Management Solutions Group • 2879 Hoag NE • Grand Rapids, MI 49525 •  Phone: (616) 365-9822


About MSG

“The number-one mistake that companies make as they ready themselves for registration is that they over document their processes. When you write more procedures than you need, you can be stuck with a burdensome system forever.”

With a combined 60 years of experience in quality and process management systems, MSG presents practical solutions to companies that are struggling to obtain their first certification or working to be certified or improve in new areas of business.

Clients rely on MSG to help with international standards that are a prerequisite to selling products and services to large multinational companies or entering foreign markets directly. MSG clients value the firm’s simple yet thorough approaches to building quality and project management processes that do more than satisfy auditors; MSG programs can help companies achieve first-time quality and reduce waste.

Amy Ip Tran (葉潔儂)

amy ip tran iso consultant for msgAmy Ip Tran is an APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional and a PMI Certified Project Management Professional, with 7 years of work experience in supply chain management and 20 years in product development and engineering management. She worked in Caterpillar Inc., a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment for 30 years. Some of the key positions that Amy held were Supply Chain Manager, Engineering Manager, Managing Director of China R&D Center, 6 Sigma Master Black Belt, and Senior Design & Project Engineer.

Some of Amy’s key accomplishments include numerous process improvements using 6 Sigma DMAIC methodology, improvement in supply chain related metrics required for Oliver Wight Class A Certification, ISO9001 certification and Silver Award for Lincoln Business of Excellence, business process optimization for a newly formed product validation solutions division, start up of a China R&D Center, successful axle design for a new medium wheel loader, and start up of an employee resource group for the company.

Brandon Kerkstra - President

Brandon KerkstraBrandon Kerkstra has worked with hundreds of companies in a wide range of industries during the past 14 years as president of MSG. In addition to building the successful business, Brandon has facilitated the implementation of ISO 17025, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 13485, APQP, CMMI, & SPICE (ISO 15504). Brandon has also trained on Project Management, Time Management and Lean Concepts, and more recently implemented and trained on AS 9100 and AS 9115 as well as DO178B requirements.

Before launching MSG, Brandon Kerkstra was responsible for business development at the North American division of the British Standards Institution Inc., the world's largest registrar of quality management systems, and for technical business development at Entela, Inc., the world’s leading automotive and manufacturing registrar. Kerkstra also held positions as a lead trainer for both organizations.

Elizabeth Hawkins

Elizabeth Hawkins Internal AuditorBeth has extensive experience implementing and auditing Quality Management Systems to ISO 9001: 2015 and IATF 16949: 2016 as well as Environmental Management Systems to ISO 14001: 2015.

Before joining Management Solutions Group, Beth worked in the Heavy trucking supply industry in quality and management system development & support as well as supplier development, customer satisfaction, and production.

Beth lead the organization in achieving TS 16949 and ISO 14001 and upgrading their systems to meet the new revisions (IATF 16949: 2016, ISO 9001: 2015 and ISO 14001: 2015). In this position Beth substantially improved the organizations Key Performance Metrics.

Internal Audit Services

quality auditorMSG conducts ongoing internal audits for companies nationwide that want to supplement the work of their regular staffs and raise the bar on their auditing procedures.

Many of these companies have noted dramatic improvement in the value of their internal audits, reduction of internal costs due to interruptions, and improvement in the results of registrar surveillance audits.

Because it serves as an impartial auditor, MSG often sidesteps the initial problems that occur when an employee of one department bristles at the criticism leveled by the employee of another department who has been designated as an internal auditor. While companies must develop a sustainable system of internal audits by employees, MSG can lead the way in facilitating the fine art of constructive criticism.

Internal Audit Support from Management

Audit Several possible outcomes ofMy management does not really seem to value our internal audits, so how do I get more buy in from management

First, ask yourself some tough questions

1) Are Internal Audits conducted to verify conformance or to improve performance? Conformance to a Procedure or Work Instruction is not the only focus of the Internal Audit Program. Conformance without performance is just not enough to excite Top Management.

2) What is the most "Value Added" issue that has been identified through Internal Audits? Does the Internal Audit Program use Company Measureables to focus the audit? Has the Internal Audit finding and the subsequent Corrective Action improved a Measurable? How much? Has it prevented a Customer Concern? What is the "Return on Investment" for Management's commitment to the Internal Audit Program?

Internal Audits

With the current economic challenges facing most companies, Internal audit staff and their training and qualifications are, in many cases below expectations.

A good analogy to a typical internal audit program is playing the piano. If you take a 2-3 day lesson and are then required to give a recital once or twice a year with no practice, how will you perform? You would most naturally select a very simple song, play it very slowly, and perform mediocre at best.

