Daily Archives: November 22, 2009

Is ISO 14000 Worth It?

ISO 14000 is the international standard for Environmental Management Systems (EMS). The environmentally responsible companion to the ISO 9000 standards for Quality Management Systems, it’s starting to get the attention of a few forward-thinking companies. But is it worth it? In other words, will it pay off, or should you just go lean?

In looking for the answer, I stumbled upon a recent Practix from CAPS Research on ISO 14000 at Veris Industries. The Practix provides a fairly detailed case study of the implementation and concludes with the following results:

  • The ISO 14000 process created a safer internal environment.
  • The identified recycling and re-use initiatives increased the recovery rate from 50% to 85% which reduced the cost of garbage hauling by 66%.
  • No price reductions resulted but Veritas believes it was a factor in keeping costs down over the last five years.
  • Natural Gas & Electricity consumption per manufacturing unit has declined.
  • On-time delivery has risen from mid-to-high 80’s to low-to-mid 90’s.

Not bad, but not great either. In other words, you can easily get the same results from a good lean initiative that focuses on waste reduction. I guess at this point, it comes down to whether or not you want something to hang on the flagpole. (And even if you do, I’d do the lean initiative first, because then it’s just a matter of documenting the processes, getting the audit, and paying for the certification.)

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Not Just for Document Management

A recent article in Integrated Solutions noted that the time has come to apply reduce, reuse, and recycle thinking to electronic business information because embracing a more strategic, “green” approach to information management will deliver a number of benefits, not the least of which is a dramatic reduction in the cost of storage. These days, there are a number of technology offerings that can reduce storage demands and improve real-time access to business-critical information. For example, on-demand conversion of print-stream to PDF eliminates the unnecessary storage of large-format documents and lessens internal network congestion during the retrieval process.

To demonstrate the efficiencies achievable with smart application of modern technology, the article provided a brief case study of a financial services institution that recently upgraded its customer service technology infrastructure to provide its 2.5 Million online customers with easy access to their statements.

  • Reduce
    On demand statement generation and conversion reduced the storage footprint 97% from 12.5 TB of storage a month to 375 GB.
  • Reuse
    A smart infrastructure allows the same information to be retrieved through a portal, e-mail, or traditional mail.
  • Recycle
    The provider is “recycling” content data to personalize cross-sell offers to the right customer at the right time.

However, the mantra is particularly pertinent to Contract Management. With a good contract management solution that includes authoring and archival capabilities, you get the following:

  • Reduce
    You can collaboratively edit contracts on-line in the application, which greatly reduces the amount of paper you waste and e-copies of the contract-in-progress that float around in each contributor’s storage account.
  • Reuse
    Common clauses can be applied across contracts, saving the need for the recreation (and the associated legal [review] fees).
  • Recycle
    Contracts can be templated so that all that needs to change on the next award is the recipient, pricing, term, and conditions.

For a list of contract management solution providers, start with the resource site.

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