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Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Efficiency and the Credit Crunch

You probably think that these two items, efficiency and credit crunch have little in common, but you would be wrong. Any downturn in the economy will put some businesses over the edge into insolvency but a sound business can, with some help, often capitalise on the opportunities available.
Here are a few ways to increase efficiency as well as saving money:

  • Look at your expenditure on energy - you have been meaning to replace those tungsten light bulbs with the more efficient energy saving bulbs - do it now;
  • Look at windows and doors - is there a draught coming through? - buy some draught excluders and you will save on heating;
  • Get people to dress for winter - summer clothes are for summer;
  • Get people to boil only enough water for hot drinks to serve immediate needs;
  • Check the office thermostat - one degree down will save a considerable amount of money without freezing everyone;
  • Look at your energy supplier - can you get a better deal?
  • If you use a company car or your own car to visit customers, plan your route to minimise the distance and combine visits if possible;

There are other ways to increase efficiency:

These include working from home if possible, video conferencing instead of face to face meetings and better planning of schedules.

If cash-flow is a problem and your Bank won't help then ask your suppliers if you can extend your credit terms.

Order only what you need, buffer stocks are costly in terms of space used and cash tied up.
And finally get someone who is not involved in your business to review your systems. A consultant may cost you a few hundred pounds but may identify improvements that will help you through then tough times. Remember a good consultant will be able to advise you on best practice and will be up to date with the latest technology and methods.

ISO9001, the Quality Standard can guide you to accepted best practice

ISO14001, the Environmental Standard can help you reduce pollution and save energy.

There are many more efficiency savings but using just these few can have a significant effect on your business.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Happy New Year

We, at Quality Matters Limited, wish our readers a very happy and prosperous New Year.

For those seeking methods to secure a successful future we are pleased to give an outline of the most common standards in use today:

ISO9001:2008 The most recognisable standard. This is a Quality Management Standard and addresses best practice for all processes within a business, be it small, medium or large. This is often an entry point to many tenders. Without 9001 you may not get past the starting gate;

ISO14001:2004 The Environmental Management Standard. This standard is used to show that you are protecting the environment, as well as saving money, by using practices that ensure your aspects (anything that interacts with the environment) are as kind to the planet as possible. You should be able to demonstrate that you take care not to pollute and use energy as efficiently as possible. This is often the second entry point to tenders and contracts that specify environmental protection as a requirement;

ISO27001:2005 The Information Security Management Standard. This standard is fast becoming the standard that companies are seeking. Those holding data or information that requires protection can show that the systems in place can ensure data is confidential, integrity is protected and available to authorised users;

BSOHSAS 18001:2007 The Occupational Health and Safety Standard. This standard will provide the evidence that Health and Safety procedures are established and operated to ensure staff are protected from potential accidents and are fully engaged in this process.

There are other standards that apply to specific areas:

  • Food Safety (ISO22000)
  • IT Service Management (ISO20000)
  • BRC (British Retail Consortium Standard)
  • BBA ( British Board of Agreement Product Standard)

It is important that these standards are tested on a regular basis for continued suitability and conformance. This requires Internal Audit to be carried out.

Quality Matters is able to provide Professional Internal Auditor Training at an acceptable cost to allow your staff to carry out this function. See our Website for our next course venue and date.

These standards will prove that you are ahead of the competition and are following Industry best practice.

Quality Matters

P.O.Box 5479

T: 01621 857841
F: 01621 856016
M: 07702 193788

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