There is no doubt that a quality system helps to improve operational performance and reduce waste within an organization, and this alone is a great money saver, but have you ever considered that a recognized quality management system can actually increase revenue and bring in new contracts and clients?
Let’s suppose for a moment that your company is in the running for a new contract from a client you have yet to do business with. You have the capabilities, the resources, and the experience to fulfill the requirements of the contract. You are confident that you are able to deliver at a competitive price point and meet scheduling.
Based on these factors alone your company should be a viable contender, if not the front runner, in securing this new business.
This single contract could have a huge impact on the success and growth of your business!
Is The Lack Of A Quality System Holding Your Business Back?
So with all of these key ducks lined up in a tidy row and all pointing in the right direction, what might possibly be the one area that could hold your business back from landing this new client or contract that will not only be lucrative now, but open up the possibility of continued business with this client in the future?
I can answer this with first hand experience from both a client and a contractor/supplier view point, and I have seen the level of importance that client organizations place on this single aspect of a prospective contractor/supplier company.
I have also seen this area get overlooked, or underdeveloped, and cost a company a much needed contract that they would have been quite capable of delivering on exceptionally well given the opportunity.
So what is it that could be so detrimental to an otherwise sure win?
Your company does not have a quality system based on a recognized standard such as ISO 9001 in place that will provide the level of confidence to the client that you can consistently and reliably produce a quality product or service.
This single area of your business could be a deal breaker and put you at the end of the line compared to your competitors before you even get in the race.
These day the lowest cost is not a guaranteed win.
Quality Control Is Not Enough!
You may be thinking to yourself right now that “we have an inspection process and quality control inspectors in place, isn’t this enough?”
It is not enough, not in today’s competitive business environment. Organizations are realizing that the cost of poor quality in terms of rework, missed schedules, and faulty products, not to mention the negative reputational impact that result from poor quality, far out weigh the benefits and cost savings of selecting the supplier or contractor with the lowest initial cost.
Client organizations want the assurance that the contractor/supplier they select has a sound management system that ensures all aspects of their operations are efficient and controlled, and that the supporting company will take the quality of their products and services very seriously.
After all they are an extension of that client organization once brought on board.
Getting On The Approved Vendor/Supplier List
Contractor or supplier per-qualification is so common these days that you would not even be considered to provide your proposal due to the fact that you cannot check off that very important checkbox:
This is a showstopper for many client organizations, making it a showstopper for your potential business growth and success.
Many companies will not entertain doing new business with a contractor/supplier organization without first having them added to the approved vendor/supplier list. In order to make this list your company must meet certain basic requirements.
A recognized Quality management (ISO 9001) and safety management system being high up on that list of requirements, both carrying significant weight in the overall scoring.
Procrastination Is Not Your Friend!
It is no longer a “nice to have”, but a “must have” in order to secure those coveted new clients and contracts that are essential to sustaining your business and allowing it to prosper in 2018 and years to come.
How To Develop Your Own QMS
So how exactly does a small to medium sized organization go about implementing a quality management system that is based on a widely recognized standard such as ISO 9001?
There are a number of methods available depending on the level of complexity of the organization itself, available resources, time, and budget.
There is the costly route of hiring in-house consultants to come in, assess the organization, identify gaps, suggest methods for closing those gaps and then tailoring a custom made quality system for that company, and further assisting in the implementation of that system.
This is a very thorough method and certainly a great one, but as you can probably imagine, very expensive in terms of paying high hourly rates for a consultant to be onsite for such an extended period of time.
This method is highly recommended for a larger organization with a very complex operation with multiple sites and products/services.
Another method, which requires a more hands on approach on behalf of the company, yet much more cost effective, is to develop your own QMS.
This can easily be done with the aid of ISO 9001 compliant documentation templates. (Click here to learn more about this method)
This method requires some customization of the generalized templates to reflect the processes and operations of your particular organization.
Is Formal ISO 9001 Certification Required?
This is because although a ISO 9001 certification can be very beneficial to an organization and in some cases a requirement, not all companies will be required to have formal certification to the standard, and simply implementing a system that is based on and compliant the the requirements found in ISO 9001 will be enough to satisfy industry and client expectation.
A simple onsite audit on behalf of the client company may be all that is needed to ensure that your system is indeed compliant and being followed.
Both formal certification and compliant systems can be achieved using the methods mentioned above. It is up to the organization to decide just how far they wish to go with regards to formal certification.
Regardless of the method you choose in developing your organizations QMS, or whether you decide to pursue formal certification to ISO 9001 or not, there is no question that in many cases a recognized quality system is not only a cost saving and waste reduction initiative within a companies operations, but a necessary function of the organization in order to assure business success and future growth.
Don’t let the lack of a recognized quality management system hold your business back!