News Blog

PRESS RELEASE: Concentric Congratulates Jim Thompson and the Compliance+ Team

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact:
Ronii Bartles Concentric ronii.bartles@cmsicharleston.com www.acommoncenter.com

Concentric Congratulates Jim Thompson and the Compliance+ Team Compliance+ selected as part of CoHort 3 the Harbor Accelerator Program

Charleston, SC, January 29, 2015 — Concentric announced today that one of its affiliate start-up companies, Compliance+, has been selected by the Harbor Entrepreneur Center as one of eight companies for its CoHort 3 business accelerator program. Jim Thompson, the owner of both Concentric and Compliance+ was quoted by saying “I’m so pumped for this incredible opportunity”. CoHort 3 has officially already begun and Compliance+ is already hard at work.

As to why Jim and Concentric are excited about this opportunity for Compliance+, Jim says “Concentric was interested in developing a scalable digital product that would improve our consulting and training services. The majority of our team members are certified auditors, so it just made sense to create a mobile auditing checklist. With the wave of changes to ISO 9001 later this year, we know that this standard is where we want to be. With over 1.2 million companies certified to this quality standard globally, Compliance+ is a perfect fit for our initial focus.”

For additional information or to schedule an interview with Jim Thompson, please contact Ronii Bartles at (843) 452-5259 or e-mail Ronii at ronii.bartles@cmsicharleston.com.

Concentric is a Quality Resource HUB based out of Charleston, SC. We have partnered with companies to provide you with a holistic solution for your Quality Management Systems. Though products, trainings and implementation resources, Concentric helps organizations perform better through requirements management, process design, management system implementation, lean operations, problem solving and ISO certifications (i.e. ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, ISO/TS 16949, AS9100 series, ISO 27001, ISO 50001 & others). We are built up of subject-matter experts (SMEs) in Six Sigma, Lean, ISO standards, business law, operations, leadership and strategic planning. We work for you. You will increase your competitiveness and profitability when working with our SMEs because we provide consultation and training services that result in reduced waste and risk, increased customer satisfaction and increased profitability.

Compliance+ is a cloud­based mobile application used to improve process performance, meet requirements of industry standards and improve bottom line.

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ISO 9001:2015 Changes: What It Means for You

ISO 9001, ISO 9001:2015, new standards, international standard changes, change management, planning for change, leadership, tips for preparing for change, QMS changes, quality management, quality systems By now, you’ve surely noticed the buzz around the upcoming changes to ISO 9001. ISO 9001:2015 is projected to be approved and released in Q4 of 2015. If you haven’t heard the buzz, then perhaps you need to subscribe to a blog or two, pick up Quality Digest or raise your head a bit from the rock you’ve been hiding under! All rocks aside, this revision looks to have several significant changes to the standard including the overall structure, basic terminology as well as what is NOT going to make the cut for the new release.

What you can do to start preparing now.

The reality is quite simple. Change happens whether we like it or not. Markets change. Businesses change. Customers change. Nearly everything changes. Most of the time we hate change. Our brains are just programmed that way. We don’t like what we don’t know, but we know what we like. As quality practitioners in particular, our job as change agents tend to be easier when WE are driving the change versus times when we are being asked to change ourselves.

This round of ISO 9001 revisions will undoubtedly be the most significant change to international QMS standard in the past 15+ years. We have seen a draft that gives a little understanding of what to expect with the changes ahead (ref. http://www.acommoncenter.com/iso9001_2015). But what are you doing with the proposed changes, if anything? Are you preparing your organization’s risk management efforts through the use of tools such as the FMEA? What is the appropriate amount of control needed for any process that effects the customer or “other interested parties” (do you know what that means)? Have you appropriated defined expected process outputs by ensuring proper management of customer-specific requirements?

I encourage you to set aside 30 minutes to review this Google+ Hangout video titled ISO 9001 revision - Conversation with Nigel Croft. Mr. Croft is the Chair of the Subcommittee revising the ISO 9001 standard (aka “the horse’s mouth"). Watch the YouTube video here.

