Is a lack of structure stopping the growth of your business? Is everyday a story of fire fighting and battling to get things done while the company seems to fight against you? Everyone likes freedom, and work takes so much of our lives we need freedom at work. But freedom to one person can be chaos to another. We also have to meet customer needs to become successful, we need to know we are using the correct materials in our goods, that our deliveries are going to the right places and arriving on time. So we need discipline, we need to know that things are being done correctly.
But business needs creativity too, heavy discipline and overly enforced rules stifle creativity, and without creativity in our business we go stale and competitors can overtake us quickly.
The ISO standards PROPERLY interpreted should set a minimum set of guidelines to give your business the structure it needs to keep it on the road and functioning correctly, while also leaving room for flexibility and creativity.
ISO 9001, once renowned for demanding reams of paperwork and stacks of forms now has a mandatory list of only six documented procedures, and whatever you need to control any unique products or processes your business relies on. The experience of putting such systems into around 40 companies has shown me that most business with less than 30 employees rarely need more than 2 additional procedures, and most of those procedures only need a single sheet of A4.
So the whole system should take little more than a dozen sheets of paper, but it will install a business model or template into your company which will enable and control its growth, delivering repeatable products and services which meet the requirements of your customers.
And on top of installing repeatable processes and improved structure into your business, gaining certification against the ISO standard suitable for you business will also get you access to greater tender opportunities and larger markets – Big customers need to select suppliers they can rely on, sooner or later they use certification against an ISO standard as way by which they select their suppliers. For a small investment, and a short project taking around three months you can hold ISO 9001 Quality Management, ISO 14001 Environmental Management or OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Management Certification, and own a business qualification which will enhance your position in the market as well as installing forming order out of chaos and structure where its needs.
Want to build a better business? Get yourself an ISO9001 system, see the change it brings then add more standards as you markets dictate them.