Most of us start the New Year with a whole lot of good intentions-things we’re going to do, places we’re going to go and goals we’re going to achieve. Some people achieve everything they set out to do, others achieve nothing, and the majority achieve a few and then lose interest.
That’s just human nature, isn’t it? Well, yes-and no. If we put our mind to achieving something, and we focus on that thought, we can generally make it happen.
The thing is, making excuses for not getting something done isn’t something we do purely in our personal lives-we do it in business, too. And one area that probably prompts a lot of excuses, is whether or not to pursue ISO certification.
Have you heard the excuses? I haven’t got time. I don’t need it. It’s not for small businesses. There’s too much paperwork. It’s not mandatory.
Really? Or is that just a way of putting it in the ‘too hard’ basket?
Need to change
Let’s see. Let’s just say you were considering an ISO safety management system. You might say that you’ve employed a health and safety officer, they do their thing, and you do yours, and there’s no need to change.
Really? In a perfect world where bad things never happen, maybe. But this is the real world-where accidents happen, businesses are sued, laws are broken.
The whole raison d’etre for International Standards and integrated management systems is to ensure all parts of a business run smoothly and together, strengthening good results and minimising bad.
Okay, you say, I get that. But we’re a small business, we’ve only got 10 employees.
So? Your point is? Just so we’re clear, there’s no size restriction on safety or quality. Quality Management System ISO 9001 is as usual and relevant to a company of 10 employees as it is to a company with 10,000.
Safety and quality
We’re talking about basic business requirements here-safety and quality. If you haven’t got them, and you’re not improving them constantly, the future doesn’t look that good.
It’s things like safety and quality systems that make businesses sustainable.
Some business owners truly believe ISO Standards are just a load of government rules and regulations specifically designed to make their lives more difficult! Wrong! The idea is that they will make your life easier, by getting rid of repetitive tasks and duplication, and helping systems run more smoothly.
And besides, they are not written by government. ISO is an independent, non-government, international organisations, with its headquarters based in Geneva, Switzerland.
ISO has published more than 20,500 Standards, covering everything from food safety to technology.
This very forward thinking organisation began in 1946, when delegates from 25 countries met in London to try and coordinate and unify the already growing list of industrial standards.
Today’s members-the people who work together to create the Standards comes from all walks of life, from 162 countries.
And that last point is rather important. Australian companies need to be better equipped to trade internationally. That means they need the knowledge to do that, and the requirements. Increasingly in Europe, major companies will only accept supplies from small businesses that have certification. It’s a way of knowing that everyone’s on the same page.
If you’ve got an ISO safety management system in place, or quality management system ISO 9001, you’re more likely to be accepted in the overseas market and, increasingly, in Australia.
Anyone who has ever tendered for a government contract will understand that.
Okay, so our Doubting Thomas has accepted all that but believes it will result in him having to totally change the way he runs his business.
Not necessarily-and things do have to be changed, it will probably be because they weren’t running efficiently or safely. If change results in increased market share, a great reputation and satisfied customers, isn’t it worth it?
Change for the better
Nobody likes to be criticised, or told they are doing things wrong, so yes, any form of change may be a challenge. But implementing an ISO safety management system, or quality management system ISO 9001, is a good change and a worthwhile challenge.
And you don’t have to do it alone. If you’re worried that an encyclopedia-sized instruction book will arrive and you’re be shut in your office for a month deciphering it, you’re wrong.
There are specialist management consultants in Brisbane whose purpose in life is to help you achieve the very best results with your business.
These consultants tailor-make training packages to suit your industry and the size of your business. They deliver the training, and they can take you through to certification.
They are experienced in just about every industry known to mankind, too.
Before you know it you’ll be reaping the many rewards of having implementing the right systems in your business and creating a safe, motivated workforce, producing quality goods and services.
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