Why Would I Talk About Elephants?

You will discover the two great reasons to think about  elephants  as you read on

First up what can we learn from “Mr Shuffles” the newborn baby  elephant  that after 4 days of his mother’s labour was thought to be stillborn – until he popped his persistent head up and with a little help like a sling under his belly held up by four zoo staff so he was able to drink milk from his mother until his legs got the hang of standing by himself. He is now a fun little animal and still getting into trouble and a recent news broadcast showed all the other  elephants  and the zoo staff rescuing him from a pond adventure. Baby  elephants  weigh around 100 kg but like all of us from time to time, they may need some help.

And so the lessons we learn from Mr Shuffles, who now has a proper name, are that we all, including our businesses, need both a helping hand and a good dose of persistence.

So why is this relevant?

Let me explain…

One of the best helping hands for most businesses is a simple and effective management system that identifies, then reduces risks, trains your staff to reduce errors, rework and missed opportunities and builds  in  feedback.

It gives you peace of mind and extra time.

It does not really matter which system you choose, environment, safety or quality because they all help your business. The best system is one that covers all these risks and is low paper but fully integrated.

The second  elephant  is the one we pretend is not  in   the   room  when we talk about systems.  In  the case of certified systems, the  elephant  is what to do about auditing.

I am the first to acknowledge that external auditing can be expensive, especially if you have an integrated system with several standards but there are things you can do.

• You may decide to only internally audit your system and this may be a sensible choice although is not as easy to get the real system benefits and improvement that an external audit helps with.

• You may decide to only audit one system but run all of them and if they are fully integrated, your external audit will help you keep them all up to speed so that you get the benefits at a lower cost.

• You can think carefully about which auditing body you want to use. I recommend smaller auditing bodies for small business because their costs are often lower – like $1,200 per day instead of $1,800 from some of the larger companies and some of them specialise  in  working with small business and understand you have simpler systems.

• If you need the highly recognised big company logos for your marketing, then your auditing fees are well worth it and much cheaper than many other forms of advert. Every business is different.

One very real benefit of an external audit is that tomorrow walks in the door and you have a deadline to keep your system up to scratch. You will get greater efficiency and reduced stress!

Just imagine not needing to deal with staff errors and what is even worse, covered up errors that come back to bite much worse than if they had admitted it up front.

Other benefits are access to tenders and large contracts and logos that help with your marketing.

I have been running audited systems since the late 1980s and it is simply the way I do business. It allows me to run effectively with minimal staff and I fully recommend you have an audited managed system.