Choosing the Right Consultants

You’ve decided to outsource some of your work to a consulting firm. This is a big decision and it’s one that you did not come to lightly. You didn’t just wake up one day and decide to outsource; there was planning and researching and evaluating. The next step is to decide where to send the work to. It may sound like a simple task, but choosing the wrong consulting firm can quickly undo all of the careful planning that was put into the initial decision to outsource. As you are evaluating the options, consider things like skills, knowledge, experience and references.

Skills and expertise

The knowledge that you need your consulting firm to have will depend upon the nature of your project. For example, if you are interested in outsourcing your Quality Management System, you will want a company that specializes in international standards and documentation. If you are interested in outsourcing your company’s safety program, you’ll look for a company that specializes in Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulations and emergency medical knowledge. Keep your project in mind when you compile the list of consulting firms that you want to investigate.

Some more general skills to look for are attention to detail, clear communication, project planning, deadline management and timely follow up. The list is very similar to what you would look for in a direct employee for a position that does not have much direct supervision.

Experience and references

A proven track record is key when it comes to evaluating experience. A consulting firm can say they are experts in anything and everything. Make them prove it to you by providing a list of customers that they have worked for in the past as well as the nature of the projects that they worked on with them. If the firm is good at what they do, the will have no problem with providing the name and phone number or email address of their key contact for the project as a reference. When you contact the customers of the consulting firm, ask specific questions about turnaround time, communication and their satisfaction with the results.

When to keep looking

Choosing the right consulting firm for you can be hard, but there are some red flags that help make it easier to spot the wrong one. A consulting firm that does not return your calls promptly or is habitually late for meetings is one to strike from your list. These are clear signs that they are unreliable. If they are not responsive during the interview phase, it will only get worse after they are hired and it will cause problems for your project.

A consulting firm that consistently presents ideas that do not fulfill your clearly defined needs is another one to remove from consideration. A good consulting firm will listen to your needs, take notes, ask intelligent questions and come back with solutions for you, not for them.

One final red flag is a consulting firm that is all smiles and roses throughout project discussions. If they are not helping you identify potential problems, they’re not really taking ownership in the project. A consulting firm that really wants your project to succeed will point out possible issues and take time to make sure you both agree that the solutions are the most profitable for your business.

Prince’s Consultancy Services Ltd is there to serve any organization in any industry to implement health, safety and even quality systems. Write or call them here.

Outsourcing Quality Management Systems

Compliance to ISO (International Standards Organization) quality management standards such as ISO 9001: 2008 and ISO 14001/18001 become increasingly necessary in today’s business world. Customers and stakeholders consider it a sign that a company is responsible and forward-thinking. Companies use it to make sure they meet the needs of their customers with the highest possible quality level. Is your company ISO certified? If not, there is no doubt that you should be. But where do you start? A good consulting firm can answer your questions and even manage the entire quality management process for you. There are several benefits to outsourcing your quality management system.

Knowledge

ISO standards are complex and frequently updated. If you do not know exactly what you are doing, the implementation process can be arduous and maintaining compliance can be a nightmare. ISO certification requires frequent internal and external audits to ensure correct compliance. It makes sense to have a team of dedicated and specially trained individuals making sure you hit the mark. They will know where to start, how to document, what to audit and when to update. If you already have a quality management system in place, a consulting firm can help you improve and refine your processes as well as perform all of your internal audits and supplier audits in the future. Remember: more knowledge equals less risk.

Resources

If you are thinking about implementing a quality management system, you are probably part of a business. If you are in business, you are good at something – maybe even the best at something. Your competitive advantage lies in your core competencies and outsourcing your quality management system will allow you to focus on them. Allowing a consulting firm to handle the system for you will provide a better overall value for your customers.

Cost savings

It may sound counter-intuitive, but outsourcing your quality management system has significant cost advantages. Outsourcing the work eliminates the need to provide intense ISO training to your staff or hire a high-priced, full-time staff of ISO experts. You do not have to worry about employment turnover and maintain competency in a specialized area. Using an off-site consulting firm will eliminate the overhead of additional equipment and office space.

In addition to the obvious hard cost savings, outsourcing your quality management system will give you the benefit of a known, set price. Implementing a complex and specialized system such as ISO 9000 without skilled, experienced individuals means unexpected delays, costs and setbacks. When you hire a consulting firm, you agree to a price up front, so there are no surprises and you can plan your budged accordingly.

The benefits of outsourcing your quality management system are abundant. Utilizing an outside consulting firm ensures less risk, faster implementation, fewer hassles, lower cost and overall better results. Delivering quality is what keeps you in business and its imperative that you manage it well. Who better to do that than a company who focuses on it all day, every day?

Visit us at www.princesconsultancy.co.uk or email us at info@princesconsultancy.co.uk

 

The Benefits of Having First Aid Trained Staff in the Workplace

First aid is the practice of providing immediate assistance to a person suffering a sudden injury or illness in order to preserve life. A first-aider is someone who has been properly trained to provide first aid by a competent first aid trainer. Do you have first-aiders in your workplace? Do you need first-aiders in your workplace?

Whether you work in a low risk office setting or a high risk industrial factory, there are many benefits to making sure you have employees who are trained in first aid. If you’re unable to hire new employees who are competent first aiders, consider starting your own in-house safety training programme. The small investment of providing training to your employees can pay off by lowering insurance premiums, reducing litigation and limiting amount of money paid to workers on medical leave due to a workplace injury. More importantly, you will have employees who are more aware of general safety and will be proactive in avoiding potentially dangerous actions thereby reducing on-site accidents. In the event that there is an accident or injury, your trained employees will be equipped with knowledge that will allow them to react appropriately to the situation and minimise the impact to the injured person by using the three Ps of first aid.

Preserve

The first P is certainly the most important: preserve life. Preserving life is the primary goal of first aiders. This step begins with assessing the area and checking for danger before approaching the victim. If the surrounding area is safe, the first aider then addresses any immediate life-threatening injuries to the victim such as obstructed airways, circulation and deadly bleeding. An employee trained in first aid will know to identify these conditions and respond with swift action to clear airways, perform CPR or apply immediate pressure to wounds.

Prevent

The goal of the second P is to prevent the victim’s condition from growing worse after preserving life. This step could be anything from keeping the victim from moving to moving the victim out of harm’s way.

Promote

The third P is all about promoting the victim’s recovery. The goal here is to help the victim recover more quickly by doing things such as dressing wounds to avoid infection and cooling burns to reduce scarring. It can also include relieving pain and comforting the victim.

Fast and competently administered first aid can mean the difference between life and death, speedy or prolonged recovery times and temporary or permanent disability. Having a first aid kit is not enough to protect your employees without the people who know how to use it correctly. Although many of the steps above sound like common sense, training your employees in first aid is the best way to make sure that your company is on the right side of safety. And if the safety of your employees isn’t motivating enough, reconsider the cost saving aspects of training your employees in first aid.