When it comes to giving your business the best chance of success, you need to be confident about what you do. This means that you need to believe in your current product or service and you also want to be sure that any changes you make will be of benefit. It can be difficult to be confident about making changes and all too often; this will leave businesses sticking with what they have as opposed to making the correct decisions to move forward. This may eventually create a situation where a firm has to make changes in order to develop but due to being hurried and forced, the changes are not implemented properly.
This is where a business needs to have a proper system in place to ensure that they provide quality at all times and that all changes are well considered and measured. No matter what industry or sector you are in, you need to provide quality and reliable work and there is a need for continuous improvement. Clichés can often be damaging in business but the cliché of “a business that stands still will commonly go backwards” is very true and this is where businesses need to be able to review and implement confidently and correctly.
This may sound like a daunting prospect for businesses but there is no need to be concerned as there is plenty of great support available when looking to develop a Quality Management System in the work-place. No matter the size of your firm, or the sector it is working in, the ISO9001:2008 can be of great benefit. Here are some of the benefits that arise from implementing it:
- The firm has a Quality Policy that every employee can work towards
- The firm has a quality that is understood by all employees and which creates standards and objectives for all employees which can be measured
- The Quality Management System is audited on a regular basis
- The business acknowledges the requirements of the customer and works towards them
- There are clear communication channels for employees and customers
- The business is able to pinpoint and review problems from the past as well as potential future problems
One of the best ways for a firm to provide quality and assurance in what they do is to implement a Plan Do Check Act system in the workplace.
The four phases in the Plan Do Check Act cycle allow for continuous reviewing and improvements to be made which means that a firm can continue to offer a getter range of services/products to customer while ensuring all employees are working to their expected goals. The stages of the cycle are:
Plan. At this stage, firms should consider what they do and what they want to do while undertaking analysis of any problems that they have.
Do. At this stage, firms should take develop and test potential solutions and working practices.
Check. At this stage, a review should be carried out of the solutions that were tested with a measurement placed on the effectiveness of the solution and analysis carried out to determine if more success could be achieved in other ways or by tweaking the solution.
Act. Once the reviews have taken place and the firm is satisfied with their plan, they should act and implement it.
Once the four stages have been concluded, the firm is in the position to start the cycle once again by returning to the Plan stage and reviewing their current situation. Even with a strong level of testing, it may be that external factors or elements that were not considered impact on the real-life success of an action, which is where firms have to consider their options once again and look to make progress.
When it comes to creating a structure to build on success and to ensure that every employee knows what they are working towards, working practises like the Plan Do Check Act cycle can be very effective for businesses of all sizes.