2014 is the year that we are planning to expand the business, however this week a curve ball was thrown which could upset our plans. One of the main things that we will be incorporating into our Health and Safety portfolio is Fire Extinguisher Servicing …
ISO9001, Curveballs And Our Expansion Plans
To do this, we have been able to secure some funding for development, but we came across a minor technical hitch that has meant our project timeline has been considerably extended. So what is it that has caused a bit of a stir at FTS headquarters?
We thought that once we had passed our basic servicing course, we would be able to apply for another accreditation specifically for Fire Extinguisher Servicing. This is a BAFE (British Approvals for Fire Equipment) certificate which would give clients the confidence that the maintenance work they are paying us for is being undertaken in a professional manner.
Well, that sounds all well and good, but we came across a slight hitch when we looked into the accreditation. It was simply that we would not be able to meet the requirements of the BAFE scheme without applying for ISO9001, the quality management standard. This is designed to create a more disciplined work environment, saving time and costs by reducing mistakes and consequently helping to improve customer service.
Is it a problem? No, not at all. The saying goes that “there are no problems, only solutions” and it’s something I always keep in mind when faced with business challenges. I spoke to my business contact at the growth accelerator (you never know unless you ask) as to whether there may be another pot of funding for ISO9001 funding.
After all the work we have put in already, the additional time and effort that would be needed to start on the ISO accreditation was going to be a huge challenge. A day or so later, I receive an email from my contact, the subject being “Andrew, I’m sure we can find some funding to aid in the development of the processes and the shortfall, give me a call“.
Yippee! That problem has now found a solution. Time to start looking at documenting the processes for how we test appliances, what we do in administration, accounts and even ensuring that we produce the certificates and discs for clients.
Until next time …One thing is for certain. 2014 really is going to be a massive challenge for me and FTS Safety Solutions, though more importantly, I’m really looking forward to it!