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Case Study Q&A: Global Distribution Company

I recently worked with a global distribution company to prepare them for compliance with ISO requirements. This Q&A gives insight into typical challenges and solutions.

Image credit: Nicole Harrington

What was the client’s need?

Required a management framework that would comply with ISO requirements.

Along the way, did you find other things needed to be addressed, outside the initial enquiry?

Yes, all staff knew their job but a lot of it was in their head also they weren’t too sure what a management framework consisted of but knew they needed one. They needed clarification on:

What is a process?

  • What needed to be documented and what would that look like?
  • How much time was it going to take in “developing and implementing the framework”?
  • Who needed to be involved?

Are these common questions clients have?

Very common. With some successful businesses a lot of the credit goes to the staff as they know their job, are experienced and trained and deliver what is required of them. They do this in spite of a lack of any formal framework. So when a tendering opportunity comes along, management can be at a loss when asked if their company has a formal management framework / system in place and if so, does it comply with any international and / or Australian industry standard.

Why does this problem occur?

Management often does not see the benefits of investing in trained and experienced contractors / consultants assisting the company in developing a management framework that will suit their needs, so they ask staff to “put something together” hoping it meets all requirements. Ultimately they end up with something that is meaningless and definitely not understood by staff.

What tools/techniques did you use to address the client’s need?

  • Workshops with senior management where they ended up being very clear about their strategic direction and business risks, with clearly defined strategic goals, KPIs and targets.
  • Work with department’s managers and individual staff, advising and mentoring them in developing operational goals and targets, understanding potential risks, process flows, documentation and their responsibilities.

What was the outcome/progress?

  • Everyone actively involved and engaged with clear ownership of the company management framework.
  • Clear reporting topics and timelines.

What are the client’s next steps in implementation?

  • Improve their business and explore opportunities
  • Gain ISO certification
  • Win contracts

Christine Brown is founder and managing director of Potential Unlocked, a market leader in the design of management systems that meet compliance and business requirements. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (double major in Political Science and Public Sector Management); RABQSA Lead Auditor, DiSC 5 Behaviours of a Cohesive Team accreditation; Everything DiSC accreditation, TAE 40110 Cert IV Training & Assessment & TAELLN 411.

Due to her extensive knowledge and experience, Christine is trusted by her clients for her patience, understanding and her ability to interpret compliance requirements in a straightforward, uncomplicated way. She regularly facilitates in-house and public workshops, sharing her knowledge of designing simple processes and systems, communicating effectively as an auditor, building and leading teams, and risk management.

Christine’s clients range from small business and start-ups to large organisations and government departments. Covering a broad range of industries, her clients include Boral, BAE Aerospace, Geobrugg, Tenix, West Australian Police, and the Victorian Ambulance Service.

Christine’s new initiative, The Business Performance Program, assists businesses with all major areas of business that are essential for success

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