If you’re guilty of still using an abacus to count your workplace incidents or customer complaints, then we probably need to have a talk.
Ok, that comparison could be a bit extreme, but there are some who insist on brain-draining, time-eating, manual systems for quality controls.
For the believers among us, there are very good reasons, for a broad range of industries, to move away from manual quality systems and bring your business in line with the more professional, modern and accountable ones.
Inaccurate Data Recording
Mistakes take several forms in the business world. Some are smaller and less alarming, in the greater scheme of things. But then there are the larger errors that can have a disastrous effect on everything from budget blowouts to occupational health and safety omissions.
Manual errors can be harder to detect if there is no flagging or quality control in place.
We are all human, of course, but mitigating inaccuracies with the application of more integrated and modern systems ensures everyone has less worry to contend with.
Time is Money
If your current collection of business processes is not focused on achieving your quality goals, then your people are more than likely wasting so much time looking for documents instead of looking after the customers.
A customer-centric system can mean introducing a more modern one, yes, but it’s pretty important to look seriously at the time-saving advantages in the long term.
Take The Pressure Down
No one’s saying your organization is not perfect and error free. But it makes sense to have the pressure taken off those who deal with the more intricate details of everyday processes.
There’s a lot to be said for systems that free up your staff to concentrate on your customer’s rather than double and triple checking for possible errors in communication and processes.
No one likes to think about it, but life-changing events do happen.
Look at sound risk management like an inoculation for your organization.
Your need to protect your people and your building is no different to having the correct, automated backup systems to protect your data in the case of fire, other likely catastrophic events, and yes, even intellectual property theft.
Why do audits strike fear in management? Probably because they are laborious, sometimes (or always) intrusive and tend to raise issues that we would rather not deal with, at what is usually a most inconvenient time.
Having said that, audits are a part of business today, whether we like it or not, with compliance taking a large slice of our valuable time during any given year.
A manual system will lend itself to errors in compliance, with wrongly filed or missing documents. It may raise issues that are not realities, or miss ones that are a genuine problem.
This only serves to shine a spotlight on your organization that doesn’t need to be there.
An automated system that helps you control all that documentation is essential to take away the tension and anxiety that an auditor’s gaze will trigger.
One problem for a lot of small to medium enterprises is that a lot of knowledge is in the heads of all the key personnel. It’s not anyone’s fault; that’s just the way it has always been.
Knowledge and processes are sometimes passed down, but maybe not complete sets of information, and more than likely not at all.
Getting it out and into a system designed to be collaborative is an essential key to knowledge remaining within the company.
Reporting and the ability to check on the status of all projects, without jumping around from department to department or person to person is a direct result of having a clear, user-friendly one-stop-shop for all your workflow processes and documents.
Better Document Control
Do you have one central place where all involved can see what’s going on from the beginning?
Having one place for workflow documents, training, incident information is just the start. For the users of this information, it creates a sense of cohesion within their role, frees them time wasting paperwork double-handling and the frustrations associated with the disarray of official papers.
You won’t regret turning to one solution.
You wouldn’t hold back on purchasing new essential equipment if your organization needed it for efficiency, would you? The same should go for implementing improved quality control systems.
Remember, the right tools are always needed to create the best results.
The technology is there waiting, perhaps it’s just time to change your organization’s business model.
I promise it won’t hurt a bit.
Image: Shawn Campbell