time and money on trying to implement a management system if senior management are going to focus on other priorities.  Without the expertise and enthusiasm shown by Top management, the primary objectives of the system implementation such as continual improvement, reduction in incidents,Minimisation of environmental harm or even improvement in Information Security management will never be realized.

Discover more about ISO programs and significance of senior management commitment by contacting Sustainable Certification Today

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A risk management program is an integral tool/method for identifying risks and ensuring that you are aware of all of them. You can avoid various problems by understanding and managing your risks on a daily basis. There are some steps that are referred to below for mitigating and managing your day to day risks.

Step 1: Conduct a Walk Through of Your Facility

One of the first things that you need to do in order to create a successful risk management program is to conduct an inspection or walk through your facility.  One of the key steps here is to pay particular attention to all significant areas of concern and/or worst case scenarios.Many organisations will capture photos as part of their inspection in order to highlight the significance of the issue to Senior Management.

Step 2: Speak to Employees

Your employees are likely to have more intimate knowledgewith your facility than you have. Create a focus group of employees from various departments. Provide a debrief to them and encourage their input about areas that they are concerned with and ask them where they think the most risks exist. Their information is vital to helping you develop and maintain a risk management program.

Step 3: Identify the Major Risks

There are always going to be risks inherent within your organization. Some may be physical while others might be strategic. Some of the most common project risks include:

  • Poor leadership
  • Staff issues
  • No continuity plan
  • Lack of resources
  • Change in business strategy

You have to pose the “what if” question when establishing the major risks. Break them down into sub-categories. For example, if there is no continuity plan, this might be broken down into smaller categories to include if a particular department goes under, there is a natural disaster, or something else were to happen.

Step 4: Evaluate the Risks

All of the risks that you identified need to be evaluated. This is where the “What if” situation will help you as well. You need to determine the likelihood of a risk actually happening. The “major” risks should be put at the top of the list, where you will put the most attention and allocate the most resources.

Step 5: Develop a Treatment Plan

A treatment plan should be formulated and written to help you identify how you would handle the different risks. It’s also important to assign tasks to different employees. For example, some items might need to be repaired or ordered in order to have a complete plan in place should something happen.

This is where it’s important to have a system and database included with your risk management plan so everything becomes more organized.

Step 6: Train Your Employees

Your employees need to be educated on risk management culture. When you are ready to train your employees, it’s important to communicate effectively. This involves letting all of your employees know and understand the meaning of Risk management and its significance within the business.

A curriculum should be built to focus on the courses that are mandatory. You should also empower employees to be more focused on risk-related topics. Your employees might surprise you. Since they are the ones in the roles, they should have the ability to work on risk management within their position. It might include additional training, allocating resources to minimize risk, and much more.

Step 7: Schedule Regular Audits

Audits should be scheduled on a regular basis. This should include those done by your employees as well as a third-party company. It will ensure that you have as many eyes on what’s going on as possible.

Discover more about a risk management program by contacting Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd

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Will Certification Beat Competition? Myth Or Fact?

Competition is fierce in any industry. It’s imperative to understand how to effectively beat your competition. Using third party certification audits will make it easier to identify and locate the various flaws in the system. However, will this be sufficient toconsolidate your position against your competition? The consensus is that it’s not enough.

The Certifications Available

There are numerous certifications you can obtain that will help you to get an edge over your competition. This includes:

Whether you’re applying for certification internationally or locally in Australia, you need to review how third-party certification audits will identify and assist in closing the gaps within your system. For example, if you’re looking at achieving ISO 14001 certification, you will have audits thatprovide you with intel on such matters as your environment protection measures, wastage, efficiency, and much more.

Choose the Right Certification

With so many certifications available, you should choose the one that will best fit your company needs and objectives. It is a good idea to spend some time researching your competition. Find out what ISO certifications they have already obtained. if everyone in your industry has an ISO 9001 quality management systems certification, it’s going to be in your best interests to acquire a similar certification.  The consequence of the decision to not follow in a similar footpath to your competitors will give them a distinct advantage. Listen to what the government says or your vendors.

The certification itself plays a major role in how consumers choose to do business with you. When you are in a B2B industry, many businesses will elect not to do business with you if you don’t have sufficient certification.

