How to Choose an ISO Consultant

Finding and choosing the right ISO consultant is an important decision for an organisation to make, especially for those looking for a consultant for the first time.

Organisations use an ISO consultant to help them design and implement a quality management system (QMS) with the objective of achieving or maintaining certification to a required standard. Some organisations even retain their consultant after implementation to act as their designated management representative or internal auditor. The value of having an ISO consultant cannot be understated, as they have the potential to be extremely influential in regards to achieving and maintaining ISO certification. Therefore, choosing the right consultant for your business should be a thorough and well-thought-out process.

To make things a little easier, here are some key considerations that you will need to make during your search for the right consultant:

  1. Understand your reasons for hiring a consultant – Before you begin your search for the right ISO consultant, you need to be clear on the reasons behind your search. This will make other key considerations easier.
  2. Look for experience and relevance – It’s important to select a consultant that has the relevant experience to help your business achieve certification. Look for experience within your industry, management systems and specific ISO standards.
  3. Establish a good working relationship - Your ISO consultant will spend a lot of time within your organisation and gain close access to your processes and staff. Therefore, you will need to build a solid rapport and mutual trust with each other.
  4. Costs – Budgets are never unlimited. So, when you choose your ISO consultant, you need to ensure that their costs are in-line with your spending allowances.
  5. Gather references and investigate past work – Try to gain an insight into how your ISO consultant works by gathering references from organisations they’ve worked with in the past or take a look at case studies they may have. By learning about their credentials, you'll be in a better position to make an informed decision.

Talking these six points into consideration will help you to choose an ISO consultant. If you are looking for an effective, ISO consultant that you can trust, NPT Management Systems can help you. Click below to learn more about our ISO consultant services and how we can help you.

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If you would like us to help your organisation design and implement an effective QMS to help achieve or maintain ISO certification, then please full out and submit an enquiry form here.

Better Time Management

Do you frequently feel overwhelmed by the size of your to-do list? Are you stressed because, no matter how hard you work, there never seem to be enough hours in the day to address everything that needs addressing?

If so, you may just need to adjust your approach to time management. Here are 5 quick tips to help your working day feel like less of an uphill struggle:

  • Prioritise! It's unlikely that all the tasks on your to-do list are equally urgent. Identify the most pressing matters and deal with them first before moving on to other things.

  • Try to avoid multi-tasking. You might think that you can double your productivity by working on two things at once, but this rarely works as well as we'd like it to - you'll likely work faster and better if you focus on one thing at a time.

  • Set time limits for yourself. Try to have a clear idea of how long each task on your list ought to take. Your allowance for each item doesn't necessarily have to be set in stone, but you should find that things get done more quickly when you've already told yourself that each task will only take an hour to complete.

  • Don't be afraid to delegate if you can. If you have a team of employees or co-workers on hand, let them help you! It can sometimes be difficult to escape the 'only I can do this right' mindset and relinquish control of a task/project to someone else, but it's important to feel that you can trust your colleagues and allow them to shoulder some of your burden.

  • Shut out distractions. You've probably found that many tasks end up taking far longer than they should because your workflow gets interrupted by little things - emails that you feel compelled to answer straight away, breaking news stories that you're keen to check up on, phone calls from clients with questions to ask. Some of these distractions are unavoidable, but if you're serious about managing your time more effectively, you need to do whatever you can to shut them out. Close all tabs that aren't relevant to the task at hand. Ask your colleagues to handle phone calls and emails where possible. And most importantly, forget about the other tasks on your list until you've completed the one you're currently addressing!

NPT Management Systems specialise in helping businesses implement quality management systems that improve efficiency, quality, and customer satisfaction. Contact us for details.

Improved teamwork in the office

It's said that many hands make light work, but in practice, this is only really true if those hands know how to work together as a team. When they don't, blithely throwing more people at a task may ultimately reduce the efficiency with which that task is completed.

If, as a business owner, you're finding that your staff aren't yet 'clicking' as a team, here are a few quick tips to help you improve this situation:

  • Encourage communication. In the modern office, workers often sit at their desks wearing headphones, effectively shutting out everything and everyone around them. While music often helps people to concentrate on the job at hand, you may find that your employees work more effectively as a team when they take their headphones off and actually speak to one another. Teamwork involves communication - it's rarely just a case of dividing up the work and getting on with it individually.

  • Make sure everyone knows their role. Every member of a team should have a unique role to play in the work that is to be done. Instead of simply setting several people a task and telling them to sort it out between themselves, begin by sitting everyone down and ensuring that everyone understands what they are supposed to be bringing to the table.

  • Maintain an open dialogue and listen to complaints/concerns. It usually takes time for a group of people to gel as a team, so make sure that you're doing whatever you can to help during this process. Check in with your team regularly to ensure that everything is running smoothly, and speak to each individual on a regular basis, listening carefully to any issues they raise. If the team feel that one member isn't pulling his weight, or that another member is trying to micro-manage everybody else's contributions, then you can fix these problems through clear and honest communication.

NPT Management Systems are a team of expert ISO consultants based in the South of England.

Global supply

The world gets smaller every day, with technological advances making it easier and easier to communicate and do business with people halfway around the globe. An increasing number of businesses rely on global supply chains, importing goods and materials from other countries in order to provide the best possible product or service to the end consumer.

However, with a whole world of suppliers and contractors to choose from, it can be very difficult for the modern business owner to select a provider who will deliver good value for money and contribute to the overall quality of their offering.

That's where quality consultants like NPT Management Systems come in. Our experience and understanding of quality management systems enables us to help our clients choose the right supplier out of all the options available on the international market. We know exactly what to look for, and we have a superb track record of assisting with the creation of quality-focused global supply chains.

Additionally, if you have an ISO 9001 certified quality management system in place, we can help you to ensure that your overseas suppliers comply with the same standards as your base operations. It can be difficult to harmonise a global supply chain and ensure that quality is maintained throughout all of your processes, but an experienced quality consultant can overcome these challenges and keep things perfectly on track going forward.

If you need an experienced quality consultant to help with your business, please contact NPT Management Systems to discuss your requirements.

Handshake

We've often spoken about the way in which ISO 9001 certification can instil confidence in consumers and encourage them to purchase from you instead of from your competitors. But this globally-recognised accreditation can also be a huge boon to organisations who rely on B2B (business-to-business) custom. An ISO-accredited quality management system will give your clients a little extra peace of mind when they choose to do business with you, but beyond that, ISO 9001 certification is actually a requirement for many contracts across a variety of different sectors.

Here's just one example. Early in 2016, we helped Gecko Metal Works to implement a new quality management system and achieve that all-important ISO 9001 certification. Gecko provide specialist sheet metal work services such as laser profiling and folding, and now that they are ISO-certified, they are able to bid for lucrative government / military contracts that they were previously locked out of.

ISO 9001 accreditation is a mandatory requirement for many different contracts nowadays, so no matter what industry you're in, we're confident that achieving ISO certification will help you to win new business for your company.

The experienced quality consultants here at NPT Management Systems can help you to get certified, and we can also help with pre-qualification questionnaires - please contact us today to discuss your organisation's requirements.

 

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