Category: Business Support
Why should you have a quality management system?
A quality management system is the first step towards truly understanding your business. A good QMS structures your business approach, embedding continuous improvement as a way of doing business.
The standard starts with asking you hard questions about your business and your customers. The system then takes a look at leadership, defining what the responsibilities of top management are, and what processes they must put in place. Planning comes next, to ensure the business understands what must be managed to succeed. Now the business knows what must be done, the resources must be made available to deliver on the plans. Operational control is required to ensure the products are properly designed, the processes for procurement, manufacture and control are in place and that operators know what to do when there is a problem. The process also has to be measured, this includes auditing and non-conformance management. Finally, the system demands continuous improvement.
As an ISO9001 lead auditor and lean six sigma master black belt I can integrate process improvement using world-class tools into your documented system.
Contact me for a discussion to see how I can help your business.
Tamarind Tree Consulting Ltd has joined the Centre for SME Development, a UCLAN initiative to help and support small businesses and new startups.
AS a member of this group Tamarind Tree Consulting Ltd can help new businesses to develop their processes and support the managers and directors to grow with the business. Tamarind Tree Consulting Ltd looks forward to the opportunity to support these entrepreneurs by coaching and mentoring these new business leaders to develop the skills they will need as their businesses grow
I was invited by a close associate to work with him at a large FMCG manufacturer where he worked to help improve team performance. This team works in central services in an extremely large multinational corporation.
I arrived at the location on a Sunday evening and in the car journey to the hotel, my client advised that he wanted to change the focus of the development. Instead of working with the full team, I was to work with a smaller sub-team. My client advised that this sub-team was having particular problems with delivering their expected objectives. My revised task was to support the sub-team to identify what help was needed to develop their skills and improve overall performance. The sub team’s role is to approve new suppliers.
I created a team development workshop overnight and we started the next day looking at the team’s behaviours and output. We quickly identified several problems
- The process was inconsistent between team members
- The process was also inconsistently completed between departments.
- The team was governed through fear, carried over from a previous manager
- There were no measures of team performance
- The team was still working to a set of rules laid down by a former manager
The impact of these behaviours was that the staff were uncertain and working in constant fear. Failure to deliver was normal, all failures were blamed on people, and external demands were never challenged. This increased the workload in the department without adding value from the customer’s perspective. As a result, the team had become demotivated and disillusioned
I had two issues. The first was to understand and support the overall process. The second was to work with the individuals to help them improve their skills and resilience.
We employed three strategies to develop in parallel
- Focus on the process to identify and agree on the standard work.
- Work with the individuals to help them identify as a team and start collaborating
- Coach the individuals to enable them to understand their reactions and interact more positively
The strategies worked very well, by applying transformational coaching across the needs of the immediate client, recognising the demands of the wider organisation and the constraints individual team members perceived, we made huge step-change improvements in performance. The client (this team’s line manager) was coached to modify his behaviours to reflect the values agreed with the team. Individuals in the team were also coached to address their confidence and behavioural challenges. Working with the team, we were able to establish common values and establish the required process to enable the team to work effectively as a unit and in concert with other parts of the business. Since the process was developed by the team with support and guidance by me, they were fully engaged with the process.
After completing the intervention, the team identified that they needed to enforce the existing agreement and insist their customer, another internal department, upheld their part of the agreement. The team also stopped competing and arguing internally, focusing instead on solving problems at their root cause. The overall result was a reduction in workload and a higher quality of work product. The team also had higher engagement, morale, and created a positive and supportive working environment.
The work was so successful that further engagements were booked to deliver training and development with this team and with other teams in the business. A team build for another team in the department is planned for later in the year. I continue to coach the team director to support his development.
Tamarind Tree Consulting Ltd is delighted to announce that it has joined the Northern Powerhouse Partner Programme. As a provider of training and productivity improvement support, Tamarind Tree Consulting Ltd is dedicated to supporting Northwest businesses to compete effectively. Deploying world class improvement and quality techniques, Tamarind tree Consulting Ltd can work in both service and manufacturing industries to improve output, capacity and quality.
Managing Director Tim Akerman said “The Northern Powerhouse initiative set out to support increasing productivity of northern manufacturing businesses. Tamarind Tree Consulting was set up with the same aim, so joining the Northern Powerhouse Partner Programme was a natural step forward. We are delighted to support this initiative and look forward to helping northern businesses improve productivity to become more competitive.”
Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry MP said:“I’m delighted to see another great northern business join our growing network of Northern Powerhouse Partners.
“Rebalancing the economy so it works for everyone is at the heart of our vision for the Northern Powerhouse so I’m excited to see the contribution Tamarind Tree Consulting will make as they support other growing businesses in the North to thrive and boost local economic growth.”
I recently gave an interview to Marketing aspects magazine looking at the importance of authenticity in business. If you are genuine and authentic in your business, you are more likely to be clear and succeed.
Read the full article here: https://marketingaspects.co.uk/marketing-business-originality/
Asking for feedback is important for any business, as it helps us to improve what we do and eliminate any negative effects of our activities. What we don’t always recognise is the positive feedback, and the impact we can have on someone’s business when we give great service.
I have started working as a growth mentor in Lancashire, and I have just received my first feedback from that work. It has been interesting and really touches the heart of why I started Tamarind Tree Consulting, it is an opportunity to help people improve their businesses. So getting that first feedback from this sort of mentoring is significant for me. As always, I have set out to do the best job possible for the client. Hearing that the client values the support and has seen practical benefits is brilliant. You can read his testimonial here.
So why this post?
The feedback got me thinking about what is important and why did this work well. It seems to me that focusing on the customer and their needs was key. My role is not to tell them what to do, but to advise and support them through decisions, and activities they are finding difficult. The key factor here is practical application of process improvement, applied with respect for my customer. We haven’t deployed huge amounts of training and tools, there has been no big bang effort. Instead we used the time to focus on the vital few actions, and ensure that we focus on understanding why. This approach leads naturally to collaboration. It has been brilliant to see not only my mentee growing, but also to see this positive impact on his team. You can read his testimonial here
For me, process improvement consultancy is not simply about the hours charged, although more hours is always nice! It is about making a practical, positive difference to the lives of the people I help. Focusing on customers with love may not always result in more hours of work, but it will always help people learn good habits that hopefully stay with them as they, and their businesses grow. People remember those who really help them, and if the opportunity to support them arises, well, I believe you reap what you sow.