In some cases, multiple certifications provide benefit and can work in tandem depending on the industry you operate in for example in the construction industry, ISO 9001 and AS/NZS 4801 offer numerous benefits both in prevention of safety issues and improvement of overall customer satisfaction.  Through having a diligent selection of the right certification, it ensures that the management system will focus on business operations and that you are meeting and exceeding objectives. It will also ensure that you are delivering high quality and consistent results.

Busting the Myths

Knowing the myths that are out there regarding certification and third-party audits will make it easier for you to obtain the truth. It will enable you to more simply schedule your audits with the right certification body. Additionally, it will allow you to focus on what’s needed for your company in order to take it to the next level.

The primary myth is that any certification will help you defeat yourcompetition. The reality is you need to have the certification and regularly schedule your third-party audits to ensure that your methods for ensuring you are across all legislation matches industry best practice.

Another myth is that certification will automatically bring more business. You will need to advertise that you have been certified, which means including the information on your website as well as any printed material that you have for your company. Plus whole of your organisations must adopt the system with enthusiasm.

You will also hear companies talking about how there is no need to use a third-party accreditor for audits. While you could simply have a company come in and see you meet ISO or another certification in terms of qualifications, it’s going to be easier if you work with a reputable name within the world of certification. It will ensure you have the right process in place and that you are truly offering the highest quality and reputable services as advertised.

When you take the time to schedule your audits, it allows you to identify your flaws and provide a better experience to your customers. Make sure you demand the best from your auditors.

Learn more about third-party audits to help you beat  your competition by contacting Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd today.

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In most cases, it is not easy to quantify productivity in the realm of construction. The construction sector is one of those fields that experience an ever fluctuating environment. Whether it be weather, employee related issues or countless other unforeseen points of concern, managing productivity is an arduous and ever challenging endeavour.

There was a study done by Intergraph that illustrated EPCs suffer billions of dollars nationally as a by product of construction claims involving labor related issues alone. That is huge, to say the least. Even though there are many organizations collecting data on construction productivity (US Department of Labor, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Contractors Associations, independent contractors, universities, to name a few), this data is various and lacks consistency. Yet, one aspect that remains a constant through most research is the consequential impact of labor productivity.

So, what are some things that can be done to improve overall productivity, improve your bottomline, reduce workplace incidents and decrease the negative impact on the environment? Let us take a look at three simple hacks that can boost productivity.

1. Improve Project Planning

Planning is integral to anything we do. The lack thereof can prove disastrous and a nuisance at the very least. In the world of construction, we all know that planning is a very important ingredient in the mixture of project completion on schedule and within budget.

In order to become better at planning, data should be collected on previous construction projects in order to establish where the bulk of the issues reside. Is it poor timing in ordering materials? On who does this responsibility lie? Were there equipment failures or work related injuries that held things back? How can these issues be addressed? Collecting this data enables any of these issues to be addressed before the next project and find ways to formulate preemptive solutions.

2. Introduce Productivity Training 

It should be a known fact that your supervisors can make or break any project. Are they knowledgeable enough to face the growing concerns of a modern EPC world? Do they have sufficient training to keep them up to date with new technologies and environmental regulations? Are they up to speed with local and federal regulations? All three of these aspects are ever evolving. What may have been the case last month could very well not be the case next month.

Most contractors see training employees only as far as making sure they know how to operate new pieces of equipment, as one example. How many implement training in productivity? And it is supervisors who are in the greatest need of this type of training. They need to start seeing outside the box and quit looking at things from a day-to-day view, always looking into the foreseeable future and trying to increase the likelihood that the project remains on schedule and within budget.

Furthermore, the construction industry as a whole should consider the merits of inviting design students to complete their internships on site. This will decrease conflicts between the designers and the contractors, not to mention bring a fresh mind to the design process.

3. Keep On Top of New Construction Technologies

There is a reason for technological development: to make our lives easier. Usually, technological advances come from a direct need from an industry. One of the biggest disruptions being caused by technology as a whole is the construction sector. Whether it is renewable energy disruption, better, longer lasting materials or innovative methods in the construction process, staying abreast of new technology is vital to sustainability.

