2017 has been a challenging year thus far. A decline in exports, slower growth in private consumption and fixed investment has caused the economy to contract in Q1 and enter into its second technical recession since 2009. This means that it is now more crucial than ever to break away from your competition to survive in this economy.
The question we as businesses are all asking, is how can we become more competitive during these tough times?
The answer is ISO Management systems and certification. The implementation process allows organisations to streamline their processes and benchmark to international standards that have worked for the likes of Toyota, Coca Cola, MTN SA and many more.
The ISO Certification gives your clients the national and international credibility that they are looking for, in you as a business.
What are ISO Standards?
ISO is not an acronym, it is derived from the Greek word ISOS, which means equal and is interpreted as The International Organization for Standardization, which comprises of various National Standards being superimposed into one International Standard. There are approximately 21500 ISO Standards, from Quality, Health and Safety, Information Security, Environmental, Energy and many more. (The International Organization for Standardization)
The ISO standards set a precedence for companies to create a Management System which comprises of Policies, Objectives, Processes, Risk Assessments and Procedures with the aim of being able to provide a consistent service.
The standards requirements can assist a one-man tuck shop to large corporates such as Google.
Think about it this way, when you buy a house, does your insurance company grant you a policy without an Electrical Certificate of Compliance? Do you buy a brand new laptop, mobile device or any other electrical device without a warranty or guarantee? Will you send your child to a hospital that does not have standards in place? Will you buy vegetables that have not undergone the necessary food safety controls?
We, as consumers, have all become cautious, hence the birth of ISO Certification. An independent body (Watchdog) such as the SABS, BSI, TUV, and Bureau Veritas conduct regular audits against your processes and the International Standard to create the assurance you are looking. How ISO Standards And Quality Management affects SMMEs
That is why your company must invest the time and money to implement the value adding systems with the right consultant. This in turn will provide your current and potential clients the assurance that you have the relevant processes in place to deliver what is required and will provide you with the competitive edge. You are not too small to become ISO certified.
Where do I start if I want to become ISO Certified?
ISO Management systems work on a four-phase approach to develop, implement, train and assist organisations through certification.
The following will give you an overview of how the process works:
Phase 1: GAP analysis & Identification of processes
- GAP Analysis Audit on the choice of your ISO Standard
- All Staff to undergo awareness training on the ISO Standard (Requirements)
- Analyse & identify current systems (Policies, Objectives, Risks, Processes and Procedures) within the company and gather information.
Phase 2: ISO Management System Development
- ISO Management systems manual (Policies, Objectives and Mandatory Procedures)
- Process documentation and Standard Operating Procedures
- Risk assessments and tools to assist in Monitoring, Measuring and Analysing.
Phase 3: Implementation
- Coaching and change management of Top Management and attaining Leadership Values.
- On the job training with all staff and workshops on the ISO Management Systems
- Internal Auditor & Maintenance Training
- Internal Audit, non-conformances, corrective actions and reviewing of risks
- Management Review Meeting and Review of all Statistical Analysis.
Phase 4: Certification
- Stage 1 Desk Study Audit with the Certification Body
- Stage 2 Certification Audit, Non-conformances and Corrective Actions completed
- Annual Surveillance Audits to justify continuous improvement.
ISO standards aren’t rigid rules, but rather a set of generic requirements and guidelines to what we as a business should be following.
It’s the basics of business, we tend to overlook the basics and focus on profits, which jeopardies our quality and service.
Your clients are becoming more advanced, better informed and their expectations are growing. Having ISO Management Systems provides organisations with the competitive edge over their competition, by gaining National/International recognition.
In fact, any organisation, whatever their size or industry sector can give themselves a secure future by introducing ISO Management Systems. Remember to look for management systems that can guarantee 100% certification with any certification body such as SABS, TUV, BSI, Bureau Veritas, DEKRA etc.