16th February 2014
Most companies holding a certifications to ISO9001, 1SO14001 or ISO27001 have done so for many years and although the standards call for ‘Continual Improvement’ this is often product or service based and often reflects normal organic growth. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with this approach, Directors are not always taking advantage of the latest techniques and processes.
Many companies certified over five or six years may have a fairly large management systems manual and processes to match; some of these will have been expanded as a result of auditors’ comments and some by customers’ complaints or observations, but not all will add any value to the company’s operation.
It is often difficult for internal auditors to “see the wood for the trees”; What is a good idea is to have someone have a look with fresh eyes at what you are doing; get a real heads-up on the latest techniques and ways to reduce the administrative burden of Systems Management.
Professional consultants have verifiable qualifications and accreditations plus Professional Indemnity Insurance and considerable and varied experience. It is worth asking for evidence of these qualifications. Also any consultant worth his/her salt will be able to furnish you with a list of satisfied clients with whom you can obtain references.
A good consultant is worth his/or her weight in gold; not only can a gap audit or review actually save money it can result in greater efficiency. Remember an experienced consultant will have been involved with a number of organisations and will be able to use that experience to help you. Cherry picking the best practices and techniques while retaining strict confidentiality will add real value to your business.
Although external consultants can look expensive initially, the overall outlay is extremely cost effective when combined with other advantages, such as no holidays to pay for, no sickness or other absence to factor in; most consultants will offer a guarantee of work performed.
And the best bit is you only pay for actual work performed.
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