Successful certification management is a critical component to business success in regulated markets. The ability to certify and bring new products to market quickly, cost effectively and successfully brings a distinct competitive advantage.
Further advantage can be realized through strategic utilization of certification, codes and standards as a competitive tool. Maintaining certifications on existing products is a necessity.
Certification, however, is a complex process with many critical steps. At any one of these steps, significant delays or road-blocks are possible. This can lead to cost overruns and, even more critically, missed opportunity in the market place. Delays of even a few months can be extremely costly and loss of certification can be extremely detrimental to a business.
The key to truly successful certification management is to have the right overall strategy and the specific tools and resources in place to ensure successful execution. In Jana's Strategic Certification Management program we work with you to develop your overall short and long-term certification strategies, which we then integrate into your team to ensure successful execution. The Strategic Certification Management program is built on four Critical Elements:
Certification is complex. There is a myriad of certifications that are necessary to achieve and maintain full market access.
These certifications are often offered by multiple certification agencies. Certification agencies are not technically-focused and do not seek to optimize certification strategies, which can result in a multiplicity of redundant tests and a significant duplication in plant inspections.
Optimized Certification depends on having a clear Certification Strategy that is integrated into your Corporate Strategy. Jana works with you to characterize your specific business needs and drivers and then develop an optimized Certification Program. Critical to this process is the understanding of the technical, regulatory and marketing requirements for specific products. Jana has developed this knowledge to enable efficient assessments of existing certifications, identification of overlaps and gaps, and development of optimized Certification Programs. These Programs reduce certification costs and time-to-market while ensuring regulatory requirements are met to support the sale of products in the marketplace.
Many perfectly developed products have languished and stalled in the area of codes and standards.
This is a highly political arena where competitive interests can effectively stall a product launch by holding up new standards or standard modifications. It is also an arena where a small change in a code or standard could be detrimental to your product, risking its certification altogether. It is critical to know and understand where codes and standards can be modified to accommodate new products and which changes could cause unexpected barriers for existing products.
Jana has an explicit process for managing Codes and Standards that ensures that you have the fastest possible route to market and secures your product in the marketplace through its lifetime. Participation in Codes and Standards activities is paramount to our success. Jana is heavily involved in standards activities at ASTM, ASME, AWWA, CSA and NSF. In addition, Jana is active at PPI and AGA, keeping a constant pulse on industry regulatory requirements. Because of our dedication to codes and standards activities, Jana can act on your behalf at industry meetings, providing you with a report on standards activities. In addition, Jana can affect changes to existing standards or develop new standards, as required by your business. This can often be done with Jana as the champion, keeping your interests covert and your product development plans confidential.
Ensuring rapid new product acceptance in the marketplace is critical to getting sales volumes up quickly.
The certification process is often a barrier to this. Each certification agency has unique requirements for certification, from formulation information to plant inspections to data requirements. Jana is a member of the NSF Joint Committee, has an agency agreement with CSA and is an IAPMO accredited lab. As such, we have strong relationships with major certifiers in North America and are intimate with their certification requirements.
Relying on our relationships with major certifiers, Jana can effectively and efficiently execute your certification projects. Jana can act as an agent for you, managing certification projects from initial inquiry through completion of initial certification. We will be the point of contact, handling all communication with the certification agencies and freeing up your internal resources to work on other projects. Within this process, Jana can optimize certification plans for specific products with individual certification agencies to minimize redundant testing. Our relationships and technical knowledge allow us to optimize your certification plans while minimizing time to certification.
Jana can conduct testing that will be accepted by CSA, IAPMO, ICC, NSF and WQA in support of certification in the US and Canada.
Because of specific agreements with these certifiers and Jana's ISO 17025 accreditation, Jana is able to identify testing requirements, perform applicable testing, and submit test reports to the desired certification agencies. This allows you to generate one set of data that can be used to support certification at one or multiple agencies thus reducing your testing costs and accelerating your time to market.
Jana works with our Clients to establish test programs that support the successful introduction of new products and ensure successful maintenance of certification for existing products. Jana has the specific tools and expertise to support all of your certification testing requirements, for both initial certification and annual maintenance.
Providing data that is accepted by certification agencies also means that the product development experience can be leveraged for troubleshooting and structuring of a certification plan that is integrated into the product development process. This means any validation or verification testing conducted by Jana in the product development phase can be used to support certification, eliminating the need to repeat testing merely for certification services once the product development process is complete.
Each of these areas requires its own specific competencies and expertise, and these specific needs vary by product and application. A coordinated team effort is required to be successful in each of the areas and to tie the whole process together. Those who have been involved in the process know only too well how easy it is for things to go awry. Those who have not been through the process are often surprised at the unexpected challenges that arise. The best approach to mitigate the risks, optimize returns and ensure success is to have the right Certification Management Strategy and a team with specific expertise and experience in each of the four Critical Elements.