Three key takeaways from MYA Logistics’ ISO 9001:2015 Certification

12/2/2019

“When we began our ISO Certification process, the management team knew as an organization we’d gain operational efficiencies in the way we conducted our business,” explained Andrew McAlvain, MYA Logistics’ Compliance Supervisor. “That said, we also didn’t fully realize how certification would impact the way we conduct and operate our organization completely.”

ISO is primarily a quality management system that helps organizations define, meet, and exceed its customers’ needs and internal stakeholders, too (ISO Central Secretariat, 2019). MYA based its ISO 9001:2015 Certification on the goal of continual improvement and their desire to improve the end-to-end experience for their customers. The process has allowed MYA Logistics to define its strategic priorities based on growth (organic and new), associate career pathing, market/service expansion, and logistics priorities.

Many organizations across diverse business sectors require ISO 9001:2015 Certification of their partners. "From this perspective, MYA Logistics’ accreditation allowed us to expand our service offerings,” said Jamie Cord, MYA President. "More importantly, it serves as a signal to customers, both existing and potential, that we care enough about their business to embrace and maintain an international quality standard," Cord added.

 

 

 

Takeaway #1 – Everyone within the organization has to contribute

 

ISO 9001:2015 Certification can’t be accomplished effectively in isolation. Because it impacts so many areas of an organization, as previously noted, everyone needs to play a role. People on the front line provide insight into gaining operational efficiencies and potential barriers to overcome. Their perspective is vital.

"ISO Certification is an extensive process," added McAlvain, "it touches virtually every piece of our business – operations, human resources, sales, customer service, quality control, associate training to name a few." Consequently, leadership didn't approach accreditation from a top-down perspective; they engaged department heads, managers, drivers, front-line associates, even customers throughout the entire process.

 

 

“When we began talking to people within the organization about certification, there were some doubters at first,” explained Minnie Quinones, Senior Vice President. “But as soon as they realized it would improve their productivity, save time and make their work lives easier, everyone supported the direction, they eagerly got involved,” said Quinones.


Takeaway #2 – Improving customer experience

 

"Certainly, there are many internal rewards derived by the business, including our people," Quinones continued, "ISO 9001:2015 improved our processes, streamlined communications, training programs, and improved employee morale. That said, we've adopted a high level of accountability actions to provide complete transparency for our customers," she added.

 

 

Because of ISO, MYA Logistics now makes use of automated reporting; new technology upgrades provide a stream of inputs to analyze and outputs to distinguish progress. For example, when a performance or operational issue occurs; e.g., unusual environmental variances, declines in productivity, or physical damage to inventory, the system generates a non-conforming report (NCR), and a corrective action report (CAR) that documents the solution.

"No question, in this business problems occur," said McAlvain, "the key difference today, when we report an issue to a customer, we also provide the solution and long-term prevention efforts in the same conversation. As logistics partners, they feel a much higher level of confidence in MYA because we're proactively reporting and providing solutions at the same time."

"Because of our ISO 9001:2015 Certification," Kelly Hakes, Vice President of Strategic Solutions explained, "our customers feel the improvements in operational efficiencies, our ability to minimize and, in many instances, remove pain points entirely, control quality, and manage their supply chain more effectively."

ISO creates distinction; few of MYA’s competitors have certification. Not only does accreditation provide a marketing and competitive advantage for the company, but it also adds value and credibility; customers recognize and experience MYA Logistics' dedication to their business personally.


Takeaway #3 – It is an organizational commitment

 

As previously noted, ISO Certification is not a top-down process. While the organization's leadership must be aligned and fully onboard, it’s people within the company who will adopt and execute the process. Their participation in development, planning, execution, and maintenance is essential.

"Before committing to certification, understand going in that it's an ongoing, active process," said McAlvain, “while it has fundamentally changed our outlook and the way we operate the business, you can't treat it like a diploma that hangs on the wall. ISO 9001:2015 fuels innovation and continuous improvement, so to you and your people, it must become second nature, not something you think about occasionally," McAlvain added.

 

 

From MYA's perspective, receiving its ISO Certification improved the efficiency of the entire organization, but more importantly, it put their customers first. "It's helped us to anticipate their needs and exceed their expectations," Hakes offered, "it's easy to think, 'logistics, just need to get the product from point A to point B,' but it's so much more than that."

MYA now meets with its clients; teams align goals and objectives and determine key performance indicators (KPI) to validate and provide accountability in advance. "We consult with our customers regularly to assess the overall business, successes and setbacks, to ensure we're evolving with them, delivering unparalleled service and creating amazing relationships," Cord concluded.


Our results

 

MYA Logistics built its ISO Certification from the ground up, so the entire organization, department by department, person by person participated in and embraced its adoption. The processes and resulting procedures provide new-found clarity and direction. ISO 9001:2015 provides a roadmap for handling issues (operational and human), managing workflow, prioritizing resources, improving customer service, and building strong relationships both inside and outside of the organization.

It resulted in MYA Logistics expanding markets to include food services and guided their successful efforts to become C-TPAT compliant. "I believe the most significant benefit has been the wellbeing of our associates" according to Quinones, "ISO 9001:2015 provides structure through process, accountability through systems and certainty through training and quality control; they’re engaged and clearly understand their roles and responsibilities in delivering amazing experiences to customers."