A Multi-National Organization’s Transition to ISO 9001:2015

Presenter: William Kovacich, Quality Engineer, Caterpillar, Inc., Columbia, SC, USA

Keywords: ISO 9001:2015 Transition, Multi-National, Improvement

Industry: Manufacturing

Level: Intermediate


As a large, multi-site, multi-national enterprise providing a wide variety of products and services, Caterpillar Inc. faced challenges when improving its global quality management system to align with ISO 9001:2015. Language, culture, and even time zone differences were acknowledged and overcome to affect meaningful change within the organization. Because the quality management system used throughout Caterpillar applies to both captive and dealer/user-facing sites, business models varied among different manufacturing locations. These differences were addressed as the quality management system was revised. The wide spectrum of customers, statutory and regulatory requirements, and applications further complicated efforts to standardize quality management system development and deployment. This presentation discusses how Caterpillar dealt with these challenges to deploy a world-class quality management system across 80+ sites on 5 continents in the midst of a business downturn and how the transition completed 6 months prior to the mandated deadline. It starts with the plan, how challenges were identified and dealt with, roles and responsibilities were assigned, updates were communicated, and how success was measured.