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Maryland Nautical Sales attains ISO 9001 Certification
Certified No. US3678
Baltimore, MD August 13, 2013 - On August 9th, Maryland Nautical Sales was audited onsite by the Independent Certification Body IMSM and certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard. Maryland Nautical’s Procedures, Processes, Sales and Management Practices were thoroughly reviewed and assessed and found to be fully compliant with the requirements of the ISO Standard. Maryland Nautical Sales has the distinction of being the first US-based chart agent to be ISO certified.
The ISO 9001:2008 standard establishes the base criteria for Maryland Nautical’s Quality Management System. It encompasses all areas of MNS, including people, services and processes, and streamlines the entire operation. MNS President Bob Davis indicates that MNS has been deeply involved in the certification process for the past 4 months. Through the preparation, MNS discovered that they were already implementing 80% of the ISO required processes. However, they were not recording and tracking these processes to find areas of improvement. Davis notes “our primary motivation was improved customer service, and ISO 9001 certification ensures our continual process improvement.”
ISO 9001 is a set of international standard and guidance documents for quality management and quality assurance. The standard represents an international consensus on good management practices with the aim of ensuring that the organization can, time and time again, deliver the product or services that meet the client's quality requirements. To achieve ISO 9001:2008 certification, an organization must undergo review of the efficiency and effectiveness of its quality management system by an external third party certified registrar. Maintaining certification is an ongoing process that includes reports and annual audits.
ISO 9001 is predominantly required in Europe and Asia, but is taking hold in the US, especially for companies doing business internationally. One of MNS’ primary colleagues, United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) requires ISO 9001 certification by 2014 for all chart agents supplying UKHO British Admiralty products. Davis notes, “having the ISO certification gives our international business partners a greater sense of security, knowing that we have recognized, reliable and repeatable business processes.” He anticipates that the ISO certification will open new doors for MNS - increasing visibility in the international theater, and expanding the customer base.