Cloud GRC software vs On-Premise GRC software

Posted by Chris Webster on Tue, Mar 06, 2018

When selecting a new governance, risk and compliance software solution, one important decision you will need to make is whether you will be hosting your system on the cloud or on-premise. 

Cloud-based GRC systems have become much more popular in recent years - especially among small and medium sized businesses - but there are many reasons why you may decide a traditional, on-premise system is better for you.  

Qualsys can actually offer you three options - cloud-based software, on-premise or a hybrid deployment. Hybrid means cloud GRC software can be hosted on your private servers if you choose. 

To help you to make an informed decision, this article shares with you key considerations. 

 Chris w 1.jpg


The most frequently asked question we usually get asked is "Which is the most secure option?" 

Our systems are all hosted in an ISO 27001 data centre, and we have never had a major information security incident. 

Qualsys's cloud hosted system provides you with: 

  • High availability firewall
  • Anti-virus for file servers 
  • Managed to PCI DSS standard
  • Back ups every 15 minutes. 




The initial costs for on-premise are usually higher as you'll need to invest in a Virtual Machine (VM) or a physical server. The minimum server specification for our software:

  • Microsoft Windows 2008 Server/Windows 2012 Server
  • Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS)
  • Windows Search Service
  • Microsoft SQL 2008 server or higher
  • Recommended 8 GB or higher
  • minimum Intel Xeon 2.4GHz processor or higher
  • A full EQMS system installation requires 1.5GB disk storage with no documents or data loaded
  • Recommended 100GB of disc space for document storage with room for expansion.

You'll also need to ensure you have allocated resource for internal IT time and system maintenance. 

Hosting with Qualsys's cloud solution starts from £120 per month and all of the technical work is completed for you with very little resource required from your internal technical teams. 


Time to set up

For client server systems, we usually recommend allocating 2 days of internal resource to install the software. For systems hosted with Qualsys, it takes 1.5 days to install a UAT and live system. 


Support and help

Whether you have a cloud hosted system by Qualsys or opt for on-premise, you'll still be entitled to an upgrade every year. These upgrades can be completed remotely. 



Both systems can be made availabile via browser (Firefox, Chrome etc) from any web enabled device, including smartphone and tablet applications (IOS and Android). Our software has passed stringent speed tests. 

Need more information about our hosting or technical information? 

Talk to a domain expert or schedule a call when you are next available.

Alternatively, read more about our technical product features by downloading our datasheets.

GRC Softwar datasheets


Tags: EQMS, Implementing EQMS

Developing your quality management software strategy: Sodexo shares success story at AIIM 2017

Posted by Emily Hill on Thu, Jun 29, 2017

The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) recently hosted a forum and invited Sodexo to present a talk on their experiences with implementing their enterprise quality management system, EQMS.  

Rob Gibson is IT Systems Manager at Sodexo. Watch the video below to learn more about his journey. The full transcript of Rob's presentation follows the video.




About this presentation

This presentation is about driving engagement. It's a story about software I've been rolling out on numerous sites for lots of different customers over the past four years. 

I hope you can use some of my lessons learned and apply them to your own line of work or if you're implementing an electronic quality management system.

About Sodexo

Sodexo are a world leader in the provision of services that enhance the quality of life. We are the 19th biggest employer in the world. We manage other businesses' operations and services such as restaurants, hospitals, schools, prisons, offshore energy platforms, defence and leisure. Right now, we're serving fine dining and champagne at Royal Ascot.

Operating on client premises, Sodexo often employ staff who used to work for the client. They outsource the contract to us and this means that employees often transfer in from the client's organisation. 

This often means there are different ways of working. There's a blend of how the Sodexo mothership wants things to be done and how the client expects things to be done. There are often inconsistencies which need to be accommodated.

How Qualsys fits in at Sodexo

Qualsys provide software called EQMS which we procured a few years ago now. Qualsys was established over 20 years ago and has its headquarters in Sheffield. Qualsys provide a mature, integrated electronic quality management system with lots of rich functionality for managing documents, training records, audits.

