So you make windshield wipers, and maybe they are the best windshield wipers in use. But for some reason, you can't get the major manufacturers to include your wipers on their new vehicles. You go through your checklist – price, quality, availability, and seem to be well situated. So where are the orders?
One of the deciding factors you may not be aware of is ISO 14001. Purchasing departments are looking for strategic allies who have environmental management systems in place. ISO14001 is the de facto standard, and chances are it’s the system used by the companies you want to sell to.
The value is that it’s both quality control, and environmental management. It follows the mantra of: Plan, Do, Check, Act. Because of the rigour of the system, your customers can be assured that you are setting realistic environmental goals, and achieving them. Continual improvement is a byproduct, as is thorough documentation.
The interesting thing is that the system works regardless of how aggressive your environmental goals are. Realistically, it ensures your customers that you have your act together, that you have the discipline to establish processes and stick to them.
And that is a quality you’d want in a partner, isn’t it? The fact that you are trying to be greener in the process illustrates your mindset, and is the icing on the cake.