In developing your organisation’s systems over the years, you’ve likely become well aware of just how important it is to monitor changes in the business environment. This is, of course, essential in ensuring you’re well equipped to effectively manage risks, satisfy relevant legislative requirements and achieve your business’ compliance objectives in an ever-evolving market.
Recently, the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the globe, posing a unique set of challenges for businesses, with many now reassessing how best to approach risk and quality management in these uncertain times.
As organisations continue to navigate unfamiliar territory, managing immediate problems can be difficult, let alone looking to the future, especially when the business landscape is so volatile. However, if your company is going to survive what has undeniably been and, unfortunately, will likely be for some time, an incredibly demanding environment, planning for future success is imperative. By introducing robust, reliable and maintainable quality management systems, you can do just that.
The Impact of a Global Pandemic on Quality Management
It comes as no surprise that, in the midst of a global pandemic, businesses are under immense pressure.
As organisations respond to the day-to-day challenges that arise; adjusting their existing systems to more adequately address current issues and alleviate new risks, the overall quality of their processes may be compromised.
While it may be tempting to overlook quality management in favour of solving problems that require immediate attention, this can leave you worse off in the long run. Rather than acting hastily, to achieve maintainable results and; thus, reap the benefits that go hand-in-hand with quality-driven processes, taking the time to respond to challenges in a systematic, strategic way is crucial.
The Challenges of Maintaining Quality Management Systems During a Pandemic
Under the stress of a pandemic, an organisation’s commitment to quality has the potential to falter on numerous fronts. This is further heightened by the fact that, for many, the changes being made haven’t ever been required in the past, making the entire process of their implementation and management all the more foreign.
In the effort to contain community transmission, physical distancing has become an integral part of the way businesses now conduct their operations. Whether this means limiting the number of customers on given premises at any one time, having employees work remotely or the like, organisations across the country have drastically changed their approach to business.
However, in making this transition to minimise the risks to customers, team members and stakeholders; there’s a lot that can go wrong when it comes to quality management which can, in turn, endanger the continuity of operations.
For example, in response to COVID-19, many businesses have become far more reliant on technology than prior to the pandemic. With staff members accessing confidential documents while working remotely, company data being shared through cloud-based systems and more, many businesses are now far more susceptible to information security breaches.
Beyond this, as employees adjust to this new way of working, learning skills as required, the quality of the products and services they deliver may suffer.
However, an adaptable, lean and integrated quality management system can form a solid support in these rapidly changing times. A well-structured quality system will give your organisation the tools to swiftly manage novel scenarios, minimising the impact changes have on your business’ ongoing success and thus helping your organisation to survive and thrive in a post-pandemic world.
Implementing Quality Management Systems
When it comes to quality management, continuous improvement is key. This means that; even once your systems are at a point where you’re satisfied, you’ll need to constantly be looking for ways to further refine processes. This becomes all the more important in the current volatile climate, in which to remain compliant, you’ll need to be particularly diligent and responsive to change.
Processes that were once familiar may no longer be sufficient and, upon review, will need to be updated, with all relevant staff receiving the required training. An area where such action has been imperative is, of course, health and safety, as many organisations introduce far stricter systems for identifying and mitigating hazards, helping contain the spread of COVID-19.
If you’re interested in improving your organisation’s commitment to quality management but aren’t sure where to start, we can help. We understand that, especially given the current climate, focusing on building quality-driven management systems may be overwhelming and daunting. With a team of experienced consultants across Australia, we take the difficulty out of improving your business’ processes, so you can enjoy the benefits of robust, maintainable and adaptable systems well into the future.
For more information about quality management systems or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Depending on your business’ specific needs and preferences, we can also assist you with legislative compliance, auditing, the introduction of cloud-based systems and more.