One technology is 3D printing, which is changing the landscape, so to speak, on many fronts. From facial reconstruction to manmade coral reefs, 3D printing is paving the way for many new cool advances in technology. No other sector is being influenced greater by this disruptive technology than the EPC industry. In an article by Forbes entitled Printing The Future: The Last Bastion Of Blue Collar Labor Is About To Fall, it accounts for $9 trillion in revenues and six percent of the global GDP. Not only this, but 3D printing is making the entire construction process more time and cost efficient by reducing everything down to precise measurements. This means designers can create structures not thought possible before.

With fast evolving technology in the construction industry changing the way we design, plan, manage and build, becoming a more productive company is even easier than before. The three hacks above are not the complete picture by far, but they are a great place to start.

We at Sustainable pride ourselves helping our customers improve their bottom line, reduce workplace injury and environmental impact.

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Research shows that eight out of every 10 businesses fail due to poor leadership, communication and product differentiation. Only the best organizations will overcome issues  like rising costs, selective customers, sluggish economies, challenging markets and aggressive competitors. An ISO certification is one of the best long-term investments a company can make for their future stability and profitability.

Enhanced Credibility and Reputation

Almost all B2B partners want to do business with companies that are ISO certified because it verifies they maintain higher standards. ISO certification reduces the need for lengthy debates and investigations to determine if the target company understands the principles of quality, communication, process improvements and management oversight. Similarly, ISO certifications build trust and inspire confidence in customers and the public.

Companies that maintain a loyal customer base will be more sustainable and successful. An ISO certification is a full-time commitment, but is a powerful tool for industries that have to deal with watchful critics, such as energy, manufacturing, agriculture and engineering companies.  The best marketing and public relations weapon for a lumber production or a natural gas company is an ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) certification.

A Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

The ISO 14001:2015 refers to the prestigious Environmental Management System (EMS) that provides a comprehensive framework for planning, implementing and improving eco-friendly policies and practices. An EMS program may be applied to any type of organization, regardless of their specific sector because the ultimate goal is to enhance environmental performance and corporate responsibility. EMS thinking can be integrated into all levels of stewardship, from manual labor employees to top executives.

EMS programs help management to monitor the company’s interactions with the environment, exceed mandatory compliance obligations and resolve risks from various sources.  The 14001:2015 program identifies environmental aspects (anything that interacts with the surroundings)  in order to minimize negative impacts and maximize position outcomes. The ISO 14001:2015 is the second most popular standard after the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System program.

Better Product Quality

The continual sale of any product comes down to quality, durability, performance and customer satisfaction. The ISO 9001:2015 depends on proactive participation from leadership who are tasked with continually improving operations, quality control, effective communication and production planning activities. The QMS program is the universal standard around the world for a superior level of quality and product safety. This is especially important for global companies who have B2B clients in unfamiliar countries.

The ISO 9001:2015 program requires leadership involvement, quality objectives, evolving policies and specific requirements.  Standard Qualify Procedures (SQP) are detailed job descriptions that outline what task will be done, who will be responsible, when it will be completed and how the results will be evaluated. QMS, along with EMS programs, are the best investments for legal compliance and protection. The American Society for Quality (ASQ), which is a global leader in quality control activities, endorses ISO 9001 programs here.

ISO Tools

ISO programs assist employees and management to develop new skills, proactive attitudes and problem solving tools. For example, hazard identification and risk management are important to both the EMS and QMS programs. Staff are actively encouraged and empowered to adopt risk-based thinking in order to uncover previously hidden or avoided problems.  Some companies punish employees who report serious quality issues that could impact safety, but ISO programs actually reprimand shareholders and require them to resolve nonconformities through corrective action plans.

Regular external audits through internationally recognized certifying bodies means that organizations must maintain impeccable documentation and high standards. To illustrate, the ISO 9001 requires organizations to create and use daily quality control check sheets that are completed throughout the day. This usually involves a supervisor or team leader randomly checking, testing or measuring a group of products every year.

The most scientific way to increase product excellence and production values is to aggregately analyse quality control data through statistical process control tools and spreadsheets.  ISO program credentials are maintained through global certifying organizations that provide audits, support and direction.

We at Sustainable pride ourselves helping our customers improve their bottom line, reduce workplace injury and environmental impact.

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