Our philosophy is that it is better to be proactive than reactive. While we don’t currently know all of the requirements that will make the final cut, we do have several opportunities to begin to be proaction with the changes ahead. It is at least time to start discussing potential changes to the requirements in order to think strategically about potential impacts and resource needs over the next 3-5 years.

What are some of your thoughts on these big ISO changes that are being proposed in the current draft? How are you preparing for these proposed changes? Let us know in the comments and share with the community. And if you are interested... keep up to date with our upcoming forum and online discussions in September.

OHSAS 18001 being replaced by ISO 45001

Let's begin by clarifying that ISO 18001 currently is a standard, but it has nothing to do with Occupational Health & Safety. ISO 18001 is actually a standard for radio frequency identification.

BS OHSAS 18001

The 18000 series of standards were developed outside of the world of ISO (International Standards Organization) as a British Standard (BS), therefore the official reference to the standard a site can be registered to is "BS OHSAS 18001". Furthermore, "OHSAS" is an abbreviation for Occupational Health & Safety Advisory Services in reference to the Occupational Health & Safety Advisory Services Project Group. This group first published the multi-national standard in 1999. OHSAS 18001 represents the standard with requirements for registration where OHSAS 18002 is the guidance document for establishing, implementing or improving a management system.

The purpose of OHSAS 18001 is to provide organizations with standard elements for developing a formal health and safety management system. The layout has been updated in recent years for easy integration with the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System standard. The OHSAS & EMS standards are nearly identical, the greatest difference being the elements that an organization manages, controls and improves. The term frequently used to describe an integrated system encompassing both OHSAS & EMS elements is Health, Safety & Environment (HSE).

Assuming planned timelines are adhered to, the OHSAS 18001 standard should be retired and replaced by ISO 45001 in late 2016 resulting in the release of "ISO 45001:2016".

ANNEX SL

“Annex SL” is, in short, a standard for how standards are developed. Annex SL contains rules governing the development of all ISO management standards. The structure of future standards, including ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 will be as follows:

Annex SL management system integration ISO 45001

ISO 45001

The ISO community and HSE practitioners are hopeful for a more global adoption and recognition of the health and safety standards once published and released. It is estimated that poor health and safety management costs represent approximately 4% of the Global Gross Domestic Product. Proper management of health and safety elements is not only a recommended approach to a socially responsible organization, doing so typically has significant positive financial impacts.

Projected timeline & stages for standard development: OHSAS 18001 transition to ISO 45001

To monitor the progress of ISO/PC 283, the Technical Committee working together to publish the ISO 45001 standard, visit their page online.

ISO 9001:2015 Webinar by IRCA

We would like to invite you to The International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) and CQI’s free webinar on the ISO 9001, generously sponsored by Qualsys. This webinar is a unique opportunity to find out the implications of the changes in light of the recently released Draft International Standard (DIS).ISO Standards Development Sequence

IRCA’s Technical Manager Richard Green will present:

• The revisions timeline and the most significant changes to date • The drivers for change: why move away from the 2008 version? • The importance of Annex SL • How it will affect auditors and quality professionals

Register for the webinar here: http://view6.workcast.net/register?pak=3817722570763174

The webinar will be broadcast on Friday 20 June at 9am (UK time) or 2pm (EST) and will last for approximately 60 minutes.

During the webinar, you can type in your questions. Experts will be available to answer as many as possible during the event. You can also email your questions to mailbox@irca.org in advance of the webinar.

If you can’t attend the live event, the webinar will be available to watch afterwards on the irca.org website.

We look forward to seeing you on the 20th!

Posted By Mayuko Tanno, IRCA Marketing Team

2014 Lowcountry Quality Conference

April 24th-25th, 2014 (plus bonus tour on 26th!) Lowcountry Quality Conference

ASQ Charleston is hosting the 2014 Lowcountry Quality Conference. The host for the conference is ASQ Section 1122, which represents the greater Charleston, South Carolina Metro Area. Conference news, speaker status, agenda and other details will be posted on our website at http://asq.org/sections/mini-sites/1122/index.html.

