management systems

How to keep NATA happy

We know you’re busy. For business owners or managers, there’s always plenty of juggling to be done. And with Covid restrictions thrown into the mix, you’d be forgiven for thinking that keeping an Accreditation Body happy is the last thing on your mind! However, we also know that keeping your business processes and procedures up …read more »

Are you listening??

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” So said Stephen Covey, author of ‘The 7 habits of highly effective people’. We’ve all been guilty of this. In our recent article we discussed asking the right questions. But the best questions in the world won’t matter …read more »

Preparing for your assessment

You’ve received the notification. Your assessment is coming up in two weeks and the team will be arriving at 8:30am on the day. Deep cleansing breaths. With a bit of preparation, assessment day may not be a breeze, but you’ll definitely feel in control. Being prepared shows your assessment team that your organisation is professional …read more »

NEW (FINANCIAL) YEAR RESOLUTIONS

Happy New Year!! While a new financial year probably won’t see you popping champagne and singing Auld Lang Syne (unless you moonlight as an Accountant) it’s still an important time of year. For those very organised folks who regularly scan and file their receipts and make notes about expenses, end of financial year tax returns …read more »

How to ask good questions

Many of us can spend large chunks of our day seeking information. Whether it’s an update from a team member, negotiations with a contractor or trying to get more than an ‘ugh’ from a teenager, we usually do this by asking questions. Asking questions fuels learning, improves interpersonal bonding and rapport plus it makes us …read more »

Changing your mind about risk management

“Opportunity and risk come in pairs” Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom Risk isn’t a chore to wade through a few times a year. As the quote above says, it can be something positive and goes hand-in-hand with opportunities. Many different companies share similar risks, like a poor economic outlook over the short-term (well, …read more »

Quality: A balancing act

We believe in seeking out and sharing ideas that will support your business to be better and smarter. Different perspectives on quality and business practices may provoke conversations in your workplace that lead to new and better ways of doing things. We reached out to our network of experts and asked for their perspectives on …read more »

Supercharge your systems!

Many organisations have a quality (or environment, or safety) management system. If you’re in one of these organisations, then I bet you’ve sometimes felt like the ‘system’ rules your life, rather than you ruling the system. How did it get to be this way? More importantly, how can you change this? It probably got to …read more »

5 powerful ways a consultant can help your business

How many times have you heard the expression ‘two heads are better than one’? Or heard someone bemoan the fact that they could do with an extra pair of hands. By using a business consultant, you can add an extra brain and another pair of hands without getting bogged down in the process of a …read more »

The road to high performance in sustainability

We believe in seeking out information and ideas that will support your business to be better and smarter. Different perspectives on quality and business practices may provoke conversations in your workplace that lead to new and better ways of doing things. So we’re reaching out to our network of experts and asking for their perspectives …read more »

How did THAT happen??

There are some things you never want to hear. Words like “uh oh” from your hairdresser when they’re standing behind you during a haircut. Or “I’ve never seen THAT before” when your doctor is looking at an x-ray. Or perhaps a guilty-looking family member asking, “How much did you like that (extremely valuable fragile item) …read more »

ARE YOU BEING SERVED?

For those of a certain demographic, this title will conjure up a British television sitcom based in Grace Brothers Department Store. But perhaps you heard those words just today, when you went into a clothing store or supermarket. In last week’s article, we examined the theories of three quality thinkers – Deming, Juran and Crosby. …read more »

A trio of quality thinkers

Anyone who has ever been involved in quality or project management would have heard the names Deming, Juran and Crosby. Their contributions have had long lasting ramifications and made us all think differently about what quality is, what it means and how to achieve it. We’ll be running a series of articles all about quality …read more »

Document control 101

In our previous article we looked at documents and in particular, what makes good ones. Good documentation forms the essential guidelines for operations in your lab. But your documentation system isn’t just a ‘set and forget’. Documents require reviewing, updating and managing to ensure they’re accurate, up-to-date, and available. And that’s where a document control …read more »

The write stuff – documentation in your lab

No matter what your area of expertise, all scientists and engineers know the importance of documentation. Lab documents allow you to review your activities. They help you to train your staff. Excellent documentation provides proof of accurate, reliable testing not just to clients but also to external accreditation or audit bodies. In fact, the management …read more »

Manual adjustments

Ah, the start of a new year. Our resolutions are still fresh and crispy (like the salads we’ve committed to eat more of this year…). We have new calendars and wall planners, just waiting for the imprints of our fabulous new year. But before you leap into the year ahead, there’s a couple of things …read more »

How do you build a framework for business success?

No business has ever regretted implementing standards for improvement. A quality management system is put in place because you want to deliver on the expectations of your customers. Get this right, deliver your goods or services according to expectations while remaining compliant with regulations, and you have a recipe for business success. A quality management …read more »

Resistance is futile: how to ace your internal audit

We all know the feeling when an external assessment is coming up. The scurrying search for documents, the interminable hours of scanning, the crossing of eyes and slurping of teas… But what about internal audits? Your colleagues do these. They’re all on your side so you’re bound to get a free pass on some of …read more »

What’s a quality management system and do you need it?

According to the American Society for Quality website a quality management system (QMS) is defined as: ‘…a formalized system that documents processes, procedures, and responsibilities for achieving quality policies and objectives. A QMS helps coordinate and direct an organization’s activities to meet customer and regulatory requirements and improve its effectiveness and efficiency on a continuous …read more »

Happy World Metrology Day!

Not even a pandemic can keep me from writing about World Metrology Day! The theme for 2020 is Measurements for Global Trade. There are multiple global trade agreements that underpin good measurement.  Measurements are critical in ensuring products are fit for purpose. And this includes protecting healthcare workers and the general population from the ‘invisible …read more »

Staying Alive through the Corona crisis

Will your laboratory business be staying alive during the Coronavirus crisis? The news is full of doom and gloom and there’s a lot of uncertainty about the future. People are clearly wanting control and going into survival mode, as the ‘toilet paper wars’ visibly demonstrate. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail and …read more »