Today we’re pleased to announce that BTS has passed the rigorous ISO 9000 certification requirements and is officially ISO 9000 certified! While no small feat in and of itself, this accomplishment was achieved through the dedication and attention to detail of the amazing “ISO All Stars” you see below. Here’s a glimpse into lessons learned and opportunities ahead stemming from the ISO certification and the people that helped make it a reality.
- Jack McCracken – Business Development
- Larry Harper – Contracting
- Susan Shaw – Finance and Accounting
- Kirsten Posko – HR
- Dan Martin – Service Delivery
- Dan Cummings – Agency Lead/Principal
- David Tohn – Quality Assurance
(Jack M) What doors will this new ISO 9000 certification open now that the process is complete?
The public sector market continues to increase in size and complexity, and in many cases, the customer’s first Go/No Go decision is whether or not the vendor follows an industry standard quality management process. To successfully compete and win in this market, an ISO 9001:2015 certificate is a “must have” for a SDVOSB like BTS. The ISO 9001 certification and process will provide BTS with improved customer acquisition and retention, improved internal management processes, and improved efficiency, productivity & profit.
(Larry H) What’s the ISO 9000 / contracting relationship like? How will this certification change the game for BTS?
The ISO 9000 Relationship with Contracting is good because it enforces the need and implementation of best practices for accurate reporting to management. The certification will assist BTS in procuring additional work because it will give the prospective customer the knowledge that BTS possesses the necessary controls and procedures to manage their programs to successful completion.
(Susan S) For finance and accounting purposes, what expectations or assumptions did you have going into the process that turned out to be different once you got going?
Going into the process there was just the big unknown as to what the view from 10,000 miles above would be. Once the process began, I felt there was really nothing unforeseen since it is a process for strong quality controls to be put in place to run a successful business.
(Kirsten P) From your role overseeing HR, how did the ISO 9000 process impact the people function at BTS the most?
The ISO 9000 process directly honed into the way in which the processes and procedures for employees are handled. It allowed us to provide information on the full life cycle of the employee experience from applying to the job to an individual’s last day with the company. This includes the interactions of how we post jobs, present offer letters, and the onboarding experience. We presented our handbook to show the policies and procedures all employee must abide by and how they can go about contacting leadership if they have questions or concerns. The HR portion of the ISO 9000 also included the offboarding process and all that was included in that as well. Lastly, we provided information on how we keep up with all federal and state compliance and how we remain an equal opportunity business.
(Dan M) What was the biggest obstacle for you in the overall project? What came out of left field that you weren’t expecting?
I have so many projects that I had to package the tracking/reporting mechanisms in individual e-mails to ensure my delivery was transparent and organized.
(Dan C) What lessons did you learn about yourself, the brand, and your space having come through this major initiative?
I was pleasantly surprised that a lot of our internal BTS staff and operational procedures were nested or very similar to the ISO recommended standards. For a small business with limited resources and staff, we really didn’t need to move mountains to get certified, we just needed to execute minor modifications to many of our existing processes to ensure compliance. This points to the quality of our staff and how they professionally and efficiently do their jobs and underscores how BTS can operate and be certified under an international business quality standard on short notice. For me personally, the ISO audits and this journey enabled me to really share or better yet, brag to a panel of auditors about our mission, our employees, and of course our brand.
(David T) For those just getting started with their own ISO 9000, what one piece of advice would you give them?
If you’re planning on going into an ISO 9000 certification, make sure you build processes that reflect and refine how your organization already does business. Creating processes out of whole cloth on paper are neigh impossible to implement and inculcate into an organization’s DNA, setting up your team up for a lot of pain and frustration. Company leadership should capture and memorialize how the company operates; using that effort to identify gaps and inefficiencies and focus on those digestible changes in a deliberate manner.