After months of preparation, staff at Vemco Consulting will be rewarded with certification of ISO 9001 – quality management systems (QMS) and OHSAS 18001 – health and safety. These are widely recognised systems based on the concept of producing quality services through continual improvement, with customer satisfaction being the ultimate goal.
It should be noted that to gain this international accolade is a huge achievement for any company, let alone a company with 5 staff such as Vemco.
Our team spent many hundreds of hours developing procedures and processes for checking quality to ensure that our clients receive consistently good products from us.
Many small businesses simply would not embark on such a journey after considering the time, money and ongoing effort required to sustain this certification. So why did we at Vemco decide to do it? Well, my lucky number is 7, so I have 7 reasons why companies should seek this status:
1. Customer is King
Remember, keeping customers satisfied is the ultimate goal of a QMS. When you really understand this, you understand the power of ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001.
2. New Markets
ISO certification can open up new markets – some of which we were unable to do business with before. There are a number of large companies that insist on some of these standards in order to successfully tender for their work.
3. Better Systems – Better Quality
What I want for my company is to provide consistently high quality products. Clients then know that they can expect high standards every time and will ultimately tell others about it. That can only be good for our business.
4. Focus on Customer Needs
Since a QMS is all about continuous improvement, significant focus is placed on understanding what customers actually want. It sounds obvious, but how seriously do companies really take this? Large food chains like Tesco fully understand this concept and work hard to understand their customers’ needs in detail, but this is just as important for smaller companies as well.
5. Understand Your Business Thoroughly
The one thing I can truly say about my ISO journey is that I now understand my business. Not that I didn’t before; but I know it thoroughly now. Also, it’s now very easy to understand what is happening in my business at any given time. For instance, my assistant, Geraldine, is the custodian of our unique numbering system – it’s a number that stays with a job from the time a quote is issued, to the time the job is completed and an invoice is sent. Just by working in this way means we are now set up so that, at any point, I can take the “pulse” of the business and make informed decisions – quite powerful stuff!
6. Improved Staff Morale
For us at Vemco, setting up our QMS provided a short term target to aim for – and staff will enjoy the benefit of wearing the ISO badge with honour; they earned it! However, the QMS also provides them with clear expectations and the tools to do their job (procedures and work instructions). It provides them with prompt and actionable feedback on their performance (process metrics). The result? An improved company culture and a more professional staff!
7. International Recognition
ISO is not a national standard; it’s an international standard administered by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), based in Switzerland. ISO 9001 is currently in use by close to one million organisations around the world. It truly is a worldwide standard for quality. Obtaining ISO certification puts your company in a very select group.
If you want to learn more about how we went about our ISO journey, or if you need help with yours, why not contact our office on 01223 655570. We’ll be happy to assist you.