Finding the right ISO 9001 consultant can be difficult and time-consuming. Sometimes, you don't have much time to properly vet your consultant before you start working with him or her. But like all relationships, it's better to get out early if it's not working out, and find a better fit for your company. Here's some warning signs that it might be time to re-consider your consultant:
1. He's just not that into you
A good consultant will be interested in learning about your business - what you do, who your clients are, where your revenue comes from, what challenges you're facing. If your consultant doesn't seem to listen to you, that's a problem. Unless they're providing training, a good consultant spends most of their time asking questions, listening to the answers, and collaborating with you.
2. She makes you feel bad
A good consultant will emphasize the strengths in your business. It is their job to point out gaps and issues, but this should be done tactfully, with objective evidence. If your consultant appears to take delight in your company's flaws, interrogates employees like it's the Spanish inquisition, or refuses to listen to explanations, it might be time to move on. Employees may not enjoy audits, but they should feel respected, valued and heard after speaking with the consultant.
3. The relationship is not progressing forward.
A good consultant will be full of potential solutions to problems. Ideally, they will have experience with several companies and can suggest multiple ways of dealing with non-compliances or other challenges. If your consultant just points out problems and then leans back and folds their arms, that's not helpful. Find someone who focuses on moving forward, not the obstacles.
4. He doesn't answer your questions.
A good consultant will understand the ISO standard, how to interpret it, and how to apply it. If your consultant waves off your question by being vague, changing the topic, or otherwise dodging the question, that's a sure sign they're out of their league. Find someone who has a deep understanding of the standard and how it is best applied to your industry.
5. She never wants to do what you want to do
A good consultant will have experience with apply the standards in different ways. They provide the riverbanks for your process - you direct the flow. If your consultant provides a ready-made solution and insists that it's the only acceptable way to do things, that's a bad sign. Your consultant should work with you to find solutions that work for your business.
If your ISO 9001 consultant falls into these categories, give us a call at 403.827.4877. We'd be happy to work with you to develop an efficient QMS that works for your company, and is sure to be compliant with ISO 9001.