Ticketing:

Before April 1, 2014: $159 for both days, $79 for Thursday only, $99 for Friday only After April 1, 2014: $179 for both days, $89 for Thursday only, $129 for Friday only

PURCHASE TICKETS

*Fees include: breakfast and lunch on Thursday + breakfast, refreshments, full buffet lunch on Friday

Tour Options:

  1. Clemson Wind Power Turbine Testing Cell (Thursday afternoon)
  2. Charleston Water Systems Treatment Facility (Thursday afternoon)
  3. Carnival Fantasy Cruise Ship (Saturday)

VIEW CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

Hotel:

Guests coming in from outside of the area are encouraged to book a room at our discounted rate of $129/night using group block name "American Society for Quality - ASQ" at the time of making reservations. Each individual guest must make his/her own reservation by calling 843.744.4422 by 3/27/14. All reservations must be accompanied by a first night room deposit or guaranteed with a major credit card.

Crowne Plaza YouTube Video & Online Hotel Booking

Attendees will receive 0.7 RU’s per day

Forum on changes to ISO 9001:2015

Calling all Quality Professionals | Forum on Changes to ISO 9001:2015

Quality Professionals from Charleston, SC and the surrounding region are invited to attend an open forum on expected changes to the ISO 9001:2015 International Standard. This forum will be the first in a series of updates from local subject-matter experts aimed at assisting regional organizations in their preparation of the upgrade to the new standard. The panel of experts will include veterans from various sectors such as automotive, aerospace, environmental and information security to discuss the potential impacts on various industry-specific standards (ISO/TS 16949, AS9100, ISO 27001 and ISO 14001).

Let the voice of your organization be heard

We will also be joined by Denise Robitaille, core member of the United States TAG (Technical Advisory Group) to discuss the latest Committee Draft, global feedback thus far and the next steps in the updating process. Her participation in this forum also allows each participant to voice their questions, comments or recommendation related to proposed changes.

AGENDA
8:30am    Check-in & Networking (Light breakfast buffet included)
9:00am    Introduction
9:15am     Keynote presentation by Denise Robitaille from US TAG
10:00am  Overview of significant changes
10:15am   Industry-specific breakout sessions
11:00am  Participant Voice of Customer (VOC) feedback for US TAG
11:15am   Recommendations for action moving forward
11:30am  Adjourned (end of forum in conference space)
Noon        Lunch discussion with panelists (interested attendees are invited to an open lunch at their own expense in the restaurant)
 
LOCATION
Harbor Breeze (next to Omar Shrine Temple)
176 Patriot's Point Blvd
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 606-2110
 

Denise Robitaille HeadshotAbout the Keynote Speaker:  Denise Robitaille is the author of The Corrective Action Handbook and The Management Review Handbook, as well as numerous articles on quality. She is a consultant, writer and trainer.  Denise is also a RAB Certified Lead Assessor and CQA.  Much of her work involves assisting companies implement and maintain ISO 9001 systems.  An international speaker, she has given talks on a variety of quality issues. Denise is a member of the executive committee of ASQ Boston Section and an instructor for the ASQ Boston Education Program. Her work has encompassed companies in a variety of markets, including machine shops, printed circuit board industries, bio-pharmaceutical devices, packaging industry, distributors, navigational instrumentation, and power transmission manufacturing. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Eventbrite - ISO 9001:2015 Forum

ISO 9001:20XX Forum

SAVE THE DATE | Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Concentric will host a panel of experts to discuss potential changes to come with the next release of ISO 9001, expected sometime in 2015. The panel of experts will also include veterans from various sectors such as automotive, aerospace, environmental and information security to discuss the potential impacts on different industry standards.

