JOINING FORCES: CAVENDISH TRIPLED ITS ISO BENEFITS
The leadership team at Cavendish Joinery, trade suppliers of doors, windows and staircases, had long intended to achieve ISO 14001 certification when a chance conversation with Andy Cook, the auditor during their ISO 9001 yearly assessment, brought their aspirations to fruition earlier than expected. The firm’s achievements were further strengthened by certification of the firm’s health & safety controls to ISO 45001.
THE CHALLENGE FACING CAVENDISH JOINERY
There are three key questions Cavendish Joinery is asked by potential new trade clients:
- Do you have a quality assurance policy?
- Is your company ISO 14001 registered?
- Does your company have an in house health & safety policy or take advice from a consultant?
Major building suppliers look for robust answers, such as proof of ISO certification, before accepting Cavendish as a bona fide supplier. The company therefore needs to provide credible answers to all three questions in order to be included on approved vendor lists.
FINDING A SOLUTION
Having had its quality management system certified to ISO 9001 since 2007, Cavendish constantly and successfully completes regular assessments.
However, the eco-minded company which already had strong health & safety procedures had never sought to certify its environmental or health & safety management systems, believing that ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 certification would be beyond its grasp.
Andy Cook, one of our ISO 9001 assessors, helped them realise that all main ISO certifications are designed to run in tandem. Reassured, the team decided to implement both systems to enhance the company’s existing ISO 9001 certification and strengthen their competitive advantage.
HOW ISO HAS CHANGED WITH THE TIMES
Cavendish approached the implementation with caution. Although it had been successfully running its quality management system for years, the management team still had lingering memories of the frustration experienced years ago when they felt the requirements of ISO didn’t dovetail well with the reality of operations in a smaller business. Since then, ISO has changed with the times and Cavendish have been able to tailor their systems with our support whilst still remaining compliant.
They were relieved to find the same flexibility was possible with its two new standards. Richard Tresise, part of the management team, gives an example, “Before we used to have fixed meetings every month which took ages, now we can sit down, have a little production meeting and that’s our meeting done. In a small company, such as ours, you have a meeting every 10 minutes or so when you call someone over and that ticks our ISO box far better than taking everyone away from what they are doing for a few hours a month.”
Other time saving changes were implemented, including the demise of thick manuals and heaps of paperwork. Most of the company’s procedures are now electronically stored allowing for swift and easy updates.
MIND THE GAP
Andy completed a gap analysis to understand where actions were needed to meet the standards’ requirements. He was able to reassure the team that the firm was on the right lines and, for many of the clauses, only a few action points would need to be addressed to reach each required standard. Richard comments, “This ‘straightening up procedure’ was not onerous; risk assessments are a case in point, we have always recognised our risks but the ISO 45001 standard requires that we carefully document the assessments and outcomes. Now, we ensure that meticulous records are kept which helps us achieve and retain our ISO certification and, in the unfortunate event of a Health & Safety incident, will also help us prove that we have taken action to protect our employees and visitors.”
Integrating ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 into their existing management system took only 3-4 weeks and, as usual, Richard found working with our assessor to be a collaborative experience.
Richard comments, “Colin Watkins helped us tailor our quality management system and it’s been perfect ever since. I have a great deal of confidence in both him and Andy, who advised us on this occasion. Andy gives us the confidence to make changes so we get the most out of our systems, he’s always telling us “you can do that, that’s not a problem!” It’s music to our ears! The flexible and less stringent approach taken by ISO in recent years coupled with Andy’s fired-up approach ensured that our new standards fitted in beautifully. Now we feel our customers have the peace of mind they need.”