As we analyzed the ISO/SN9001 standard it was apparent that there is no one business that offers every aspect of the requirements to snow and ice management companies. In realizing this we formed an alliance of companies where each company offers a particular aspect of either acquiring or maintaining certification and where there is little or no overlap between the companies in their offering. The following is a roadmap of the offerings at each company and how they can help your company acquire and maintain ISO/SN9001 certification.
The process of becoming certified can be quite puzzling to companies. We hear questions like:
“Where do I start?”
“What do I need to do?”
“How much work is it?”
“What will my company gain from being certified?”
The ISOFORSNOW Alliance was formed to help companies understand the process of becoming certified, provide advice on what to do, provide solutions that help a company more easily acquire certification, and help them better understand the vast benefits of acquiring and maintaining certification.
The ISO/SN9001 quality management system was developed in part to provide a standard that promotes industry-wide professionalism. It helps a company develop and maintain consistent, continuously improving processes that help ensure that customers receive the highest quality of care in their snow and ice management needs. These documented and consistent processes can help a company become more streamlined as well as provide an improved and consistent service to their customers. More efficiency means more profit and being more competitive in your market!
Although only a few companies have attained certification so far, a far greater number have recognized the importance of becoming certified and have started the process. Depending on how well documented the processes in your company are the process can take anywhere from weeks to months.
The best way to get started is to:
- Learn about the standard. If you need a copy of the ISO 9001 standard, it can be purchased from http://asq.org/quality-press/display-item/?item=T860; the SN 9001 standard can be purchased from http://www.ascaonline.org/sn9001.aspx.
- Secondly you need to get educated on the certification process and the impact to your company. The best way is to attend a ISO/SN9001 training course. SnowFighters Institute offers such a class that helps you learn what is required and to help you understand how to assess your company’s state of readiness. Find out more at www.snowfightersinstitute.com.
ISO was taken from the Greek work isos which means equal. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was started in 1946; it is an international organization that certifies that businesses meet certain common standards. ISO 9001 is a set of international standards for management and verification of quality management practices. Certification assures that the company is using formal processes within the company. The ISO 9001 standard is used amongst varying types of manufacturing and service industries.
The Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA) wrote a set of industry standards for the snow and ice management industry. These standards were then approved by ANSI (American National Standards Institute). ASCA then used these approved industry standards to create a quality management system for professional snow and ice management contractors, SN 9001.
The SN 9001 standards work in conjunction with ISO 9001. Companies can earn certification through an auditing process that is conducted by an independent third party, an ANAB-ASQ Certification Body. The audit ensures that your company is following the ISO & SN standards, have the appropriate processes and procedures in place and that you are adhering to the Industry Standards.
Further information about the SN standard can be found at www.ascaonline.org
Further information about the ISO 9001:2008 standard can be found at http://asq.org/quality-press/display-item/?item=T860
The ISOFORSNOW Alliance is a group of companies involved in the snow and ice management industry who firmly believe that the ISO/SN9001 standard will have a dramatic and positive impact on the snow and ice removal industry.
The member companies of the ISOFORSNOW Alliance have thoroughly reviewed the ISO/SN9001 standard and have concluded that each of these companies offers a unique solution for acquiring and maintaining ISO/SN9001 certification. Together this group of companies offers solutions for every aspect of the requirements. It is our firm belief that snow and ice management companies who take advantage of the offering at each of these companies will find a quicker and easier path to certification. In other words we can help you put the pieces of the ISO/SN9001 puzzle together.