Well, does it? As 2017 gets underway, and we count down the days to the end of this financial year, how is your organisation doing?
Are you making money? Losing money? Attracting new customers? And could you do better? The truth is, there’s always room to improve, right?
If your customer numbers and profits aren’t where you’d like them to be, you need to ask the question ‘why’? It’s not so much a case of what are you doing wrong, as what could you be doing better? And the best place to start is by looking at your quality management system.
Quality is Central to Success
Do you have one – and is it working? Whilst quality doesn’t demand the same compliance as workplace safety or environmental management, it is still crucial to the success and good name of your business.
It might be that your quality management system is based more on quality control, than quality assurance. Whilst quality control is important, it’s a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted!
Quality is a Mindset
The secret to success is giving your customers nothing to complain about! Therefore getting it right first time, every time, is really important, and Quality Management System ISO 9001 will help you do that.
Remember, quality doesn’t just apply to the finished product; quality should be a mindset. From the way in which your staff answer the phone, to the reliability of your deliveries, it’s all about quality.
But quality can be hard to measure. It’s easy enough to check products as they come off the production line, but how can you be across all the other areas of your organisation, every day? If you are an SME, the job is even harder.
Taking a Global Approach
Again, the answer is simple; Quality Management System ISO 9001 plus quality management system training.
Quality Management System ISO 9001 comprises the policies and procedures needed to effectively manage quality within your organisation. Based on an international standard, it is considered a global approach, making it ideal for both domestic and overseas markets.
Sometimes referred to as a QMS, a quality management system does require time and investment to set up but, once in place, it does nothing but deliver great results. In fact, most organisations more than cover the expense really quickly, in terms of more customers, and more sales.
A QMS helps you identify and better manage all the internal and external quality assurance challenges. It puts practices in place to ensure quality is achieved in all areas. These practices must be continually reviewed and measured to ensure compliance.
Working with internal auditors – who may or may not be on your staff – you can work to perfect your quality standards. When you are ready, you can then seek accreditation through ISO 9001 third party or lead auditors.
Accreditation is a powerful tool for businesses, so it isn’t given lightly. It has to be earned but the benefits are so worth it. It’s like having a global stamp of approval on your product! It’s a mark of quality that is both credible and trusted.
Quality management system training is a key part of the process as success depends on complete commitment from your employees, especially management. Training helps them understand the thinking behind implementing Quality Management System ISO 9001, rather than it being seen as just another bunch of rules.
All About Continuity
The secret is continuity, so it’s recommended to choose specialist ISO 9001 consultants who can work with through the entire process. These organisations, preferably run by qualified lead auditors, help you develop and implement your tailor-made QMS, and then train your staff accordingly.
At first glance on the internet, there are many organisations offering these services. I suggest taking a closer look. Look for consultants who have been in the business a long time; are qualified lead auditors, and who have experience across all major industries.
The ideal consultancy is one that specialises in ISO management systems – including integrated management systems, and can boast a very high success rate. It should ideally be certified to Exemplar Global, and offer a bespoke management system service.
Enjoying the Benefits
Even better if the organisation offers you the choice of working from its premises or your own. And ask if they also offer internal auditing training, as you may decide to put key employees through that.
Quality Management System ISO 9001 offers many benefits. The customer becomes your prime focus and, as a result, you will see an increase in sales. You are also likely to experience cost savings, as you will maximizing resources and minimising waste.
You may lose some staff, but they are probably the ones you need to lose, because their focus is not on the customer. However, by gaining certification to ISO 9001, you will attract and keep highly qualified employees who believe in your goals.