EQMS helps us to automate a lot of the processes we have challenges with out in the business – for example, audits and inspection checklists where you need to go and check that a room or laboratory has been maintained to the correct specification. We also have to keep things recorded and provide evidence. The modules that EQMS provides help us to evidence compliance.

How Sodexo uses EQMS

Sodexo has many pharmaceutical clients. Some are blue-chip, household brands who produce the medicines we're all familiar with. As you'd expect, these organisations need to work to rigorous international standards. If you're making medicines and vaccines, you have to hold records in case there are any product recalls or evidence of contamination. As our customers need to do this, we do this as well. We have to keep records, training records, follow procedures, demonstrate standard operating procedures and our methods. There are all sorts of documents we need to have and we need to make sure they're in a safe place. This creates quite a records challenge.

EQMS reduces the cost of compliance and makes the records challenge manageable. 

The challenges with implementing enterprise software 

I've deployed a number of systems over the years. There have been different contexts, different customers. And I've come across different challenges to make the software 'sticky' – to make the software part of the daily activity. You want to software to be useful, established and efficient. 

Here are the four main challenges I've come across: 

1.  Not invented here syndrome

If someone from headquarters comes in and says "I know your job and this is how you're going to do it," there'll be a lot of resistance because they don't know their job and they don't do it in that way. So, we have to listen to our customers and employees and make sure we articulate what it is they need and how we can help them. 

2.  Time pressures

Everyone's under time pressures. Rolling out this scale of system takes time because it has to be a transition. If you say they need to take an afternoon to do training or attend a workshop, the answer is probably going to be no.

3.  Ownership of the current solution 

You've probably all come across this – someone has created a colour-coded spreadsheet with hundreds of formulas, and they're really proud of it because it does exactly what they need, they know how to use it and it works for them. You have to go in and introduce a better and more efficient way of working. 

4.  Deployment project ends 

The project management lifecycle lets us down from time to time. This is when you get a really good system, which has been really well deployed but then the project draws to a close and the person managing it disappears. What happens then is that there is data 'ROT': redundant, outdated and trivial data, which is put into the system. You end up with outdated information and the system becomes polluted.

Enterprise software needs to be fed and maintained.

Is this important? Will it impact your business? 

There are many opportunities with systems such as EQMS. If we can get systems into the organisations that are really going to help users and team members do their job better and provide a better service for our customers, they'll feel happier and more engaged. If we can get the company culture right, we can get systems into the business that will drive engagement. It's worth getting it right. 

However, 57% of IT projects deliver less value than forecast. Harvard Business Review research puts it down to processes being incorrect, costs difficult to quantify and the benefits not accurately articulated. 

When implementing a new system, you need to consider the risks and the opportunities. For example, there's a risk that if you put bad data into the system, you're in a bad place before you have even started. You need to put good data into the system. 

The quality and compliance challenge at Sodexo

Sodexo needs to comply with lots of international standards and regulations. The international bodies, such as the MHRA and the FDA, come into these organisations and check that the product has been made to specification. The challenge for us is balancing our processes with our clients expectations to satisfy regulators.

We have our operating processes, and we have a library of documents such as:

  • Core processes
  • Guidelines 
  • Local and contractual requirements
  • Opportunities for their own 

Our end-users and our customers need to feel like this system belongs to them. It's not being imposed on them. The framework for implementing software requires organisations to get their key personnel and superusers involved from the beginning. It's a very difficult balance to maintain and there are always different things to do. One of the best ways to get people involved and sharing information is to look at what works really well. Then replicating this in other areas of the business. 

Advice for a successful journey

1.  Demonstrate value for users

EQMS fits all of our compliance information management requirements. It helps to manage processes and documents, ensures people have a safe place to keep all their records, and helps us complete all of our audits. 

We use iPads with iEQMS to complete audits and inspections. They're much more efficient as we can enter the data, take photos, and notify relevant people instantly if there's a health and safety incident. 

If someone's saying that it doesn't work or it isn't doing what they want it to, you need to work with them to take a step back and demonstrate the overall bigger picture. 

