ISO Certification and Training

Overview

ISO, or the International Organisation for Standardisation, is a global standard-setting body, made up of a network of various standards organisations from among its 162 member-nations. ISO is a vital force in the manufacturing industry, promoting industrial and commercial global standards for specifications and requirements in materials, products, procedures, information, and quality management.

ISO Certification

For a company, an ISO Certification:

? Is an assurance that the organisation, has met the required management of processes and documentation.

? Provides standards on how businesses and organisations manage information and processes;

? Does not impose any regulations;

? Is not like a license that allows a business or company to operate.

Rather, an ISO Certification merely certifies that a management system, a manufacturing process, or an offered service has all the elements for quality assurance and the capability to compete in the international market.

That said however, an ISO Certification is still vital to most businesses because it brings them up to par with global standards. For instance, in many industries, contracting companies are required ISO 9001 certification, and some government contracts, such as in the oil industry or medical technologies, depend largely on ISO 9001 compliance. Most ISO Standards are specific to different industries, processes, and products, but ISO 9001 is a management system standard that can be applied to any company.

ISO 9001

ISO 9001 is unarguably, one of the most established Quality Management Systems program in the world today that can be a useful tool for any organisation. ISO 9001 Standards is currently the recognised standard not only for quality management systems, but management systems in general, ensuring quality in all aspects ? products, services, and documentation.

Any company, regardless of size or sector, aiming to improve its operations and management, would do well with an ISO 9001 Certification, especially if the organisation is prepared to implement the standards throughout the entire organisation and not just in particular departments or divisions.

Find out more about our Quality Assurance services in the following pages:

Total Quality Management

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis

Six Sigma

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Proactive Preventative Maintenance: How IoT and Field Service Management Software Helps

FieldElite, our mobile workforce management software, has been key to several industries? return on investment. Whether it’s for plumbing, electrical, property management, cleaning, and maintenance, FieldElite has provided data centralisation for efficient management of these business activities. 

Field service management software is important to utilise current workload, and also helps resolve future issues. We’re talking about a proactive approach to preventative maintenance. 

How exactly do field service managements help in preventative maintenance? 

The answer lies in how field service management is interlinked with IoT in predicting future jobs for the mobile service industry.  

What is IoT? 

Simply put, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of devices and sensors connected to the internet. These ?things? (e.g. your smartphone or smartwatch) enable data to be sent and be received without human intervention.

Fundamentally, IoT is about devices being connected to the internet to allow remote monitoring

For many years now, remote monitoring for IT infrastructure has been widely used. 

What’s new that we’re experiencing right now is even the smallest devices ? individual light bulbs and sensors ? can have a network and internet connection, allowing entire systems to be monitored in great detail. 

Implementing IoT and accessing data can be challenging for most service organisations. However, when combined with predictive analytics and field management software, it can have a huge potential impact on individual businesses and the service industry as a whole. 

What is Preventative Maintenance? 

Preventive maintenance refers to regular, routine maintenance to help keep equipment up and running, preventing any unplanned downtime and expensive costs from unanticipated equipment failure. 

The goal of preventative maintenance is to decrease the likelihood of a machine or an equipment’s failure by performing regular maintenance. 

Preventative management can be very complex, especially for companies with a fleet of equipment or customers. It requires careful planning and scheduling of maintenance on equipment before there is an actual problem. 

Also, preventive maintenance is evolving. It’s not just about scheduling the same work every month to prevent failure anymore. Today, working smarter with better information about equipment conditions is critical to ensure maintenance is effective.

That’s where IoT and field service management software, like FieldElite, comes in. Together, they organise and carry out preventive maintenance needs for service industries. 

How IoT and FieldElite Helps in Preventative Maintenance

With FieldElite and IoT technology, you get the best in preventive maintenance management.

  • Evaluation of equipment or machines ? the condition of machines or equipment is evaluated in order to predict when maintenance needs to be performed. 
  • Automated work order ? automated time-based work order creation
  • Full condition-based plans allows you to do the following:
    • Right-size your maintenance work
    • Lower costs
    • Extend the life of your or customer?s assets 
  • Quicker reporting ? due to its efficient and automated nature, IoT and field service management software can reduce a field technician?s average report time from two weeks to two days, therefore boosting your cash flow! 

That’s the most important result a mobile service management software can produce (in connection with preventative maintenance). It’s cost-saving! This can be achieved over routine or time-based preventive maintenance, as tasks are only performed when they are needed. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) and field service management software is changing field service as we know it. 

Companies who adapt and utilise these technologies will benefit the most from the resulting competitive advantage of preventative maintenance. 

Start elevating every field service experience now!  

Our field service software, FieldElite helps you: 
  • Accepts jobs in the field
  • Automate appointment scheduling
  • Manage scheduled jobs 
  • Get real-time visibility into all operations
  • Have a clear and easy viewing of job locations 
  • Resolve field service calls faster 
  • Enable mobile workers to get the job done right
  • Keep customers updated at every step 
  • Create quotations and accept payments 
  • Analyse efficient reports from field technicians
  • Helps in proper preventative maintenance management. 

Learn how to schedule jobs to field workers with ease. Check out FieldElite

CONTACT US

  • We seek to understand your technology and business challenges
  • We tailor a demonstration of our platform and solutions to align to your specific needs
  • We answer any questions and make sensible recommendations
  • (+353)(0)1-443-3807 – IRL
  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 – UK
How To Get Started with your IT Compliance Efforts for SOX

There’s no question about it. For many of you top executives in the corporate world, all roads leading to a brighter future have to go through SOX compliance. And because the business processes that contribute to financial reporting (the crux of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act) are now highly reliant on IT systems, it is important to focus a good part of your attention there.