We will also be joined by a core member of the United States TAG (Technical Advisory Group) to discuss the latest Committee Draft, global feedback thus far and the next steps in the updating process.

Stay tuned and save the date. This event will be free of charge and include refreshments and a light breakfast.

Kind regards,

Jim Thompson, President - Concentric Management Systems, Inc.

p.s. To read more about some of the initial significant changes, read our latest blog here: acommoncenter.com/iso-9001_20xx

Development of ISO 9001:2015

With ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 currently in the development stages for what could be rather significant changes, quality and environmental professionals gather on the fringes to get a sneak peek of what's to come. Before speculating on projected changes, let's first review the process for the development of ISO standards. Stages of Standard Development

  1. New Work Item (NWIP)
  2. Working Draft (WD)
  3. Committee Draft (CD) - Often times there may be CD1, CD2, etc. for multiple drafts
  4. Draft International Standard (DIS)
  5. Final Draft International Standard (FDIS)
  6. Published International Standard (IS), Technical Report (TR) or Technical Specification (TS)

ISO Standards Development SequenceThe current stage in which the ISO 9001 sits is at "ISO/CD 9001" as of June 3rd, 2013. This means that the document is at "CD" Stage (#3), with a due date for submission of comments and votes on this draft by September 10th, 2013. Significant chatter typically means that there could be a second or perhaps even a third round within the committee draft (CD) stage. While the expectations for release in the "IS" phase is in the year 2015 - hence the frequently referenced ISO 9001:2015 - the final release depends directly upon the voting member bodies. Publication as an "International Standard" requires approval by at least 75% of the member bodies casting a vote.

Stay tuned to the updates by registering to attend our free ISO 9001:2015 Forums.

K. Bird, Head Communication & Content Strategies for ISO posts, "Experts continue to meet to discuss any problems or questions highlighted, until a Draft International Standard is published. The draft then goes out for public comment. Anyone who is interested can contact their national member body with feedback on the draft standard. This is likely to take place during the first half of 2014."

With regard to your current use of ISO 9001:2008, Bird continues by saying "We expect to publish the new version of ISO 9001:2008 by the end of 2015. At that point there will be a transition period (usually two years) before ISO 9001:2008 officially becomes out of date."

So what are some of the projected changes that may be significant to you and your organization?

  1. The replacement of the term "product" with "goods and services". For years, service organizations (like Concentric) have felt a bit left out due to the constant use of the word "product". What if you don't have a physical product? This potential change in terminology could help service organizations better understand how ISO 9001 requirements pertain to them.
  2. Context of the term "the organization". There may be requirements to better clarify what "the organization" means as it pertains to the intent of it's offerings, the context of it's offerings, what an interested party might expect from it's goods and services, and how customer needs are defined.
  3. Process approach. This addition may require subscribers to better adopt the process approach by adding requirements that actually use the words "process approach" rather than hiding this intent in a preface or supplemental document such as ISO 9004. No one cares about how great your department is. We only care about how great your process output is.
  4. Risk vs. preventive action. This is the change that we're rooting the most for - with spirit and banter! Most folks don't really understand what the hell "preventive action" is anyway. However, "risk" is fairly well understood. Most companies we work with have hundreds of corrective actions (reactive), but very little evidence to show deliberate and methodical steps for risk reduction/mitigation or emergency preparedness (proactive). In my opinion, this change is welcome and long overdue. It would also allow for a better integration with standards in health, safety, environmental and responsible care management systems.
  5. Documented information. The terms previous referred to separately as "document" and "records" may be replaced by a single term referred to as "documented information".
  6. Control of external provision of goods and services. This potential change may not be as significant to some sectors such as automotive and aerospace, as the requirements for controlling outsources processes have been backed into ISO/TS 16949 and AS9100 for some time now. This potential addition to the ISO 9001 standard would require controls to be in place for all forms of external influences on goods and services. In short, it may be harder to say "Hey... it's my suppliers fault!" once the new standard is released.

