This is probably a topic on a slide in every ISO presentation, an item on every ISO discussion and one of the hardest questions to give a ‘generic’ answer to. That’s because, like every ISO is different, the question, ‘Why bother with an ISO Management System?’ will be different for every individual business.
One of the major reasons for implementing an ISO Management System is to save money. One way is by reducing the waste and therefore spending less on the product or service you deliver. However, some businesses want to make their procedures more efficient. This could have a direct effect on the time spent on processing an order, and therefore indirectly have the dual bonus of saving time on administration or sales and getting the order out (invoicing quicker).
Bigger businesses may want to be more organised, ensure their filing system is being used correctly, something that legal based companies want. Last thing they need is to lose a clients’ original documents before going to court!
Every ISO Management System delivers all the above and more, but only if the business that wants it, implements it fully. One of the greatest problems I see when I visit a business that either want to transition to a new Standard, or, have just been put on a 3-month review from their certification body, is the Management System has never been fully implemented. The results are the Senior Management are disillusioned, nothing has been fixed, a waste of several months effort on behalf of the staff and the promised benefits have not materialised!
If the business in question used a consultancy to help them, it’s very easy to point the finger at them. Maybe some of the Managers didn’t buy into the Management System and therefore didn’t go out of their way to ensure it was being used by their departments. There are a multitude of reasons!
In my view, the real reason starts at the top. If the CEO, MD or GM aren’t behind it, then no matter what resources are thrown at it, it will never succeed. Maybe for a few months things look good, but soon old habits kick back in, records, reports, procedures and processes are dropped and you are back to where you were before you started.
A properly implemented ISO will bring benefits and rewards to your business; it has to be driven and supported from the Top Management and, have the buy in from all the staff.
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