Of course one thing leads to another – so once we had our Health and Safety policy in place, we tackled what we thought would be a bigger hurdle: How to demonstrate to the world that this company is a quality operation in terms of our services, our management and our ethos – without going for ISO9000.
What pushed us into doing it?
Sheer ambition! We wanted to be able to bid for more work, some in the public sector. Such contracts, as well as those related to the 2012 Olympics, are perceived as difficult to win and we do not disagree.
However, without being fit, we could not even reach the starting block – let alone the winners podium.
Where to start?
What we really wanted was an example or template to follow that we could use as a check list and make into our own policy. With a bit of digging, and we found the Chartered Quality Institute’s Small Business Standard
This gave us the basis for our own Quality Management Statement and the systems that we needed to put in place to live up to it.
So what exactly is a QM system?
It is a bird’s eye view of all aspects of our business management, underpinned by corresponding good practice measures. The broad headings, cover everything from the responsibilities of management, financial processes and HR policies to customer service standards and quality measures for service delivery. In short, we had to think systematically about all the things we do and how we do them. Our Quality Management Statement sets out the standards and practices by which the company operates and can be measured.
More pain or more gain?
Gain! Now we have done the thinking and writing, there is a clear structure in place on which to build and improve; All staff have a clear idea of the company’s working practices, ethos as employers and aspirations; Life is easier for new starters with an induction process; And it means we are already on the starting block when evidence of quality systems is a pre-requisite for bidding for a contract.
But there’s always more!
As we established our QM systems, the need for other policies emerged. Next in line were environmental and equal opportunities policies. Both crop up as elements of our QM systems and will always be requested when bidding for public or 2012 Olympic tenders. But by now, we were on a roll and able to put them in place quite quickly.
If you’d like to discuss your startup or project, get in touch with Simpleweb today.