Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Registration for Self Declaration - Conformity to Indian Standards - Domestic & Foreign Manufacturers

Government of India has notified a Registration Scheme under which manufacturers will be allowed to self declare conformity to Indian Standards. Indian standards for which conformity can be declared will be notified by the Government from time to time. The registration will be voluntary, but in public interest registration can be made compulsory for any Indian standard. The scheme will be jointly administered by Bureau of Indian Standards and Central Government.

Details of the scheme are given in BIS Rules, Chapter IVA.

If you read the details you will be shocked as this scheme, if launched, will kill the existing Product Certification Scheme, the biggest revenue earner for BIS.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Top Management Commitment

For the success of any management system, commitment of top management is essential. This commitment should be seen throughout the organization and should not remain within the board room.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Concept of Risk Management

In any organization, there are many hazards in carrying out any activity. These hazards result in many health and safety risks to employees and visiters of the organization. The organization should manage these health and safety risks to either eliminate them or to reduce them to minimum. 

OHSAS 18001 standards specifies the requirements of a management system to manage the risks to health and safety associated with these hazards. Anybody who is interested to understand the concept of risk management can download a document by clicking:

Responsibilities in ISO 9001 QMS

One of main requirements of ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems is clearly defining responsibilities of all personnel in the organization who perform work affecting quality. Responsibility for defining these responsibilities rests with top management of the organization. Responsibilities should be defined at all level and for all processes being carried out under QMS. 

To download a document defining the responsibilities in a typical manufacturing organization,

Monday, April 09, 2007

Data analysis, corrections and improvement

Last week I witnessed a system audit in a company manufacturing Cable Jointing Kits. The audit criteria was ISO 9001: 2000 and company's documented Quality Management System. The main point which emerged after day long audit was the lack of effectiveness in processes related to data analysis, corrections and improvement. Company is collecting lot of data from various processes but is not analizing the data to determine process trend to identify areas of improvement. The auditor commented that company management and working personnel are still having the mindset of 1994 version of ISO 9001,which was a procedure oriented standard. Company has established documented procedures, had implemented the procedures and recording the data. But leaving it at this stage. The unique requirement of new standard is not being met, continual improvement through data analysis and corrections.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Socoal Accountability - SA 8000

The mission of SA8000 is to improve working conditions globally. SA8000 is an international standard, based on the principles of eleven Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The standard can be applied in both developing countries and industrialized countries, by both small and large companies, as well as by public sector organizations.

SA8000 standard specifies requirements for social accountability to enable your company to:
a) develop, maintain, and enforce policies and procedures in order to manage those issues which your company can control or influence;
b) demonstrate to interested parties that policies, procedures and practices are in conformity with the requirements of this standard;

Your company is required to comply with national and other applicable law, other requirements to which the company subscribes, and this standard. When national and other applicable law, other requirements to which the company subscribes, and this standard address the same issue, that provision which is most stringent applies.

Following are social accountability requirements:
a) Child labour 
b) Forced labour 
c) Health and safety 
d) Freedom of association & right to collective bargaining 
e) Discrimination 
f) Disciplinary practices 
g) Working hours 
h) Compensation 
i) Management systems 

To read full article 

Industrial hygiene - 5S housekeeping

5S is the acronym for 5 Japanese words; Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shi tsuke. It is the Japanese Technique of Good Housekeeping and Workplace Organization. Although the concept of 5S is deceptively simple, implementing and sustaining 5S is not easy; and many of our clients have found that engaging the services of a committed and experienced consultant can go a long way to prevent and overcome the difficulties of 5S implementation.

If there were a simple, inexpensive system available for any factory floor to reduce waste, improve productivity, quality and safety, help it retain good employees, and contribute considerably to the bottom line year after year, it is 5S Housekeeping.

It is a structured, systematized approach to housekeeping and a cornerstone of any world class manufacturing operation. Most manufacturing professionals can walk into a facility and in a matter of minutes make a reasonable judgment about the degree of efficiency with which it can produce quality products. This judgment is derived primarily from observation of the cleanliness or the clutter of the plant.

