Apex Dynamics BV obtains ISO 9001 certificate in step towards further professionalization
How do we approach further professionalization? That is one of the questions that Stef van Oss has been dealing with since his appointment at Apex Dynamics BV in January 2023. Apex Dynamics BV has now successfully completed the ISO 9001 certification process with this goal in mind. In this article, Stef explains why this is important for the team and shares his experiences with the certification process.
What is the ISO 9001 certification?
“It is a standard that sets requirements for our quality management system. The ISO 9001 certification shows that the processes we work on every day are fixed and that our team controls those processes. This ensures that we carry out processes correctly and consistently.” Stef has worked closely with his colleagues and an external advisor in recent months to secure the certification, which is why he is the perfect person to take us into the process and motivations of Apex Dynamics BV.
Apex Dynamics BV aims for further professionalization
When asked whether customers ask about ISO 9001 certification, Stef can be brief: “No.” Why then go through the certification process? “We want to further professionalize, that is one of the assignments I was given at the beginning of 2023. And what could be better than examining your organization and testing all processes against a standard with international recognition and appreciation?”
The desire for professionalization is partly a result of the stable growth in recent years. An internal matter, but one that also brings more rest to the outside world. “By examining everything and recording every process, we as a team have become a little sharper and we as an organization have had to form a clear vision for the future. An important working method within the ISO standard is PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act), a method with which you can improve your work, performance and organization step by step in order to continuously improve.”
Because, what if growth continues? Stef has drawn up a five-year plan to answer that question, which takes into account matters such as personnel, liquidity, purchasing and storage. “We have not encountered any bottleneck in this plan, which gives us peace of mind. If we had encountered possible problems, we could have anticipated them well in advance, and in that respect a five-year plan is nice. But of course it gives no guarantees, after all, no one knows what the future will look like.”
Process towards ISO certification
Stef went through the process together with an external advisor. Thanks to weekly appointments and the efforts of the entire team, Apex Dynamics BV was able to complete the procedure within 10 months. “Of course it makes a difference that we are a small team, we can switch quickly. Yet this also has its challenges, for certification you not only have to describe processes, but also draw up job profiles and record how you deal with training, etc. For us, this does not play a role in daily practice, precisely because we are a small team, easy to communicate with each other and everyone is involved in almost every process.”
Although a certification has certain requirements, it is also important to stick to yourself. Apex Dynamics BV, for example, has therefore decided not to go for job descriptions, but to describe which competencies are needed within the team.
After recording the processes with the consultant, a request follows, in the case of Apex Dynamics at SGS because this organization is already linked to the APEX DYNAMICS Inc. factory. in Taiwan. “During an introduction you must demonstrate that you are ready for the audit. The auditor then gives some feedback and asks questions. A month later, the audit follows to determine whether the processes are actually carried out as recorded and whether the processes comply with the standards.”
And with success, Apex Dynamics has achieved ISO 9001 certification!
But it doesn’t stop there, from now on Apex Dynamics BV will conduct annual internal audits to demonstrate that the processes are continuously monitored and more importantly: improved. This will mainly be done in a periodic quality meeting, so all processes within the organization must be assessed every three years. SGS will use external audits to test whether Apex Dynamics BV still complies in order to renew the certification.
Experiences and adjustments to Apex Dynamics processes
Critically examining our own organization has not only led to ISO certification, but also to tightened processes. “We have adjusted a number of small things in our processes, in the purchasing process and in the use of our CRM system. Customers will not notice anything about the purchasing process, but perhaps they will notice more intensive use of the CRM system.” By this, Stef means better registration of feedback and incidents, such as delivery date requests or a missing order confirmation. “This way we can recognize patterns earlier and implement improvements.”
A relatively smooth process, but what did Stef think of it as one of his first assignments within the organization? “I immediately saw every aspect of the organization and completely immersed myself in it. The ISO process was a good framework for my goal of monitoring the process, but also a dive into the deep end. I found it fun and challenging, with a great result: the ISO9001:2015 certificate as a reward.”
To celebrate our successes, we traditionally hold a dinner at Apex Dynamics BV. This time we opted for sushi and champagne at the office. We would like to thank and congratulate everyone on this wonderful result. And as prescribed within the ISO standard, we will continue to aim for continuous improvement to become an even more professional organization.