One thing I'd highly recommend is having a formal health check. This involves talking to people, surveys and analytics of the system. Our software vendor, Qualsys, came in and did this for us as they were able to be agnostic. There was a lot of useful feedback from the health check; it helped us establish objectives and recognise opportunities. We'd like to get Qualsys to do the health check again in a year. 

2.  Sharing success stories

We had a milestone a few weeks ago where one of the sites was celebrating their 10,000th training record uploaded onto EQMS. That's 20,000 pieces of paper not printed off, not filed, and not in a silo somewhere. That made their onsite newsletter and their noticeboard. 

3.  Keeping the good news flowing 

One of our team has to go out on site and do lots of very detailed audits using the iEQMS Auditor application. Then he has to write a formal report about the findings. It used to take three days. Now it's automatically produced the same day. That's a really powerful story. 

4.  Competitions between teams

Comparing the performance of teams has been really useful. I once worked for a car manufacturer and we got the night shift team to compete against the day shift to encourage some competition.

5.  Training 

If you don't get training right, it can be a killer. Sometimes, just five minutes' awareness training can help, sometimes it needs an hour. Getting to the why. 

6.  Use the vendor

We couldn't have got to where we are today without the support from Qualsys. Qualsys has other customers who've been through the same situation and they've held our hand all the way. We have regular meetings with Qualsys. 

7.  Having management support 

Leadership is more important than ever. You need to demonstrate that leadership are on board. 


8.  Not a one-size-fits-all approach

Another issue is ignoring project warning signs. Do you have a team of people and a process for enabling your people to say if there's something wrong? I don't need to remind you of the Challenger space shuttle explosion. 

When you find someone who's nervous about the battlefield, go and talk to him or her and find out why, as it's not a "one-size-fits-all" approach. 

We've had some fast wins, slow wins and failures. 

Fast wins

Document control was the low-hanging fruit for us. EQMS Document Manager provides us with a safe place to control and manage documentation. It has customisable permissions, finds out when it needs to be reviewed and see who needs to approve the document in the workflow. 

Training records was a hidden requirement. It wasn't critical to start off with, but as we went through we realised how many spreadsheets were being used and the amount of time it was taking to update the spreadsheets; it became a much bigger project. EQMS enabled us to kill all of these redundant spreadsheets. 

Slow wins

The iEQMS Auditor application took us several attempts to get it right. We needed some additional training to ensure we were doing everything in the most efficient way and staying compliant. For some sites, internal auditing was a completely new process. They knew it was something that would be useful, but they hadn't done it before. Through EQMS, we can introduce regular internal audits. 


We did find there was sometimes local resistance, and this meant that we haven't succeeded yet. Sometimes, there are business restructures or employees leave.

Looking ahead 

EQMS is a proven solution in Sodexo. We're now looking for ways to expand our operations globally, optimise existing system, and roll out more EQMS modules such as EQMS Risk Manager. 


ISO 9001:2015 Toolkit


Tags: Implementing EQMS, Partnerships

Fortis IBA introduces new QHSE management software

Posted by Liam Pollard on Thu, Jun 22, 2017

Fortis IBA have recently started implementing EQMS by Qualsys to manage their health and safety, environment and quality management processes. 

Fortis IBA are leaders in the recycling and production of incinerator bottom ash, creating a quality secondary aggregate for use within the construction industry. They have three main operating divisions, in the waste, quarrying and recycling sectors, and employ around 220 people.

Previously part of the Raymond Brown Group, Fortis IBA are one of the four businesses who now need their own accreditation to ISO standards. As part of this, they extensively overhauled their IT systems and made a strategic decision to implement an ISO and compliance management system to help manage health and safety, environment and quality management processes.

After a competitive tendering process, Fortis IBA chose EQMS by Qualsys for its advanced functionality, consultancy services and 'Lego brick' approach to software modules.

Ben Jacobs, Technical and Environmental Manager at Fortis IBA, said: "We needed a solution which would enable multiple users to have different levels of access. We needed to be able to carry out inspections anywhere and we needed to be able to produce instant KPI reports. EQMS ticked all of these boxes."

