Think back just 5 years – a lot has changed. It is often said, your business is either improving or dying. If your business has stayed much the same, you are likely falling behind your competitors. Continuous improvement keeps you growing, learning and competitive in an ever-changing market.
Not only that, but failing to adapt as business risks change can also endanger the health of your business, your staff, customers and the community. In recent years we’ve seen this firsthand as the pandemic unfolded. As new threats emerged and regulations changed, businesses had to be agile or they would not survive.
Continuous improvement is one of the most important principles when it comes to quality management.
But on top of everything else that goes into running a successful business – from your daily workload to building a strategy for future growth – trying to take this into account on a regular basis as well as everything elses can feel like a burden.
This is where a quality consultant can help.
The role of a quality consultant in continuous improvement
For SMEs wanting to remain competitive in the current ever-changing environment, the last thing you can afford is rigid, over-documented, old-fashioned systems that will slow you down.
Over time it’s inevitable that your business will need to adapt to changes, whether new challenges emerge, you downsize processes or experience growth. At these times is when it will become glaringly obvious if your systems are accommodating this change – or cracking under the strain.
The key to overcoming these types of obstacles is developing lean, robust quality management systems that support agility so you can adapt with ease. With a solid, maintainable foundation underpinning everything you do, continuous improvement becomes a far more manageable and realistic goal.
A quality consultant can help you develop these systems efficiently and effectively, so you can work towards your quality goals without taking away from your day-to-day business responsibilities.
They can point you in the right direction when you’re just starting out or keep you on track months or years down the line when you have systems in place but need to update and amend processes based on the current climate or business needs changing. A quality consultant can get you prepared ahead of system audits, and if you need a business mentor to run ideas by they can be a good point of contact.
Why invest in a quality consultant?
While quality management can be done in-house, many businesses choose to outsource assistance from a quality consultant instead – and there’s more than one reason for this.
An example is that you can free up more time for yourself and your employees to focus on other tasks, because you don’t have to take on the additional workload that’s involved in implementing quality systems.
There’s also the added benefit of reaching your quality goals faster – without compromising on the effectiveness of your systems – as efforts are led by an experienced consultant.
To read more about how a consultant can help you reach your quality compliance objectives, see our blog 5 ways a quality assurance consultant can help you get ISO 9001 certified.
By investing in quality management and continuous improvement businesses can enjoy various benefits from boosting productivity, removing inefficiencies, reducing costs and improving workplace safety to improving employee morale. They may also see increased customer satisfaction thanks to higher quality products and services.
How a quality consultant helps with continuous improvement
1. A quality consultant helps you set up easily adjustable systems
While leveraging their existing experience and expertise in your industry, a quality consultant also takes the time to build a solid understanding of your business and specific business needs. This puts them in the best possible position to effectively and quickly set up robust, easily adjustable quality systems that support continual improvement.
2. Check-ins with a quality consultant keeps you accountable
After achieving quality compliance, it’s easy to push it to the side as you get swept up in the day-to-day responsibilities that come with running a business.
By having periodic check-ins with your quality consultant, you can ensure you schedule time every few months to focus on where gaps may be forming and where improvements could be made – or where they are necessary.
3. A quality consultant makes sure you have a clear plan
With a quality consultant guiding your efforts, there’s no ambiguity around how to achieve continuous improvement at your organisation. Instead you have realistic, time-specific guidelines with milestones that give all employees shared direction
4. Quality consultants bring a breadth and depth of experience with them
A quality consultant that has experience working with businesses like yours knows what it takes to achieve best practice and resolve the complex problems faced by those in your industry – this helps with seamless continuous improvement.
Speak with a quality consultant today
If you’re ready to take the first steps towards achieving continual improvement with the help of a quality consultant, get in touch with our team. We can help you a little or a lot depending on your needs and budget.