The unexpected business benefits of certification.
Better internal communication, stronger inter-departmental team working and a clearer focus on business objectives are just a few of the beneficial side effects of implementing management standards yet they often come as a surprise to organisations starting out on the journey to certification.
One organisation which has recently discovered the unexpected business benefits of implementing ISO standards with the support of ISO Quality Services Ltd is Place Partnership, a fast growing property management company.
When the Directors at Place Partnership wanted to send out a clear message to their current and future clients that the company was fully committed to business excellence, they turned to the ISO standards for help.
From their initial shortlist of four standards, they chose to focus on quality and information security. They knew that these certifications would ensure the company was competing on a level playing field – vital for a relative newcomer to the competitive property management market- as well as being good for PR.
From the start, senior managers from functions not normally associated with IT security or quality management, such as HR and Finance, were involved in the implementation of the management standards. This sent the message to all staff that both quality and information security are the responsibility of every individual in the organisation and made everyone think about the role they play in driving customer satisfaction and controlling sensitive data.
The strong commitment to processes demonstrated by the cross-functional management team helped to ensure that other colleagues would adopt the procedural changes required to meet the standards. The shared goals of the certification process also helped the team enjoy a stronger sense of direction. Director of Property Operations, Ian Edwards commented: “This has been especially noticeable in meetings where attendees have been more focussed on goals and objectives than before.”
Since certification, employees have continued to push themselves to achieve further improvements. Many companies worry that certification is just a box ticking exercise subject to three yearly reviews but Place Partnership is determined to continuously improve and ISO QSL’s mid-year health check and annual audits will help the company maintain this momentum. Place Partnership’s Managing Director, Andrew Pollard said: “Employees are continuing to push themselves to achieve further improvements. We plan to implement further standards once these two standards have fully bedded in.”
Place Partnership’s Top Tips for Success:
Attending a training course before starting the certification process helps you get to grips with what is required of you as well as giving you the opportunity to discuss your ideas with peers and a trained assessor. Mark Westbury, Business Operations Manager, comments: “I found all of the Quality Management training useful as it focused my attention on what we needed to do.”
Do as much preparation as possible and ask ISO QSL for advice. The more you know, the easier it is to choose and then implement your management system/s. Don’t be daunted by implementing two standards at once, once you have prepared your colleagues to welcome change they will be receptive to new ideas and processes.
Ensure that the target dates set by ISO QSL are adhered to. The deadlines help keep you focussed and you’ll be able to achieve certification within a surprisingly short time span.
Make time for ISO QSL’s mid-year health checks which ensure your business is on track to be re-certified at the end of the year.
For more information:
ISO Quality Services training: www.isotrainingservicesltd.com
ISO Quality Services certification: www.isoqsltd.com
Place Partnership: www.placepartnership.co.uk