Fortis IBA will implement four EQMS modules:

Alex Swan, Business Development Manager at Qualsys Ltd, helped Fortis IBA through the buying process.

"Buying enterprise quality and ISO management software isn't like purchasing office stationery," Alex said. "It needs to be a good fit for us and for our customer for many years. From the initial enquiry, we could tell that Fortis IBA was a strong mutual fit. We're delighted to welcome Fortis IBA to the Qualsys family and our account management, support and service implementation teams will be working closely with them to maximise return on investment." 


Looking for a QHSE management system?

If you're reviewing the way you manage quality, health and safety or environment processes and think you may need a software solution, request a call back below.

One of the team will call you to ask a few questions to understand more about you and your company. If it seems like a good fit, they'll offer you a demonstration of EQMS with one of our management team. 


Request a call back: 


Tags: Quality Management Software, Implementing EQMS

How to make your enterprise quality management system more sticky

Posted by Emily Hill on Tue, Jun 13, 2017

change charles darwin.png

Enterprise software systems give many organisations the vital competitive advantage they need. However, as technology projects grow larger and more complex, the risk those organisations face is increased. In fact, it's estimated that, on average, IT projects run 45% over budget and 7% over time, while delivering 56% less value than predicted. 

With ever more demanding regulations, and a workforce spread across the globe, the need for a centralised business process management system far outweighs the risk. The biggest risk, actually, is the challenge of encouraging the system's end-users to change the way they do things. 

The most agile organisations, the ones who adapt to the challenge, will reap the greater rewards.


So when implementing an enterprise solution such as EQMS – Qualsys's electronic quality and compliance management system – what are some tactics you can use to engage your employees? What conflicts are you likely to encounter? 

Rob Gibson, IT Systems Manager at Sodexo, was a keynote speaker at the AIIM Forum in June, where he shared his tips on "How to Drive Engagement with Enterprise Software."

Over the past four years, Rob has been instrumental in rolling out EQMS across multiple sites, facilities and customers. Sodexo use EQMS to manage document control, audits, incident logging and training records. 

In his presentation, Rob talked about the EQMS project, the challenges Sodexo faced in rolling out the software, and the lessons he learned in trying to make enterprise software more "sticky", and we share a few of his tips below.

Clashing company cultures

In a huge worldwide organisation such as Sodexo, rolling out EQMS onto new sites means negotiating the many different company cultures that have formed. Some sites take to the new system with such enthusiasm that it becomes the lifeblood of their operations, while others feel it's been forced upon them. Some systems will have the backing of business owners and sponsors, others won't.

An implementation will only be successful if the end-users embrace the new system. Whether or not the system is adopted depends on giving those users effective training, and having an internal champion who'll promote and support the system from within.

'Flavour of the month' ideas

In Rob's experience, it's quite common for organisations to implement a quality management system, only to abandon it in its infancy when the next 'flavour of the month' idea comes along.

Longevity is key. Putting a system in place is one thing, but it's unlikely to be perfect from the outset. The more end-users engage with the software, the more they will identify potential improvements and tweaks. Though the original project manager may no longer be around, having someone there to ensure any suggested improvements or upgrades are made will help establish the system long term.


Allowing everyone to take ownership

Who's running with the project, exactly? The person who procured the system isn't always going to own that system later on, especially if their organisation is large and complex.

Our Account Management team here at Qualsys frequently consult our customers on their experiences regarding ownership. They've found that when an organisation shapes its quality management system to the needs of all its employees, everyone can share in the credit when the system works, which helps drive engagement.

And from a business point of view, that communication with employees can be crucial. Rob Gibson suggests using techniques such as interviews and voxpops to find out how staff are using the quality management system and what issues they might be encountering. What lessons can you learn from talking to your employees?


What you should do now

For more information on how EQMS can help your organisation, download our datasheets.

EQMS Datasheets  

Tags: Implementing EQMS, Quality Culture

New quick-start guides added to help desk

Posted by Emily Hill on Thu, May 11, 2017

Declan_Quality_Management_Software_Implementation_Manager.pngDeclan Webster, Service Implementation Manager at Qualsys, has produced new EQMS Quick-Start Guides to help EQMS end-users get off to a flying start when they first begin using the system. EQMS Quick Start.png

Declan said: "EQMS has lots of advanced functionality, compliance analytics and reporting options for administrators. However, we recognise that lots of end-users only need to log in to view their to-do list, approve a document or check a process. 

