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He reflects on his career experience “While working as a manager, and later on as an operations board director for a Company that rapidly expanded, so much so that it earned a place in ‘The Times 100 Fastest Growing Companies’ list, I made mistakes along the way and learned from them. Now, with this experience, when I look at various standards, I can clearly see how the standards can be implemented in a pragmatic way that add real value, and what will actually work in a given organisation, large and small”.
Erel founded the ccc during 2006 and has been helping companies successfully implement various standards including information security, health and safety, environment and quality for over 14 years, from large and small to micro organisations with employees ranging from over 700 to those that are ‘one-man in a room’.
“Sadly, I see a lot of companies, large and small, that implement standards without gaining operational benefits” he says, adding “Instead most gain very little with the ‘lucky few’ gaining some benefits in the early days, that often fizzle out within a few years with companies seeing the standards as a ‘necessary evil’ that add little or no value to their operations. It needn’t be this way!” exclaims Erel before going on to say “This is down to two common mistakes many make at the outset.
One is the misconception that this is something operations have to do, with little or no involvement from the top management of the organisation, and the other is that when implementing a standard most people think this should be in consideration of what the certification body or the auditor will expect/want to see. With these in mind, most organisations will tend to go with templates designed to ‘tick boxes’ and be implemented with little involvement from the top management.
This approach tends to force organisations to unnecessarily change their tried and tested working practices to something that doesn’t fully work for them, or to implement a parallel practice with the standards becoming an additional workload to an already busy workforce.”
Erel believes the standards can yield real benefits for organisations that can affect their bottom line positively and goes on to say “In reality the standards are a useful toolbox for management to better control what happens around them to reduce internal and customer facing problems due to ineffective operations thereby increasing their bottom-line profits.
This isn’t just about ‘making fewer faulty widgets’; it’s much bigger than that. It is about aligning the entire organisation to work in a way the management expect; cooperatively, self-governing, making the right decisions, providing unrivalled customer experience, thinking about efficiencies to save costs for the Company, and so on”.
When asked what he thinks should happen during implementation, Erel states “The implementation should involve the top management of the organisation more closely from the very outset who must regularly hold the implementer(s) to account by asking the question ‘What is the value add of this to my organisation? How can I see these benefits are being delivered?” Erel goes on to add “During implementation, the most important factor is that the organisation is there to make money and thus the standards must add value.
Hence, the implementation must be in consideration of how best the standard will serve the organisation. Not the other way around. This approach will not only provide long-term benefits but will also make certification a much smoother and a less stressful process.”
“When looking to get independent and formal recognition, it is important to choose a UKAS accredited certification body the client can work with.” remarks Erel, adding “In my experience it is far more important not only to ensure the certification body of choice has a consistently high levels of customer service but also to ensure their pool of auditors are pragmatic, realists with real life experiences who understand how a business operates and that each organisation will comply with the requirements of the standards in their own unique way, rather than those who blindly conduct ‘black and white’ audits without a real understanding of the organisational landscape and simply expecting to see a predetermined ‘one size fits all, tick box’ approach.”
When asked how NQA measures up to this expectation, Erel responds “Whenever I have spoken to the team at the head office, I have found them to be very responsive at all times. Also, the assessors that I encountered through the audits have been pragmatic, firm but fair types, who have been willing to work with my clients on their journey of improving the performance of their organisation by using the standards as a best practice guide.
For example, with one large multi-site client, the assessor and the office team worked with us to create a pragmatic audit plan and took the various pressures of the business into account during the audit to deliver real value add by looking at areas that were not only relevant to the audit requirements but by also including aspects that were important to the management. Such approaches have meant audits become a business improvement opportunity rather than a stressful experience. For that reason, I have found partnering my clients with NQA has worked well for my clients.”
Concluding on the subject, Erel sums up his views “If organisations take the bold step of looking to gain value from implementing standards by ensuring management involvement during implementation, holding the implementers to account in delivering value, and choose a UKAS accredited certification body that they can see as a business partner, then I am sure they will be surprised by how readily their organisations will respond to improvements.”
For further information Erel can be contacted by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or by mobile on 07984 474017.
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