It is a long and arduous path to IT compliance, so if you don’t want your company to fall by the wayside due to inefficient utilisation of resources, it is important to set out with a plan on hand. What we have here are some vital information that will guide you in putting together a sound plan for SOX compliance of your company?s IT systems.

Why focus on IT systems for SOX compliance?

We’ll get to that. But first, let’s take up the specific portions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that affect information technology. These portions can be found in Section 302 and Section 404 of the act.

In simplified form, Section 302 grants the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) authority to come up with rules requiring you, CEOs and CFOs, to certify in each annual or quarterly financial report the following:

  • that you have reviewed the report;
  • that based on your knowledge, the report does not contain anything or leave out anything that would render it misleading;
  • that based on your knowledge, all financial information in the report fairly represent the financial conditions of the company;
  • that you are responsible for establishing internal controls over financial reporting; and
  • that you have assessed the effectiveness of the internal controls.

Similarly, Section 404, stated in simplified form, allows the SEC to come up with rules requiring you, CEOs and CFOs, to add an internal control report to each annual financial report stating that you are responsible for establishing internal controls over financial reporting.

You are also required to assess the effectiveness of those controls and to have a public accounting firm to attest to your assessment based upon standards adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

While there is no mention of IT systems, IT systems now play a significant role in financial reporting. Practically all of the data you need for your financial reports are stored, retrieved and processed on IT systems, so you really have to include them in your SOX compliance initiatives and establish controls on them.

Now that that’s settled, your next question could very well be: How do you know what controls to install and whether those controls are already sufficient to achieve compliance?

Finding a suitable guide for IT compliance

The two bodies responsible for setting rules and standards dealing with SOX, SEC and PCAOB, point to a well-established control framework for guidance – COSO. This framework was drafted by the Committee of Sponsoring Organisations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) and is the most widely accepted control framework in the business world.

However, while COSO is a tested and proven framework, it is more suitable for general controls. What we recommend is a widely-used control framework that aligns well with COSO but also caters to the more technical features and issues that come with IT systems.

Taking into consideration those qualifiers, we recommend COBIT. COBIT features a well thought out collection of IT-related control objectives grouped into four domains: Plan and Organise (PO), Acquire and Implement (AI), Deliver and Support (DS), and Monitor and Evaluate (ME). The document also includes maturity models, performance goals and metrics, and activity goals.

A few examples of COBIt’s detailed control objectives are:

DS4.2 – IT Continuity Plans
DS4.9 – Offsite Backup Storage
DS5.4 – User Account Management
DS5.8 – Cryptographic Key Management
DS5.10 – Network Security
DS5.11 – Exchange of Sensitive Data

By those titles alone, you can see that the framework is specifically designed for IT. But the document is quite extensive and, chances are, you won’t need all of the items detailed there. Furthermore, don’t expect COBIT to specify a control solution controls for every control objective. For example, throughout the control objective DS4 (Ensure Continuous Service), you won’t find any mention of virtualisation, which is common in any modern business continuity solution.

Basically, COBIT will tell you what you need to attain in order to achieve effective governance, management and control, but you’ll have to pick the solution best suited to reach that level of attainment.

Articles highly relevant to the one you just read:

Month End Accounting The Way It Should Be Today
Spreadsheet Woes ? Burden in SOX Compliance and Other Regulations
Spreadsheet Woes ? Limited Features For Easy Adoption of a Control Framework
How Internal Auditors Can Win The War Against Spreadsheet Fraud

Quality Assurance

 

There is a truism that goes “The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory”.

While every consumer can probably relate to this idea, business enterprises offering goods and services are the ones that should heed this the most.

Quality Management Systems

The concept of quality was first introduced in the 1800’s. Goods were then still mass-produced, created by the same set of people, with a few individuals assigned to do some “tweaking” on the product to bring it to acceptable levels. Their idea of quality at that time may not have been that well-defined, but it marked the beginnings of product quality and customer satisfaction as we know it now.

Since then, quality has developed into a very basic business principle that every organisation should strive to achieve. Yet while every business recognises the importance of offering product and service quality, it is not something that can be achieved overnight.

If you’ve been in any type of business long enough, you should know that there is no “quick-fix” to achieving quality. Instead, it is an evolving process that needs to be continually worked on. And this is where the importance of having a workable Quality Management System (QMS) in an organisation comes in.

Whatever Quality tools and processes you need to implement the change needed in your organisation, we can help you with it. We are ready to work in partnership with your team to develop strategic systems which will produce significant performance improvements geared towards the achievement of quality.

What is a Quality Management System?

A Quality Management System is defined as the set of inter-related objectives, processes, and operating procedures that organisations use as a guide to help them implement quality policies and attain quality objectives.

Needless to say, the ultimate goal of every quality management system is to establish quality as a core value of the company among all employees, and across all products and services. Why? Because quality services make for happy customers, and satisfied customers ensure continued business for the company.

A Quality Management System does not stop with simply having a set of guidelines that the leaders of a company can easily have their organisation members accept and adhere to. Rather, effective QMS can be implemented when management provides a culture of pride and patience, which will inspire acceptance of individual and group responsibility.

In this manner, not only the heads of the organisation but the employees as well, will develop the desire to achieve company goals that will benefit:

  • All contributing teams;
  • The customers; and
  • The company as a whole.

Find out more about our Quality Assurance services in the following pages:

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