Quality & Environmental Management Systems
Q: My business does not have an environmental or quality management system, how much will it cost to put one in place?
A: That depends on how you currently run your business, what your company does, where and how many staff you employ. A preliminary review and gap analysis will provide enough information to establish what needs to be done to develop an effective system. Your business may not have any ISO certified systems in place, but assuming that legal compliance and the effective management of staff are things you take seriously, then you already have the basics of a certified management system.
Q: It will cost me money and time to install a quality or environmental management system. What is the advantage for my business?
A: The first and most obvious answer is that an ISO certified management system gives you a commercial advantage over competitors that have no recognised EMS (environmental management system) or QMS (quality management system) or that it removes the advantage from others that do. But there is far more to it than just hanging a certificate on the wall and placing a logo on your headed paper.
A management system that is worth having simply manages "risk". An effective QMS or EMS manages the risks of losing customers or of breaking the law. A good QMS will pay for itself many times over. It creates more business, it reduces the incidence of costly mistakes and the need for "fire-fighting" and it will definitely improve your relationships with customers. From an environmental standpoint, UK environmental regulations place ever increasing responsibilities on business with regard to the storage and handling of waste, pollution, nuisance, contaminated land and packaging. The list grows each year and the penalties for getting it wrong are significant. Directors that ignore their responsibilities end up in the criminal courts and may be fined unlimited sums or end up in prison.
ISO 14001 certification demonstrates that your business is serious about managing it's environmental impact and complying with the law. ISO 9001 shows your customers and potential customers that you are committed to providing excellent products and service.limited sums or end up in prison.
ISO 14001 certification demonstrates that your business is serious about managing it's environmental impact and complying with the law. ISO 9001 shows your customers and potential customers that you are committed to providing excellent products and service.
Q: My business does not have an environmental or quality management system, how long will it take to achieve certification?
A: It depends to a large degree on how your business operates and how much work is required to formalise what you do. Most of all, it depends on the level of commitment from management and staff. It is quite achievable to develop an effective management system within six weeks. The system needs time to become established (at least another two months) and internal audits need to be carried out, before it will be possible for a certification body to audit you.