Internal audits are very similar. With inexperienced auditors, the small nonconformances are found while overlooking the larger or more complex issues that have the real potential to improve quality and the management system. They also tend to overlook the many opportunities for improvement or make solid recommendations.

As a general rule of thumb, a full internal audit conducted by internal staff without extensive auditing experience should be about twice the mandays as a recertification audit by a registrar. This can vary greatly based on experience and audit tools, but it does give an indication of the internal resources required.

Management Solutions Group offers public internal auditor training courses along with cost effective onsite training that includes completing part or all of an internal audit at the same time as the training, improving the cost effectiveness.

Jason Harrison

Jason Harrison ISO Auditor for MSG webAs an active member of Management Solutions Group Jason has assisted companies with ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 implementation as well as internal audits, training and support with the core tools (APQP, FMEA, PPAP, MSA, SPC). Jason is qualified my multiple organizations as a training for IATF 16949 and the related Core Tools.

Jason’s prior background includes implementing TS 16949, ISO 9001, and VDA 6.3 requirements and compliant quality management systems. Jason has experience at all levels of organizations of various size and a real track record of driving improvements and ownership within the organizations he was involved with.

Jeanette Clark

Jeanette clark iso consultantJeanette Clark comes to MSG with over 30 years of experience with ISO 9001, ISO 13485 & IATF 16949, and IATF 16949 implementation and internal audits along with Supplier Development within the medical and automotive industry.

Before joining MSG, Clark served as Lead auditor, Operations Quality Manager, and Program Manager in various organizations. Past experiences at Intertek (Entela Inc.), the world’s leading automotive and manufacturing registrar along with her other top management positions in the Quality field has given Jeanette the insight and knowledge of implementing & maintaining a certified quality management system and continuous improvement of the organization.

Our Methods

A Goal Without A Plan Is JustMSG reviews a company’s needs, then responds with menu options that meet the company’s budget and schedule. During this assessment phase, MSG helps the client to:
  • Clarify goals and objectives
  • Determine which certifications or standards will be most applicable
  • Determine what individuals from the company will be involved to tailor training to the appropriate level
  • Determine an appropriate time schedule
  • Determine the amount of resources necessary to ensure successful program launch
After the assessment phase, MSG may suggest options that range from on-site training classes conveniently offered during any company shifts to full-blown project management programs when MSG staff assist in expediting the Advanced Product Quality Planning documentation for a product launch.

Below is a diagram of a Typical Implementation Project Flow

Implementation Flow Diagram

Sherryl Acey

sherryl acy iso consultantSherryl Acey has over 26 years in quality including laboratory management (17025) for A2LA and ANAB accredited labs in the US, Canada, and China. Sherryl is currently providing consulting, training, and auditing services to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 17025.

Sherryl has successfully led & conducted hundreds of Internal & External audits, provided lead auditor and customized training programs, and consulted and implemented countless management systems globally. Along with extensive value added auditing, consulting services have included drafting and customizing quality documents and procedures, training personnel in their successful implementation, and overseeing management reviews at the corporate level to assure compliance and continuous improvement toward achieving business development goals.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking about qualityBrandon Kerkstra and his seasoned staff have given keynote addresses and motivational speeches before trade organizations, conferences and industry groups on topics including:
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Excelling at manufacturing or service quality
  • Team building and communications for success
  • Capitalizing on diversity
  • Conflict management and resolution
  • Using the quality tools of today to compete in the future
  • Capitalizing on continuous improvement
  • Launching programs and saving money

Any of these presentations can be modified to meet the needs of a particular organization.

Tom Stembaugh

tom stembaugh expert iso consultantAs an active member of Management Solutions Group Tom has assisted companies with ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 implementation and internal audits along with the core tools (APQP, FMEA, PPAP, MSA, SPC) and lean improvement projects necessary within the automotive industry.

Tom’s Background includes quality systems (QS 9000, ISO 9000, TS 16949, IATF 16949, ISO 13485, and Baldrige), new product development, lean manufacturing, and direct customer satisfaction. Tom has over thirty years of quality experience in automotive and furniture industries with process and product knowledge in lean manufacturing, plastic injection molding, painting, plating, metal processing, electronics, lighting, assembly, adhesives, and wood processing. Tom has excellent Abilities to strategize, lead, and implement in both large and small organizations to improve quality and increase customer satisfaction while achieving strategic objectives.

Tom holds his Bachelor of Science in Automotive Engineering and Management from Western Michigan University and is a member of the American Society for Quality.

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We review your requirements, then give you a menu of options to meet your budget and schedule.  MSG helps you determine:
  • Goals and objectives
  • Which certifications or standards are applicable
  • What individuals should be involved to tailor your training
  • A time schedule
  • Resources necessary to ensure a successful program launch

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