"Qualsys have created these Quick-Start Guides to sit alongside the EQMS Help Videos to help end-users get familiar with the basic functionality in EQMS. The guides contain useful tips, shortcuts and screenshots. We'll be producing more of these free printable guides over the next few weeks!"

Click here to access the Quick Start Guides from the Help and Knowledge Base

More ways Qualsys can help end-users adopt EQMS 

When rolling out any new software system, you need to:

  • gain insight into your users' activity
  • identify opportunities for improvement
  • get buy-in from your management team
  • maximise your ROI, and
  • measure operational excellence

EQMS customers are eligible for a free system health check: 

Tags: EQMS, Implementing EQMS

How to choose your quality management team

Posted by Marc Gardner on Fri, Mar 10, 2017

Implementing a quality management system is as much about people as it is about processes and policies. 

To do this faster, easier and more effectively, you need to spend some time at the start making sure you have the best people. Knowing what to look for in your quality management team will help you deliver a successful and co-ordinated implementation plan.

With the help of Richard Green, Managing Director and founder of Kingsford Consultancy Services, we've put together five tips to help you choose an effective EQMS project team destined for success.

 #1 – Decide how many people you need

One of the trickier aspects of choosing your project team is deciding how many people to involve. It's tempting to either limit the team to senior management who already know and understand why EQMS is being implemented, or have lots of people from every department. Here you risk either isolating end users from the process or having 'too many cooks', which will dilute the positive impact a project team can have.

A team of 4-6 people is ideal

A project team of 4–6 people is ideal. This ensures you remain streamlined and can easily communicate with each other, while also allowing a range of skills and experience to be brought into the mix.

#2 – Mix up the skills instead of using the same go-to team

You'll need a good mix of ideas and action, so make sure you have a range of skills to call on. It's tempting to use people you're familiar with and who you've worked with before, but you could be missing out. A fresh team will have a new dynamic and create a precedent for embracing change, right from the start of the project.

"The team must possess the necessary interpersonal skills and technical knowledge to get the job done. Without this you have no chance of success." 

Talk with line managers of departments before you build your team. Those managers know their teams best, and will be able to recommend individuals based on their skills rather than their experience. Skills you should look for include good organisation, communication and creativity. You may find that a less senior member of staff will have a 'game changer' approach that is ideal for the project, or that a 'stay-in-the-background' worker has perfect technical experience.

Project teams should have a mix of skills


#3 – Find people who care

"You need individuals who are prepared to put the common cause first." 

If someone on the team doesn't care about the project, they won't be committed to its success. As the project progresses, you might find some of the team get disillusioned – especially during roll-out where the biggest resistance to change always occurs. A good way to keep them motivated is to highlight how the project's success will benefit them personally – for example:

  • They could be promoted
  • More efficient processes make their job easier
  • They won't spend as much time on administrative tasks
  • They will have better working relationships

#4 – Your end-user champion is your word-on-the-street

You've brought EQMS into your company with the aim of continuously improving quality, mitigating risk and making your business more efficient. But your end users are unlikely to buy in to these reasons as a motive for cultural change.


Having an end-user champion who understands and is passionate about the positive changes EQMS will deliver will vastly support you when you roll out EQMS to its eventual users. You'll benefit from their passion about the project bringing about change at a grass-roots level – and they'll also be able to provide useful feedback on what is (and isn't) important to your people when it comes to using EQMS.

#5 – Have strong leadership

The project manager needs to be able to step away from the 'doing' and to delegate. A strong leader is needed for motivation and should be supported by their 'internal quarterback' – the person who manages and motivates team members more closely.

"You need strong leadership, people in key roles who are able to get the best out of those who are working alongside them." 