After all, if a company cannot successfully conduct housekeeping activities its customers might reasonably assume that it would struggle to deliver even mildly complex products on time.

Additionally, a 5S program is a great way to get a continuous improvement effort off to a flying start.

As the name suggests there are five steps to the 5S system. They corresponded originally to five Japanese words starting with 'S' but now are most commonly known as: sort, set in order, shine, standardise and sustain.

1. Sort
The first step in the 5S program is to get rid of excess materials and equipment lying around your factory gathering dust and just taking up space. This is achieved by an exercise called 'red-tagging'.

Take some brightly coloured tags and tag everything not necessary for getting the job done. For doubtful items create a 'holding area' and put them there after they have been tagged. Any items that have not been used after a certain time (e.g. six months) can then be discarded.

After tagging is completed, analyse the findings. Ask yourself questions such as:
a) Why is this tag here and what can be done to prevent it from reappearing?
b) Why did we order so much more than we needed?

Document all items tagged as well as the corrective and preventive actions taken. Following this analysis, items with no value or future need should be discarded. Decide the maximum number of any type of item to be retained.

2. Set in Order
The second step is to ensure that all materials, tools and equipment have a designated location and that all such locations are easy to find. This can be achieved through �visual workplace� principles and simple systems. Having removed the clutter through your �sort� efforts you can straighten up the facility by:
a) making some layout changes, such as creating work cells;
b) clearly marking shelves and bins for inventory and tool locations;
c) creating tool boards;
d) painting aisles and zones for work or storage on the floor;
e) keeping everything in its designated location (this can also assist with quantity control by not generating more than a receiving area can handle.

3. Shine
This third step is sometimes referred to as 'sweep' or 'scrub'. It emphasises the removal of dirt, grime and dust from the factory, and its purpose includes improving morale and ensuring that when someone needs to use an item it is in good condition and ready for use. This goes beyond removal of swarf or a quick brushing-off of a machine. It includes activities such as:
a) painting machines after cleaning;
b) removing cobwebs from the ceilings;
c) painting walls, ceilings and floors in bright colours.

A 5S schedule posted in the factory shows who is responsible for cleaning which areas on which days and at what time/s of the day.

4. Standardise
Step four is to establish standards to be regularly applied to the workplace that will help maintain the first three steps (3S). If you apply the first three steps as a one-off or even as an annual event, the benefits are likely to be minimal at best; you need to implement a program to ensure its ongoing success.

Some components of �standardise� include:
a) developing a 3S schedule;
b) assigning responsibilities;
c) formulating work-in-progress/inventory rules;
d) establishing cleaning procedures;
e) developing maintenance schedules;
f) colour coding containers, shelves, labels etc.

Key parts of this step are assigning 3S responsibilities, integrating 3S duties into regular work duties, checking on 3S maintenance and prevention.

5. Sustain
The fifth step is to make a habit of maintaining the momentum of the previous four steps to assure sustainability of the system. This step involves people and cultural issues: it is critical for 5S success to:
a) build an awareness of how important 5S is;
b) allow enough time for 5S activities;
c) have management support staff efforts in terms of acknowledgment, leadership and resources;
d) reward and recognise efforts of staff;
e) develop a sense of satisfaction and excitement amongst staff by discussing the benefits, such as improved morale and safety and recognition that it�s now a better place to work.

Sustainable implementation of 5S requires the support of top management; the system needs to become habitual - ingrained into the culture of the organisation.

Environmental laws in India

The protection and improvement of environment is a major issue which affects the well being of people and economic development throughout the world. It is he urgent desire of the people of the whole world and the duty of all governments. When we talk of environment, we talk of air, water, soil, conservation of natural resources, flora, fauna, noise, vehicular pollution and interaction between them.

