Why do companies hire outside consultants rather than have their own in-house employees for certain tasks? There are a lot of good reasons.Â
For example, for some jobs, your existing workforce may lack the expertise or experience required to get the job done within the time frame you have in mind for a specific task. If they have to spend a lot of time learning processes or reviewing new procedures and requirements, it might be more cost effective to simply hire an outside consultant to do the same job for you only cheaper, faster and more thoroughly.
This often is the case for companies that are seeking ISO Quality Management System certification.
Benefits of Hiring an ISO 9001 Consultant
One of the biggest reasons many companies hire a consultant to get their organizations within compliance with ISO 9001 certification standards is lack of familiarity with what these standards are. If your in-house staff doesnâ€™t understand what your organization needs to do to achieve this compliance, how can they take action to make the required changes to meet your objective?
Another consideration is making sure your organization receives ISO 9001 certification. Itâ€™s not always a straightforward thing. If you fail to achieve the specific procedures, efficiencies and other factors that ISO 9001 certification requires, you have wasted all the time and money you have invested in having your in-house people work toward achieving this goal.
But an experienced consultant understands exactly what needs to be done within your organization. They donâ€™t have to guess and hope that they are right. They already know. So it takes the ambiguity out of the equation.
Another consideration is the time factor. If you leave it up to your in-house team, it could take months or even years before you achieve ISO 9001 certification â€“ if you receive it at all. But a consultant who is trained and experienced in what ISO 9001 certification requires can cut down the amount of time it takes for your company to get into compliance.
Organization and Facilitation
For most companies, getting ISO 9001 QMS certification requires making some changes within your organizationâ€™s structure and operations. Having an in-house person or team try to direct these types of changes often adds to a lot of problems.
There are turf battles to consider, past relationships both good and bad, and jealousies and squabbles within your organizationâ€™s staff. But you can avoid all of that by bringing in a â€œhired gunâ€ who can assess what needs to be done, make recommendations that will bring you the certification you want, then leave your business to implement them or not, depending on what your final desired outcome is.
This is usually a faster, more efficient and less expensive way of getting what you want while minimizing your QMS investment. After the consultant makes the recommendations, your employees can then do the real-world implementation.
Services Provided by QMS Consultants
So what will the ISO 9001 QMS consultant you hire actually do?
First of all, they will plan and organize all of the QMS project activities, including an assessment of your current operations, a review of all the requirements needed for ISO 9001 QMS certification, and the development of a game plan to get you where you need to be.
Another service the QMS consultant can provide is to suggest ways you can improve operations and put together a schedule for implementing the changes to achieve these improvements.
They also can help your business develop all the documentation that will be required for your QMS certification, of which there are many.
How to Find the Best QMS Consultant
When hiring an ISO 9001 Quality Management Standards consultant, try to find someone who has done this type of project before, preferably with a variety of different types of companies in many different industries.
Given the popularity of ISO 9001 QMS certification, there are now many undergraduate and even graduate programs at many prestigious universities that churn out graduates who understand the program on an academic level. But there is a difference between understanding something conceptually and being immersed in the experience of actually making it happen hands-on within a real company with real dollars and cents at stake.
Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s often better to hire someone who is more experienced in the real world rather than someone who simply has the right kind of degree.
Other Qualities to Consider
Your organization will always be better off if the QMS consultant you hire has good communication and interpersonal skills. You also want a consultant who can bring the project in on time and within your budget. And, of course, you want to ensure that they bring you the results you want: ISO 9001 QMS certification.
Having qualified ISO 9001 ConsultantsÂ from a certified provider can make a business more respected and trusted by its customers, suppliers and stakeholders.
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