While ISO 14001 certification in South Africa is extensively recognized as the enterprise sector’s foremost standard to allow Companies to manage environmental performance, there are also additional benefits that companies should accrue from adapting the standard and its practices. In a past article, how to integrate ISO 14001 and 9001, we looked at the ease with which the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards could be integrated by a business, so it is immediately clear that there are many activities and practices shared by the two standards, including the concept of “total quality management” (TQM). It therefore would seem acceptable to assume that the development of ISO 14001 may lead to improvements in quality management performance also – but, is that true, and if so, how can we ensure that our trade benefits too?
ISO 14001 certification in South Africa and quality management – What is the relationship?
Annex SL and its use has meant that the ISO family of standards use similar clauses and terminology, so integrating the standards into your TQM business management system should be relatively seamless. Therefore, if you currently comply with ISO 14001 certification in Qatar, then your related Quality Management System or activities should be smoother and more efficient because of this shared knowledge and activity. As such, many of the functions in the ISO 14001 standard, such as management review, internal audit, and corrective action, are shared by the standards. With continual development and customer satisfaction being central to both standards (particularly the 9001 standard), and the “Plan, Do, check, Act” cycle being a common theme, it becomes clear that the two standards are closely related. Given TQM’s basis of integration of systems ultimately leading to customer satisfaction, it is clear that ISO 14001 has a part to play within this system.
How can your environmental management system (EMS) activities help your quality performance?
1) Your company will be accustomed to using objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) as part of your EMS. Just as fact-based decision making is central to TQM, use the same basic methodologies to establish quality KPIs and work towards quality targets; this is central to understanding your performance, and ultimately improving it. The article How to define key performance indicators for a QMS based on ISO 9001 can help you with this topic.
2) In the article How to allocate roles and importance according to ISO 14001 certification in Philippines we looked at allocating EMS responsibilities. Now that we have developed leadership buy-in and set up KPIs, why not include basic quality management responsibilities in individuals’ job descriptions? This presents your company with a clear opportunity: integrate activities, programs, and corresponding responsibilities into the roles and responsibilities of selected individuals, who can then be trained and mentored to correctly carry out activities that will improve your product quality internally, and deliver excellent TQM results.
3) Work to change the company culture. In the article five tips to build a positive environmental culture in a company we looked at how culture could be changed. Very similar, a culture of positive behavior that can improve your total quality management performance can also be established at the same time. Reinforcing that good quality management, product performance, and customer satisfaction all lead to increased success for the company and increased job security for employees can be the foundation for culture reinforcement. This can often lead to increase employee activity in terms of employee interest in quality management, and willingness to engage in improvement meetings and forums. Therefore, if you have established and improved this culture using the advice given during ISO 14001 implementation, your company has a sound basis to use this element to improve all-around quality management performance. Yet repeat, this aligns perfectly with the “total employee involvement” of TQM.
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