40-Day? Yeah, We Can Do That

A lot of people can’t believe that implementing ISO 9001, or even AS9100, in only 40 days is possible. Don’t worry, we get that a lot. So here are some answers.

First, consider that 40 days is two months (eight weeks of five days each.) So now we’re up to eight weeks. Assuming ten hour days (this isn’t Mad Men, where we drink martinis and only work half-days), that’s 400 hours.

400 Hours

That’s a lot of hours. You have to wonder why a consultant would take more than 400 hours to develop and implement a fully customized quality system.

That doesn’t mean you are getting billed for 400 hours, as Oxebridge provides a flat, fixed-rate quote based on the particulars of your company. The actual hours billed will be less.  But if the work gets more complicated than we anticipated, we have that entire 400 hour spectrum to play around in.  And we do that extra work on our dime,  honoring the flat rate.

The thing is, other reputable consulting firms are probably doing about the same level of work; they are just spreading it out over the calendar. And it’s not necessarily because they are trying to drag out a contract (although there is some of that.) Normally it’s simply that they never imagined they could do anything else. They just don’t know better.

Some will make claims that this “ensures management commitment” or “ensures effective implementation.” None of those things are measurable, objective or anything can substantiate with facts. It’s all raw emotion, design (again) to dismiss the fact that they can’t wrap their head around an unfamiliar concept, like condensing the calendar.

Requirements for Maturity

Some will say that a 40-day system is not “mature enough” to be certified. The facts are that ISO 9001 certification is achieved by measuring compliance to the requirements, and there are no requirements for “maturity.” In fact, ISO recognizes this by including a clause for continual improvement; there is no expectation for a company to be fully mature and perfect before audit, nor even 10 years afterwards. It’s a goal, not a certification requirement.

There are key elements you must implement effectively before an audit, and in two months most companies can easily do this. For our clients we focus on those elements that need hard data — corrective actions, internal audits, product/service quality metrics, on-time delivery, etc. — and help you generate those before your first audit.

For the rest, we help put in a system that will allow you to slowly, over time, improve your processes, increase customer satisfaction and improve efficiency.

Beware any consultant that claims to be able to do those things before your first ISO 9001 certification audit, especially if they promise that without ever having set foot in your facility.