Whatever changes do finally come from the ISO 9001 updates, we here at Concentric are very hopeful that the standard encourages organizations and practitioners alike to bridge the gap between the priorities of top management and management system implementers. Developing systems that maximize the potential of any organization is depend on a unified approach to managing individual processes. Having multiple systems, conflicting objectives and a "silo" approach to management is still one of the great challenges of our generation. I am confident that the next release of ISO 9001 will continue to improve management system structure as organizations worldwide continue to strive towards excellence.

Stay tuned to the updates by registering to attend our free ISO 9001:2015 Forums.

CMSi acquires IP rights to Quality Minds, LLC

April 6, 2012 ImageWe are happy to announce that an agreement has been reached for the acquisition of the intellectual property rights to materials and products owned by Quality Minds, LLC of Charleston, South Carolina.  President Stephen Deas founded Quality Minds in 1997.  Since inception, Stephen has captured his 20+ years of organizational improvements lessons into an extensive catalog of workshops and online professional development courses.  Late Thursday evening, Stephen & I signed an agreement allowing the rights for distribution and ownership of the Quality Minds series to be purchased by CMSi.

One of core strategies for CMSi's 2012 business plan is to further diversify offerings to existing and potential customers - both in the southeastern United States as well as internationally.  The CMSi Advisory Board has challenged us to broaden our breath of SMEs (subject matter experts) as well as creating products that can be offered online.  As a service organization, our primary target has been to add product options for our customers.  Downloadable products will allow us to serve our customer-needs globally, day and night, via online training courses, templates and other tools.

A few online courses that will be made available for download in the coming weeks:

  • ASQ Certification Prep Course for Certified Quality Engineers (CQE)
  • ASQ Certification Prep Course for Certified Quality Auditors (CQA)
  • ASQ Certification Prep Course for Certified Six Sigma Greenbelts (CSSGB)
  • ASQ Certification Prep Course for Certified Six Sigma Blackbelts (CSSBB)
  • Minitab
  • Lean Concepts & Tools
  • Process Mapping
  • SPC
  • FMEA
  • Problem Solving

We believe that the Quality Minds online series will be one of the major catalysts that takes CMSi to the next level both within the Charleston, SC region as well as globally.

Happy 9th Birthday CMSi

February 1st, 2012 marks our 9th year

It was this day precisely NINE (9) years ago today that Concentric Management Systems, Inc. (CMSi) was born. I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the many failures and many more successes we have had over the years. Thanks to our tenacity, belief in our core values, and most importantly, our valued customers, we are able to be proud of "being in our 10th year of business".

CMSi is effectively “re‐launching” bigger and better than ever in 2012 following the successful completion of a major project (42 months) with a key client that required nearly all of my time. This re-­emergency allows us many opportunities to grow where we can grow best - near the beach! We couldn't be more pleased to call Charleston our new home.

Very special thanks is in order to my wonderful staff, our team of amazing consultants and the customers that allow us to grow bigger and better every day! I truly appreciate the trust, hard work and partnerships we have formed in this anything-but-traditional organization.

Here's to another 9 years!

Cheers,

Jim Thompson - President
Concentric Management Systems, Inc.

Mission Statement - February 1st, 2012

We support the world’s leading organizations in their pursuit of excellence through the provision of training, consulting and auditing services. We are dedicated to providing services that exceed the expectations of our customers by being deliberate about delivering the highest level of customized service possible. We believe in steady growth with integrity.

We also strive to be the first choice for representing independent subject matter experts by developing and managing mutually beneficial, long-­‐term business relationships. By facilitating customer relationships, we bring tremendous value to our network of consultants -­‐ allowing more time to focus on exercising core competencies and less time on administrative burden.

Customers Hate You?