Today, the world has more than 2000 international environmental laws, about 6000 bilateral agreements and more than 150 regional legislations (mostly European Union). Instiutions like the UNO and its specialized agencies, international non-governmental organizations (NGO) like the International Union for Conservation of nature (IUCN), Friends of the Earth (FOE), Greenpeace International, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), regional institutions like the European Union (EU), The Commonwealth, Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Organizartion of African Unity (OAU), Souh Asian Association for regional cooperation and so on, as also special purpose instiutions like the International tribunal on Law of the Sea (ITLOS), facilitate inplementation of these environmental laws.

India has also enacted numerous laws needed for protecting and improving the quality of environment and preventing, controlling and abating environmental pollution. These laws have been enacted for implementing the decisions of the United Nations Conference on Human Environment held at Stockholm, in June 1972, which called upon the Nations of the World to take appropriate steps for the protection and improvemnt of environment. Statutory Notifications, Rules, Directions and Orders issued by the Government along with the primary laws on environment have now become voluminous Environmental Law of India, occupying a distinct field of law in India well grown and properly developed.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

ISO 22000:2005 - Food safety management systems

ISO 22000:2005, Food safety management systems – Requirements for any organization in the food chain, provides a framework of internationally harmonized requirements for the global approach that is needed. The standard has been developed within ISO by experts from the food industry, along with representatives of specialized international organizations and in close cooperation with the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the body jointly established by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) to develop food standards.

A major resulting benefit is that ISO 22000 will make it easier for organizations worldwide to implement the Codex HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) system for food hygiene in a harmonized way, which does not vary with the country or food product concerned.

Food reaches consumers via supply chains that may link many different types of organization and that may stretch across multiple borders. One weak link can result in unsafe food that is dangerous to health – and when this happens, the hazards to consumers can be serious and the cost to food chain suppliers considerable. As food safety hazards can enter the food chain at any stage, adequate control throughout is essential. Food safety is a joint responsibility of all the actors in the food chain and requires their combined efforts.

ISO 22000 is therefore designed to allow all types of organization within the food chain to implement a food safety management system. These range from feed producers, primary producers, food manufacturers, transport and storage operators and subcontractors to retail and food service outlets – together with related organizations such as producers of equipment, packaging material, cleaning agents, additives and ingredients.

The standard has become necessary because of the significant increase of illnesses caused by infected food in both developed and developing countries. In addition to the health hazards, food-borne illnesses can give rise to considerable economic costs covering medical treatment, absence from work, insurance payments and legal compensation.

As a result, a number of countries have developed national standards for the supply of safe food and individual companies and groupings in the food sector have developed their own standards or programmes for auditing their suppliers. The plethora of more than 20 different such schemes worldwide generates risks of uneven levels of food safety, confusion over requirements, and increased cost and complication for suppliers that find themselves obliged to conform to multiple programmes.

ISO 22000, backed by international consensus, harmonizes the requirements for systematically managing safety in food supply chains and offers a unique solution for good practice on a worldwide basis. In addition, food safety management systems that conform to ISO 22000 can be certified – which answers the growing demand in the food sector for the certification of suppliers – although the standard can be implemented without certification of conformity, solely for the benefits it provides.

Developed with the participation of food sector experts, ISO 22000 incorporates the principles of HACCP, and covers the requirements of key standards developed by various global food retailer syndicates, in a single document.

“Public sector participation in the development of the ISO 22000 family is also significant,” ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden commented, “notably that of the FAO/WHO’s Codex Alimentarius Commission, which is responsible for the well-known HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) system for food hygiene. Thanks to the strong partnership between ISO and Codex, ISO 22000 will facilitate the implementation of HACCP and the food hygiene principles developed by this pre-eminent body in this field.”

Another benefit of ISO 22000 is that it extends the successful management system approach of the ISO 9001:2000 quality management system standard which is widely implemented in all sectors but does not itself specifically address food safety. The development of ISO 22000 was based on the assumption that the most effective food safety systems are designed, operated and continually improved within the framework of a structured management system, and incorporated into the overall management activities of the organization.