Forming your team starts with the backbone, your 'internal quarterback', the person who co-ordinates every play to move towards success. To help you find who you're looking for in this role, we’ve put together a sample job description for you to download and use in your search. Depending on the size and complexity of your organisation and the quality management system you use, this could be a full-time or part-time permanent role (a new recruit or an internal promotion), or work alongside another position if the project is relatively small.

 leadership for quality management



What you should do now

Download the stakeholder engagement planner for a step-by-step guide for improving a culture of quality.

Or, for hundreds of useful tools and resources on putting together a business case for an integrated quality management system, download our Business Case toolkit.

Business Case builder


Tags: EQMS, Change Management, Implementing EQMS, Quality Culture

A Cult(ure) of Quality: 3 Lessons from Leading Brands

Posted by Emily Hill on Wed, Sep 21, 2016

You are part of a cult, right?

Before you answer, consider this - a cult is a group of people who are wholeheartedly devoted to a cause. They are not afraid to champion their beliefs through their actions. And they will share their devotion with others. So, what quality department would not want a cult following? 

But getting everyone to put quality-first is not always easy and few quality teams ever find the perfect recipe to master it.

So how can you make your stakeholders devoted to quality? What does the road to success look like? And where can you get advice? 

During the Food Safety Trends Conference, we sought advice from quality professionals at some of the world's largest food manufacturers. Below are 3 tips for a getting cult-like following from quality professionals at some of the world's leading food manufacturers.

company culture.png

#1 Put the brand first - Compass Group UK & Ireland

Demonstrating the cost of poor quality is essential when getting your team behind you. But what is even more important than revenue over the next few months? Keeping a reputable brand for decades to come. 

Chris Moore from Compass Group UK & Ireland suggests communicating potential reputational damage when discussing the importance of quality. He says:

"Don't always focus on cost when engaging top management with quality. Highlight potential reputational and brand damage."

Every sector has countless examples of when poor quality and compliance management has hit the headlines. Take the horsemeat found in Findus lasagna in 2013 as an example. After more than 50 years as a UK favourite, the European arm of the Findus Group was sold to Nomad Holdings last autumn. Following this, a separate company, Young's Seafood International Holdings, was spun out in the UK, but decided to drop the Findus brand in early 2016 following the damage to the brand caused by the horsemeat scandal. 

Even Findus Crispy Pancakes, who won 'Favourite retro food' in 2009, has been dropped.


But not all quality issues are scandals. Some could be a customer complaint. Take this review of Haribo Sugar Free Gummy Bears on Amazon as an example: 


The review went viral. Over 50,000 people have found the review helpful. It made headline news on The Guardian and Buzzfeed. And it has probably been read hundreds of thousands, if not millions of times. Who would buy Haribo Sugar Free Gummy Bears after reading these reviews? 

Discussing the importance of the brand and the potential damage to the brand due to poor quality will help you ensure quality is top of mind for all of your stakeholders, all of the time. 


#2 Market your quality team - Danone

The words you use, the stories you tell and your routines say a lot about you. The same is true in business. If the quality team are only around when things are going wrong, they will soon be associated with being negative, and they will probably be met with hostility or fear. 

John Carter from Danone suggests promoting quality to the rest of the organisation: 

"Think carefully about the language you use: if your quality team are saying "this is a nightmare" or "we are having a crisis", the rest of the organisation will be quick to associate quality as something negative." 

Carter suggests building a positive culture of quality starts with the messages conveyed by your quality team. 

These articles have ideas for promoting quality in your organisation: 


#3 One single source of truth - SHS Group Drinks Division

Accountability. It helps people know who needs to do what, when and why. Without it, employees will be confused, there will be a lack of coordination among functions, failure to share ideas, slow decision-making - bringing all of your employees and suppliers an extra layer of complexity, stress, conflict, and ultimately, this leads to a poor customer experience. 

Paul Isherwood from SHS Group Drinks Division says a centralised system is key for a culture of quality: 

"If you do not have one single source of truth, you are not doing your job. If you must negotiate capex, this should be on your non-negotiables list." 