Here's a quick challenge and reality check to ring in the 2nd month of 2012.  Take an honest look at your customer-facing processes as if you were the customer.  I'm not talking about "...but our company's internal data for defects per million shows that we're making pretty good parts".  I'm talking about taking a long, hard look at customer perception.  How does your customer perceive the overall quality, service and ease of doing business associated with their relationship with you? Customer satisfaction is not always about facts, figures and statistics.  Sometimes it's all about asking this simple question:  "Dear Mr. Customer - How likely it is that you would actually take the time to recommend me to a friend or colleague?"

Do you measure customer satisfaction by the number of customer complaints you have?

The lack of a formal customer complaint is not a reliable indicator that the customer is satisfied.  Customer complaints are more often a sign that the customer is so extremely dissatisfied that they feel obligated or angry enough to tell you about it.  What about the other portion of customers that simply turn and walk away?  In most business circumstances, by the time a customer has left you, its too late to regain their trust.  You've lost them and they're not coming back.  In fact, there are a certain set of customers that will spend their nights and weekends talking trash about you, your company and their horrible experiences in dealing with your sorry butt.

Ok... now that I've made you feel like a complete loser, let's at least have a little fun here.  Sit back, grab your cup of coffee and feel the pain associated with being a dissatisfied customer.

Want to gauge your customer's perception of you?  Here are some tips and techniques that we've seen work out in the real world:

SIMPLE & LOW COST:  Ask your customer to help you in getting 100% by partnering with you on the solution of 100% satisfaction.  Rather than asking "Is everything ok?", try asking "What would I have to do in order to receive an A+ or 100% rating?"  This approach invites the customer to give you pointers on improvement rather than the traditional invitation for feedback (i.e. "Y'all doing ok?").  By making it an "Us (you and your customer) against them (bad grades)" you create a partnering perspective with your customers in order to solve the puzzle (how to get an A+) together.

MIDDLE OF THE ROAD:  Use a process to measure how likely your customers to "promote" your organization called by using a grading scale called the "Net Promoter Score".  Learn more about this process here:  www.netpromoter.com/np/calculate.jsp

COMPLEX & HIGHER COST:  If you are in an organization that can spare a few more bucks, consider using a product like Online Survey Software from Qualtrics.  It is complex software on the back end but simple for your customers to complete on the front end.  Questionnaires and data from survey results are kept on a cloud for simple analysis, quick feedback on-going monitoring of key metrics.  www.qualtrics.com/survey-software-video

Simple Website Optimization Tips

If you are running a business in the 21st century, it is increasingly important that your website is at the top of the list when potential customers search for your products or services.  Submitting your website to top search engines is one of the quickest and simplest ways to boost your search ranking.  Did I mention that this is also FREE? Submit your website address and a short description to the following websites and watch your website climb within a matter of a few weeks:

  1. Skill Level:  Easy
  2. Time:  15 minutes
  3. Cost:  FREE
  4. Effectivity:  Moderate

The NEW Concentric

Welcome to the new face of CMSi!  We are very excited to call Charleston, SC our new home in 2010.

Concentric Management Systems, Inc. is a group of technical experts specializing in process improvement & management system certification specializing in ISO 9001, ISO/TS 16949, ISO 14001 and AS9100 certification. 

We hope you enjoy the new and dynamic website, blogs, posts and information sharing tools that will be provided at no charge.

May the new CMSi find you well in the 2010 and beyond!

CMSi to launch new look for 2010

The long-standing look of Concentric Management System has come to an end. We will be launching a new look along with the new website for launch in December 2009. This extreme makeover accompanies the next generation of management system services and new home for the company. The second rendition of our website served us well and, basically, remained static for years.  While our the customer base has typically been tolerate of basic information on course schedules, FAQs, etc., we are all seeing the capability of social media and instant information.  Therefore, it only makes sense - as a company that coaches others on continuous improvement - to bring the latest and greatest information to our existing and future customers.

Within the next few months, we will morph into a new age of useful information and means for updates.  We are very excited to discover the possibilities that lie ahead as an organization that relies so much on intelletual resources.

We encourage you to be a part of our development during this exciting phase in organizational opportunities.

-JRT