Town of Ajax Uses Intelex Document Control to Support a Culture of Quality

The Town of Ajax is located in Ontario, Canada and holds the distinct honour of being the first North American municipality to have been fully registered to the ISO 9001 standard – all nine of its departments have been certified since 1997!

Of course, as many businesses certified to ISO 9001 know, remaining in compliance with the standards’ requirements can demand a fair bit of effort. The municipality was keeping 27 sets of binders across their departments with copies of their ISO 9001 quality documentation, and every time a document was created, edited or updated, 27 copies had to be printed, distributed and added to each binder. Managing this documentation became a daunting task. As the Manager of Quality Service and Special Projects, David Forget knew that they needed a better way to ensure version control and audit readiness.

“It was an administrative nightmare,” says David. “There was just so … Read more...

Webinar – ISO 9001: A Quality Odyssey

Quality Management and ISO standards have become a ubiquitous part of contemporary business. You don’t have to travel very far to see an ISO 9001-certified sign, but for some the very meaning of ‘quality’ has become elusive.

“9001: A Quality Odyssey” gets back to the roots of quality management and revisits why quality management standards arose in the first place and the fundamental business benefits they present.

Key topics covered include:

  • How the modern concept of quality management arose and why it is important today from a business perspective.
  • Why we have quality management and how it fits into organizational performance, supply chain management, and the global economy at large
  • The business benefits and ROI of quality management and ISO 9001-certification, and more

Here is a preview of the webinar:

CLICK HERE to watch the full webinarRead more...

Get back to the meaning of Quality with 9001: A Quality Odyssey

Think quality is boring? That can only be attributable to human error. 

Sure: bolt sizes, calibrations, documents, procedures, work instructions…yeah, there’s nothing particularly compelling about all that, on the surface, anyway. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll be surprised what you find. 

If you missed our exclusive webinar, 9001: A Quality Odyssey, check it out whenever you like by heading over to our on-demand webinar library. This decidedly un-boring special presentation will open the pod bay doors of your mind by getting back to the meaning of quality management and turning to the very roots of standardization.

Far from a boring history lesson, A Quality Odyssey will link the quality standards of today to the very need for standardization and measurement in the first place, and look at the evolution of quality systems throughout the ages and what they mean for businesses today. 

Sign up today to learn how … Read more...

Top 10 essential tips to ensure top-notch training tracking

Gone are the days that monitoring and tracking employee training is a nice to have. Maintaining this information plays a big part in both having visibility into the competency of your employees and in mitigating the corporate risk that can devastate a company if it’s not in place.

And organizations use this information in multiple ways. If you have had any exposure to the ISO set of standards, you’ll know that pretty much every standard outlined by ISO (be it 14001, 9001, 26000, 50001 etc.) includes training as an essential component.  So if you want to be certified or just conform to the standard, you better make sure that your training tracking house is in order.

But it doesn’t stop at ISO standards, look at the regulatory bodies around occupational health and safety, specifically OSHA in the US and WSIB and other agencies in Canada and around the world; not adhering … Read more...

Intelex on Quality and Cities in Municipal World

The need for quality management is apparent in an industrial context, but how about…a municipal organization? Well, just as quality management has expanded its reach from manufacturing to customer service, quality can have a huge role in any organization, including municipal corporations.

So check out the latest issue of Municipal World for an article I wrote on Quality Management in Municipalities. You’ll need a subscription to Municipal World to read it (unless you are already among their thousands of subscribers…after all, these guys have been around for more than 115 years!) 

In the meantime, check out our recent webinar on Quality Management in Municipalities where Intelex partnered with The Town of Ajax, one of the very first municipalities in North America to achieve ISO 9001 certification. In this free 30-minute discussion, David Forget, Ajax’s Manager of Quality Service, joined Intelex to examine exactly how municipalities and other service-based organizations can benefit from ISO 9001 registration and streamlined quality … Read more...

Quality management and ISO 9001…in municipalities?

These days ISO 9001 has become such a pervasive term, and while some might not know exactly what it means, almost everyone has seen the words pop up on the sides of manufacturers, machine shops, and other industrial facilities.

But while the quality management standard specification can apply to literally any business in any industry, many are still surprised to imagine that its scope goes beyond the walls of discrete manufacturers and processing plants. Indeed, it even applies to municipalities. Except, instead of describing a process for how a bolt is tightened, in the context of a municipal corporation, ISO 9001 might dictate how a customer service call is handled. In either case, the underlying methodology for describing the processes will ultimately be similar.

Those in the municipal sector who are looking to develop or improve a quality management program shouldn’t miss our our feature webinar, Quality City: The value Read more...

Understanding the business benefits of consensus-based standards

Businesses seek ISO certification for a variety of reasons: attracting and retaining customers and clients, boosting brand image, and more.

Getting executive buy-in for ISO certification can sometimes be a challenge, and even leaders who have made the decision to seek standards certification – be it ISO 9001, ISO 14001, or any other widely used standards – often fail to consider the unsung rewards of certification.

Businesses that implement ISO standards often focus on the perceived burdens of adoption, such as expansive paper trails, demanding document management, and seemingly interminable audits. They forget that, when executed and implemented properly, certification can spell rich financial rewards.

Well, thanks to the folks at the World Standards Cooperative (WSC), an organization that promotes voluntary, consensus-based standards, business leaders have access to a variety of tools that illustrate the business benefits of adopting ISO standards. The WSC website contains links to dozens of such resources, including:

  • A
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Training and quality: peas in a pod

According to experts, though the connection can seem distant or indirect, proper training has a clear impact on quality, just as it has a clear impact on every aspect of business.

As business process design and ISO 9001 expert Chris Anderson noted in a blog post on the top ten root causes of business problems, poor training is the number one source of business issues. Two decades of business management led Anderson to place poor training ahead of poor methods, poor employee placement and poor engineering and design on the list.

“People don’t make mistakes,” Anderson insists in the post. “Systems make mistakes.”

And just as product and service quality issues arise from systemic deficiencies, employee performance — and its impact on quality — is correlative to the integrity of training management systems.

Training and quality are best thought of as peas in a pod — inseparable elements that should always be … Read more...

Planning for the unforeseeable through supplier evaluation

Having the flexibility to identify, contain, and adapt to foreseeable and unforeseeable issues is critical to a comprehensive response plan for quality nonconformances and product recalls. Proactive, responsible companies that implement comprehensive vendor/supplier/contract manufacturer evaluation programs and performance tracking systems as components of an overall quality management system (QMS) will boost preparedness and ensure smooth responses to otherwise devastating product recall scenarios.

Any business — large companies especially — should select contract manufacturers in the same way they select suppliers and other vendors: with thorough research, hand-on inspection and rigorous screening.

A good way to think of it is this: Treat suppliers, vendors and contract manufacturers as if they are your own facilities. Even if they are not providing you with an end-user product, if your company name is going to be on the final product, your customers will view you as responsible and you will be ultimately accountable for … Read more...