A centralised system will ensure all employees in your organisation know who needs to do what and when. Systems such as EQMS are key for improving accountability, exposing the truth, and essentially, a culture of quality. EQMS assigns roles and has an advanced, configurable workflow so individuals and teams know what they need to do and when. And as EQMS has a built-in audit trail, authorised personnel can see who has said what and when. 

Request pricing information for EQMS or watch EQMS webinars


Getting a cult-like following for quality is not for the faint-hearted and it will not happen overnight. But by focusing on brand value as well as cost of poor quality, taking time to promote the quality team internally and consolidating all quality initiatives into 'one single source of truth', you will be one step closer on your journey. 

For more information about using EQMS as your 'single source of truth' watch the webinars here. 

Quality Management Webinars


  Image credits: Danone 

Tags: Implementing EQMS, Quality Culture

6 critical building blocks of a quality culture

Posted by Emily Hill on Mon, Sep 05, 2016

Behind every great company is a great culture of quality – when every stakeholder from top management to shop-floor worker seamlessly embeds improvement into their daily activities.

Without a culture of quality, your organisation might function inefficiently, or even collapse. A poor culture brings chaos and contradictions; confusion within roles; a failure to communicate. Co-ordination will be absent, decision-making slow. Employees will be frustrated and feel conflicted. And all this leads to is a shoddy customer experience.

We invited Richard Green, Managing Director and Founder of Kingsford Consultancy Services, to tell us what he believes are the essential building blocks for a quality culture.

1)  There must be systems and structures in place

Essential to a quality culture is having the necessary systems and structures to support quality improvement. Your processes need to set clear performance criteria that focus on the customer. This means: 

  • Having a strong governance structure to drive quality initiatives and to ensure your organisation is held accountable for delivering against its goals
  • Identifying and eliminating potential sources of error
  • Ensuring data is analysed and reported efficiently and effectively, and
  • Using performance data to drive decision-making and improvement.

2)  Leaders need to be advocates for quality

Commitment from leaders is the driving force for a culture of quality. Your leaders need to be clearly visible, engaged and unwavering in their support for quality improvement. This means:

  • Proactively providing all the resources needed to sustain the quality culture
  • Holding staff accountable for engaging in quality improvement
  • Clearly articulating the company's vision and values, and
  • Planning for quality improvement to continue should they leave the organisation. 

And your reward system must recognise efforts to improve quality. These incentives can favour monetary or recognition-based awards, depending on the circumstances.

3)  Employees should feel empowered

Stakeholder Engagement toolkit

Leadership must empower staff to embed quality improvement into their daily work. This means supporting change and challenging tradition.

  • Employees must feel trusted to introduce quality improvements relating to their roles
  • Leaders must ensure all employees have the skills they need to fulfil the quality aspects of their roles
  • There should be open and honest communication at all levels
  • Employees should be able to assess their own performance.

4)  Build a customer-centric operation 

Your organisation should operate in a 'customer-centric' way. This means:

  • Customers' needs and values are central to decision-making and daily operations
  • Employees perceive the organisation as truly customer-oriented
  • The organisation is viewed from the outside as being customer-focused, in that it not only meets customers' expectations but regularly exceeds them. 


5)  Make collaborative working the norm

Your whole team should understand why quality is important and work together to solve problems. This means: 

  • Teams should routinely gather to brainstorm, implement quality improvement projects and share lessons learned
  • Work groups and departments/divisions should co-operate, and
  • Project teams tasked with quality improvement should have a strong blend of capable people.

6)  Continual improvement is taken as a given 

Quality Management Webinars

Continual improvement is everywhere. Your organisation should never be content with its operational performance; it should constantly strive to be better. This means:

  • Employees should routinely use quality improvement tools and methods to solve quality problems and deliver quality improvements, and
  • Everything should have a process focus.



EQMS newsletter

Tags: Implementing EQMS, Quality Culture

10 tips for implementing EQMS – Diageo

Posted by Emily Hill on Wed, Aug 17, 2016

Over a decade ago, Diageo, a multinational alcoholic beverages company who owns brands such as Smirnoff, Baileys and Johnnie Walker, recognised an opportunity to consolidate all compliance documents and audits into one user-friendly management system. 

