I recently caught up with a lovely lady that a number of years ago assisted me in revamping the Quality Management System for the company I was working for. Jane is a Quality Management consultant and we spent quite a deal of our catch up discussing the age old problem of why people seem to think that quality is such a BIG DEAL!
Implementing a quality management system like ISO 9001 can be daunting, yes, but often it's more about the perception than the reality. The reality is that a quality system should reflect what you do every day, but also show that you've considered all aspects of the service or products that you provide. For example, that you have clear objectives and goals for your organisation, that you understand, listen to, and act on customer feedback, that you document and keep important records like personnel files, invoices, customer records - oh - and that you keep your data secure!
The reason I chose Jane all those years ago was because she reflected my views on quality; that it could be practical, it should be part of business practice - not just something that's done on the side to satisfy an auditor, and it could be developed in ways that suit your own business (not a series of folders sitting on a shelf collecting dust in the back room).
Since that first introduction to practical quality management, I've helped two other organisations implement great quality systems. One has since been certified (with no non-conformances!), and the other simply uses those principles to ensure that they provide great services to their clients. You don't necessarily need to obtain certification to get value out of ISO 9001!
If you are looking for guidance on ensuring quality outcomes for customers, then you should consider ISO 9001. It helps you to see any gaps or flaws in your processes, ensures you keep the right documentation and focuses you on customer feedback. Give me a buzz if you'd like to know more about ISO 9001 - or if you're already looking at it, take a look at Jane's website: www.mapwright.com.au. She has a DIY 9001 Kit that can help too!
So many people in small businesses are time poor or don't understand the rapidly changing landscape of marketing, particularly how they can best use online marketing to their advantage. Here's a collection of ramblings designed to help those little fish out there!