Recently, I received an enquiry from a customer who needed a new ISO approval. He needed to reply to a tender, and hopefully enter a new market. I specialise in getting businesses approved quickly with concise management systems and minimum documentation.Improvement of the company’s performance is my focus.. Furthermore, I design my systems to give as small an additional administration burden as possible. Hence, I don’t think there are many consultancies who can implement a system to gain ISO approval much faster..

I cut it fine and quoted them X days to write, implement and gain approval for the system. The potential customer came back to me, and said “Very interested in your services, but I have a system already. Any chance you could update it instead of writing a new one? Surely that would be quicker and cheaper?”

Expensive Nonsense 

I received the documentation. The documents were mostly dated 2014. They’d been generated in a completely different business with a significantly larger workforce and entirely different product. To cap it off they referred to out of date versions of the requested ISO standards.

At a similar time I was asked by another customer to look at a downloaded management system he’d purchased on line but was struggling with. I had a look. I’ve been involved with management systems for ISO approval most of my working life, and certification since 1993. The documentation was the worst set of nonsense I’ve ever seen, and I’ve read some rubbish in my time. Somebody had cobbled together different bits of a standard. Then they had copied in some forms they found somewhere. Finally, they had thrown in some more meaningless “wordage”, resulting in about 25 documents, some pointlessly lengthy. This had then been sold to my very nice, honest and ethical customer. Explaining to him that he’d basically been conned was difficult and embarrassing.

How To Start Well

So let’s go back to basics. To gain ISO approval, you need a system that describes how your business operates. It’s simple. Whether it be for Quality, Environment, Health and Safety, Information Security, is irrelevant. It should describe how YOUR business operates in order to be able to make sure YOUR business improves, doesn’t kill anybody, pollute the world or share your customers bank details with a fictitious African Prince.

Cars, Engines, and The Wrong Choice.

Think of it like this……..
You have a Ford Car, you find it hasn’t got an engine. You have two real choices, you can go to a Ford dealer and buy an engine and have it fitted, or you can go to your local scrap yard and just say to the owner “I want an engine” take whatever he offers you and throw it at the car. That’s exactly what you are doing if you take a set of documents from a different business, with different management and different aims.

If It Fits Properly, It Might Just Work

So I’m sorry if you think ISO based management systems, defined by world leading industry experts, don’t work. But before scrapping them I would suggest that investing some time in making sure the system matches YOUR business. For successful ISO approval, it needs to be lined up and designed to deliver YOUR business aims and objectives and written around YOUR workforce and facilities. It could even make you do better business. If you want to know how to do this give me a ring or drop me an email.

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