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Management Systems and ISO Standards for your Business

Find out the 3 easy things you can do to build a winning framework for your business.

It’s about Your Business Too!

I'm going to start off by apologizing because I've missed something. I've missed something huge.

I always talk about audits, auditing, or auditors, and I’ve realised though that we need to talk to business owners and business growth as well.

That’s right – business owners do benefit so much from understanding what on earth these management systems or ISO Standards are, that we talk about all of the time.

You Don’t Have to Be Certified!

Before you run away and stop reading, I do want to stress that to implement the guidance from these ISO standards you do not have to be certified.

This isn’t just for the ‘big guys’ – in fact, it is even more important to you as a small business owner.

Why Would You Follow an Iso Standard in Your Business?

ISO 9001Great question! Why would you?

Easy! Because it benefits your business, your customers, and your staff.

By understanding and aligning your business to the requirements in ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems) it provides you with guidance on how to develop a framework.

It helps you to build a framework to support you in the consistent delivery of whatever your product or service is to your customers. The benefit of this is to make sure or to ensure that your customers receive this amazing experience as part of that.

ISO 9001 provides you with consistency (still my favourite word)!

Don’t forget that there are OH&S and environmental management systems as well though.

What Works?

I visit so many businesses when I'm auditing and I see what works, so I thought I'd share with you the three things that I’ve come across that do truly benefit a business when implementing a system.

Number One – Leadership

If you're the decision-maker in your business if you're the owner, the shareholder, or you might be the manager of the business, you're the decision-maker - you need to be a part of the system.

You have to (yep, I’m going to say it) LOVE your system. You need to lead the way and show everyone how awesome it is and how great it works and looks.

In saying this, sometimes it doesn't work. Sometimes you'll come across things that don't work. That's okay. That's part of continual improvement. It's not a negative thing.

Unposed group of creative business people in an open concept office brainstorming their next project-1I always say it's not a negative thing. If you identify a nonconformance or you find that what your thought would work doesn’t – that’s okay.

Just stick your hand up and say “that didn't work”. Maybe let's try it another way? Or does anyone else have any suggestions?

This leads me to the second point that works …

Number Two - Engage people in the process

Remember even though I mentioned leadership as number one, this doesn’t mean go full steam ahead and implement everything and just tell people how it's going to be done. NO – that’s not going to work I’m sorry.

Engage your people.

You are going to get buy-in by including your workers which also means contractors, employees, visitors or even suppliers.

Involving them in the system and asking them to contribute and show you what works, what might not work - include them in that decision making.

This is the change that we're talking about - anything that changes we need to get our people on board.

Number Three – Keep it Simple

I can't emphasize this enough! Keep it simple.

I have seen some monster systems out there and these monster systems are in small businesses too.

Don't over-complicate it! Don't think that if you're building these systems that the more documentation you have, the better it is.

Always look at what you already have in place. What is it that you're already doing?frustrated with problems young business man working on laptop computer at home

My bet is that if you've been in business for a few years now and you've already got some processes in place that you can use and just tweak a little bit.

Don't think that you have to start from scratch and build a whole system. That's when you end up with this massive documented system that is contradicting itself. I run into this problem often.

If I'm reading through a management system - in one place, it says this and another place, it says this and now I found something else and it says this, what exactly is meant to happen!?

Keep it simple and look, don't beat yourself up if you've gone in that direction of building a monster system, because remember what I just said before, this is just the process of learning and continual improvement. I see it often where businesses do tend to go over the top and we even do it here at Auditor Training Online. We end up going this way and then we think, oops, that's not very good, that's not working or that's over complicated and we have to pull things back. Sometimes you do have to push it over the edge to find out that it doesn't work.

This is all continual improvement. Learn to love the process.

Learn to Love the Improvement Process

Learn to love that improvement process - don't think of it as negative. It's okay. Look, we've given it a shot now we've learned something from it. Let’s reassess and see how we can do it better.

I'm off next month to conduct an audit. I’ve been going to this client for about 6-7 years and they are certified to ISO 9001. During this time, I have seen the system, the business, and the owner flourish and grow.

This is a small business of about 6 people and the owner is heavily involved in the system (there’s leadership for you).

Every time I talk about these guys, I always have a huge smile on my face because this is the most rewarding part of my job - seeing the people I work with learn to love their systems.

Excited creative business people giving high-five in meeting room at creative officeThis client is actually so happy he is increasing his criteria to include ISO 45001 OH&S and ISO 14001 Environment. WHY? Not because his clients want him to. Because HE loves it. Because he has seen what ISO 9001 and the quality management system framework have done for his business and how beneficial it's been. And now he just wants more.

This is how it should be. These systems shouldn’t be clunky and annoying and sit over in the corner and only be pulled out when an auditor arrives. It should just be the way that you do business.

And remember you don't even have to be certified to align your business with these standards. They are such a great tool for business owners to build a framework and I think we need more of that.

I think, oh no, I'm putting it out there - I think we at, Auditor Training Online need to provide more of that guidance. We need a simple solution for all businesses out there, so they can be a part of this too. It's a fantastic tool.

And on top of that, they are international so it’s a language and a framework that is understood everywhere.

If you want to be a part of this, please contact us and we are only too happy to help provide guidance – we can do this because we are real people!

Note – this is an excerpt from the Auditor Training Online Facebook Live, view the video here.