While ISO 22000 can be implemented on its own, it is designed to be fully compatible with ISO 9001:2000 and companies already certified to ISO 9001 will find it easy to extend this to certification to ISO 22000. To help users to do so, ISO 22000 includes a table showing the correspondence of its requirements with those of ISO 9001:2000.

ISO 22000:2005 is the first in a family of standards that will include the following documents:
* ISO/TS 22004, Food safety management systems – Guidance on the application of ISO 22000:2005, which will be published by November 2005, provides important guidance that can assist organizations including small and medium-sized enterprises around the world.
* ISO/TS 22003, Food safety management systems – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of food safety management systems, will give harmonized guidance for the accreditation (approval) of ISO 22000 certification bodies and define the rules for auditing a food safety management system as conforming to the standard. It will be published in the first quarter of 2006.
* ISO 22005, Traceability in the feed and food chain – General principles and guidance for system design and development, will shortly be circulated as a Draft International Standard.

In partnership with the International Trade Centre (ITC) – the technical cooperation agency of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) – ISO is also preparing an easy-to-use check-list for small businesses and developing countries, entitled ISO 22000: Are you ready?

ISO 22000 and ISO/TS 22004 are the output of working group WG 8, Food safety management systems, of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 34, Food products. Experts from 23 countries participated in the working group, together with international organizations with liaison status. In addition to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, these included the Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries of the European Union (CIAA), the CIES/Global Food Safety Initiative, and the World Food Safety Organization (WFSO). They have been joined for the development of ISO/TS 22003 by experts from the ISO committee on conformity assessment, ISO/CASCO, the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the IQNet international certification network.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

My New Year Resolution

I, Suresh Gupta, a proud citizen of India, adopt the following as my New Year resolution:
 That I shall work for continual improvement of day-to-day life of Indian citizens.
 That my relationship with all other Indians shall be on three levels – emotional, social and national.
 That on emotional level the relationship shall be based on the principles of humanity, as I am a human being and so all other Indians.
 That on social level the relationship shall be based on the principles of peaceful co-existence, as I am a part of the Great Indian Society and so all other Indians.
 That on national level the relationship shall be based on the principles of nationalism, as I am a citizen of Great Indian Nation and so all other Indians.
 That my behavior with all other Indians shall be guided by above principles.
 That my religion, my language, my life-style, my food habits etc., shall be my personal traits.
 That I shall consider religion, language, life-style, food habits etc., of all other Indians as their personal traits, and shall respect them.
 That all my personal traits shall support and strengthen above relationships.
 That based on above relationships, I shall work for creation of a class-less all-Indian society.
That I do not have any copyright on this manifesto and all Indians are welcome to adopt it in full or part as their manifesto.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Yesterday (August 19, 2006), I attended a meet of Management System Consultants organized by the leading certification agency of India, Det Norske Veritas AS (DNV). I was pleasantly surprised to see a very large number of consultants present at the meet. It seems that DNV officers have done a very good job to motivate consultants to attend the meet. No doubt, a very effective and efficient organization of such a gathering. DNV deserves congratulations for this.

During presentation on DNV policies, commitments and variety of services, its Country Manager Mr. Krishan Kumar made a thought-provoking statement, "Bring Meaning Back To Certification". What a nice thought. He said all in such a small statement. Management system certification scenerio in India has changed in last few years. I, like many other consultants, have been disturbed about loosing the meaning of certification in the race of competition. There are many reasons for this downfall. A sincere effort is needed on the part of consultants, certification agencies, accreditation bodies and the client companies to put the certification movement back on the right track.

I have attended many such meets organized by DNV on various old and emerging management systems. Such meets serve a very usefull purpose of disseminating information and knowledge, so vital for quality upgradation of system development and certifcation process. It was promised by Mr. Kumar and District Manager, Mr. P. J. Singh to hold more such meets. I hope that other certification bodies should also take a que from this and start organizing such meets. Some time back BSI has also organized such a meet.