Diageo selected EQMS as their primary system for quality and compliance management. But in an organisation with over 30,000 employees, 200 sites and operations in over 30 countries, implementing EQMS was not without challenges.

We asked Diageo to share some of their advice for other organisations implementing EQMS. Here are the top ten tips: 




Get more help and information on the 100 Day Playbook.

100 day playbook


Tags: Implementing EQMS, Quality Culture

5 tasks to get your EQMS implementation off to a flying start

Posted by Emily Hill on Wed, Aug 17, 2016

Successfully implementing and managing a tool as powerful as EQMS goes well beyond configuring the system. The key to getting great results largely depend on what you do before integrating the system into your operations. 

Below are five tasks our services team recommend all businesses complete prior to implementing EQMS.

Implementing and managing EQMS


#1 – Set realistic goals


"It is important to set goals at the start of your EQMS implementation so you can manage your stakeholders' expectations, know what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it by. 

But when you are setting your goals, it's worth thinking about what is realistic and achievable. For example, while it is possible to configure, train and roll out EQMS in a month or two, if you have other responsibilities or outdated processes or you are consolidating multiple legacy systems, it will take longer.  

When we start working with you, we will help you establish achievable goals in a realistic timeframe based on what resources are available."

Isabelle Pound, Services Director

"When you are setting your goals, it's worth thinking about what is realistic and achievable."

#2 – Get various stakeholders involved 


"Our project scoping workshops are an opportunity to get stakeholders from across your organisation involved in EQMS.

Of course, you'll need your key decision-makers there, but it's also worth inviting those who will be using the system. They'll be able to provide insight into how processes are actually carried out and how they think those processes could be optimised.

Before the workshops, we can give you advice on who to invite, communicate with your stakeholders and help you get them engaged." 

Mark Brook, Service Implementation Manager


EQMS Implementation Process.png


Learn about the EQMS project implementation process

"You'll need your key decision-makers at your project scoping workshops, but it's also worth inviting those who will be using the system."

#3 – Get end-users engaged


"Getting end-users engaged with EQMS during the implementation process is essential.

Imagine EQMS were an iTunes account. You sent all of your friends an amazing playlist. But you realise your friends are not so keen to start using it. Why? You uploaded all of your music, used all of your own playlists, and named it how you like. 

But if you'd involved all your friends from the start and got them excited about the iTunes account, they'd have felt like they own the account, given you their ideas, and been more likely to provide constructive feedback.

The same is true for EQMS. Getting your end-users engaged is key. You can send them a quiz asking about their challenges, a poll asking what they want to call EQMS, or ask them what branding they would like to see on the system." 

Chris Owen, Service Implementation Manager

"Getting end-users engaged with EQMS during the implementation process is essential."

#4  Consider all your options


"Considering all your options at the start of your implementation will save you lots of time at a later date.

Implementing EQMS is much like decorating a house. If you just go with the first sample you like the look of, you'll soon see other wallpaper or colour palettes you prefer. Instead, you want to get lots of different samples. Try them out. Ask people. Write up the pros and cons of each. Then make a decision. 

You may already have a clear idea of how you want EQMS configured, but we're here to talk through all of your options with you."

Simon Wells, Training Manager

See our article about Diageo's decade with EQMS

#5 – An opportunity for a spring clean 

Declan_Quality_Management_Software_Implementation_Manager.png"Unless you're one of a rare breed who keeps every document, procedure and process up to date, archives everything you don't currently need, and are basically a human version of EQMS, you (and most other people in your organisation) will probably have lots of information on your desktop or shared files or in your filing cabinets which needs to be updated. 

One of the benefits of implementing EQMS is that it gives you the opportunity to take a step back, look at your current processes and give them a 'spring clean'. You can streamline, remove redundant information, reduce waste and build robust processes.

Rather than migrating everything as it is, we recommend reviewing what you need and then only using that." 

Declan Webster, Service Implementation Manager


What you should do now

For more articles, templates and information to help you to ace your EQMS implementation, view the EQMS 100 Day Playbook.

100 day playbook


Tags: Implementing EQMS, Quality Culture