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Monday, 25 August 2008

The Credit Crunch and how to survive it

When times get hardand it becomes difficult to maintain business levels and make money, the credit crunch and slow down in the economy is particularly unwelcome. So what can you do about it? You can work 'smarter' rather than harder, streamline your business, seek out inefficiencies and rectify them.

ISO9001, the quality management standard, has always been a method to incorporate best practice within any organisation. It brings in measures of customer satisfaction, which are essential during hard times, these help businesses to improve their attractiveness to customers and help to target new ones. The very last thing that any business wants is to have goods returned or services to be carried out again free of charge.

Continual improvement is also highlighted, as is the reduction of errors and mistakes. The Standard, if properly implemented, brings any business improved efficiency and better control of the quality of products and services.

The added advantage of a good quality management system is that an external authority is certifying that the systems employed by the business are effective and meet the requirements set out by the international standards organisation.

These include:

Documentation Requirements
  • Quality Manual
  • Control of Documents
  • Control of Records
Management Responsibility
  • Customer Focus
  • Quality Policy
  • Planning
  • Responsibility, Authority and Communication
  • Internal Communication
  • Management Review
Resource Management
  • Provision of Resources
  • Human Resources
  • Competence, Awareness and Training
  • Infrastructure
  • Work Environment
Product & Service Delivery
  • Planning of Product Realisation
  • Customer-Related Processes
  • Design and development
  • Purchasing
  • Product Provision & Service Delivery
  • Preservation of Product
  • Control of Monitoring and Measuring Equipment
Measurement, Analysis and Improvement
  • Measuring Customer Satisfaction
  • Internal Audit
  • Monitoring & Measurement of Processes
  • Monitoring & Measurement of Product or Service
  • Control of Nonconforming Product
  • Continual Improvement
  • Corrective Action
  • Preventive Action
If these elements are established and operated then the company is in the best position to weather the storms ahead.

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