Failure to implement proper systems in your business may have dire consequences. If you are a new business owner, there are various options you could look to implement the right systems for your business.
First, you can employ a systems consultant on a contractual basis or employ someone in-house who has experience in this. These are people who will design the systems you will use in your business.
By design, we mean writing policies and formulating templates i.e. for forms and procedures that your company would like to use.
For example, making use of visuals will help the operators to be clear on the way to use the machines.
Types of systems
For many informal, micro and small businesses we find that systems are informal or not properly implemented.
The ISO 9001 is a basic quality management system that both small and big organisations implement because of its reliability, repeatability and quality of operation formations.
This system is verified by third party bodies such as the SABS, SGS and NQA. Ideally, this is a system that small businesses can start off with before implementing the ISO 14001 (an environmental system), which is mostly implemented by larger corporates.
The ISO 14001 environmental management system is ideal for larger organisations and optionally the ISO 17025, which is the Laboratory management system, as well as OHS 18001, The Occupational Health and Safety management System.
These systems can be managed as one integrated management system. Changes to one section or part of the system will inevitably impact on the other and needs to be managed accordingly.
If precautions or safety measures are not in place, there could be problems. For example, internal systems that regulate SARS compliance, if not effectively administrated, would impact on the whole operation adversely to the extent of threatening the organizations survival or existence.
The ISO 9001 system will help small businesses build effective processes for:
- Record-keeping systems
- Financial systems
- Operational systems
- HR and Admin systems
- Production systems.
This needs to be in alignment with the legislative requirements – ensuring compliance with Tax Laws (SARS), the Companies Act and the Labour Relations Act among others.
The importance of systems
The systems a business implements should be relevant and effective management tools, which are dynamic and interactive.
Should the system not have the desired outcomes, interactive nature and/or requirement; it will be forgotten or neglected.
Employees should know the requirements of the systems. It should be simple so they are able to use them and know the required standards of these systems.
Systems design tips:
- Know and understand your business operations well before you design or select a system
- The quality requirements should be simple for the operators so that you are able to minimise wastage. i.e. of raw materials.
- Involve your employees or operators in formulating the operating procedures, work instructions, and standard forms.