Coming back to that thought-provoking statement, I like to put up a question to myself and others, how to go about it? Let us all try to find out the answer. Are you the game friends?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Eye health care services & ISO 9001

I have designed quality management system for five showrooms of BONTON, an optician firm in Delhi. The system was audited and certified as complying to ISO 9001: 2000 by Det Norske Veritas AS. It was an unique experience. With a highly pro-active top management it became a pleasure to design, dpcumrnt, audit, and continually improve the system.

It is more than 4 years the system is in place. Over these 4 years the system has become very effective and has been continually improved to enhance customer satisfaction. The improvement has taken place in all areas - counter sales where Customer Care excutives assist the customer in selection of the best suited frame for their spectacles, optometrist examination where qualified doctors check eyes and make the best suited prescription to satisfy cutomers' specific requirements, fitting of spectacles, delivery, purchase of lenses and frames, after-sales service and most important the human element covering ambience in the showrooms. Other proucts are contact lenses, sunglasses, cleaning solutions and various accessories.

We will discuss the system in detail.

Dental health care services & ISO 9001

Few days back, a dental clinic has given an adverstisement that dental health services offered by it are certified as per ISO 9001: 2000. It has not given the name of the certification agency which has certified its quality management system as complying to the requirements of ISO 9001. It will be interesting to know the details of the system the clinic has designed and implemented. I am trying to find out the details and post them here. In any case we will work out an effective quality management system for dental health care services.

Weight loss (slimming) services & ISO 9001

Promising a miraculous cure for weight-loss has become a fast expanding business in metros. But what is the reality? Sometime back a consumer court imposed a heavy fine on a slimming center for failing to burn the fat of its three customers against its promise of reduction of weight by 10 Kg, 30 Kg and 20 Kg. The result after the course was reduction of weight by four, nine and 10 Kg respectively. The slimming centre was fined by the consumer court for deficient services.

The court also observed that ’’These are such therapies and treatments which can have a devastating effect on the future life of a consumer and therefore have to be provided through professionally skilled and medically qualified persons.... We hold that appellant (slimming centre) guilty of unfair trade practice as they provided certain services which were not up to the satisfaction of complainants.... By way of caution, we hereby give directions to all such providers of service who are in practice to discontinue with the unfair trade practices.’’

Another unsatisfactory development is that many of such slimming centres are claiming that they have been certified as per international quality management system standard, ISO 9001. The certification agencies giving such certificates should also take note of the court’s observations or else they will also be held responsible for any adverse effect on any customer. There are many areas which are not properly managed but certification agencies ignore such lapses and grant certification to gain business. Non-availability of professionally skilled and medically qualified persons and non-validation of processes used for weight reduction are two such important lapses generally ignored by certification agencies.

In one case a slimming centre has been advertising that it is ISO 9001 certified and was giving addresses of about a dozen centers. When I brought it to the notice of the certification agency I was told that they had audited only one centre. But the agency was trying to justify this wrong action by giving silly excuses.

Can we design an effective quality managemnent system for these services?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Make your management system more & more effective

As you must have seen from my profile, I design and document management systems; ensure their implementation; arrange their third-party certification; and continually improve their effectiveness. Through this blog I intend to provide on-line advisory services on any aspect of effective management systems.

A management system is effective when it ensures that its benefits flow to the organization as a natural process and without any hinderance. Such a system is self-diagonistic, self-corrective and self-improving. The only requirement is that you should never ignore any non-conformance in its implemenation. You should always be pro-active.

Remember that you have implemented a management system to improve your company's business performance. So don't take any short-cuts. Don't fall pray to lower advisory and certification expenses. These expenses are in fact a real investment and will give back to your company solid returns in many forms - better productivity, less wastage and rejections, more market share, and ultimately more profits.

The management systems we will talk about include - ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, sector specific systems supplemetart to ISO 9001, HACCP-ISO 22000, SA 8000 ......

So friends, let us start on the right path. Ask whatever you want to ask.