PROMAN UK have been operating in the UK for over 30 years, starting life as HEADS Recruitment before becoming a part of PROMAN in 2015. Specialising in the recruitment of agency staff for manufacturing, supply chain and logistics companies, PROMAN work with companies ranging from international blue chips through to SMEs.
Patrick Ramsdale, the Co-Managing Director, has been with the business for 20 years, starting as a recruiter before moving into the legal and compliance function in 2010. He is responsible for the corporate resource function of the business which includes HR, Finance, Compliance, and IT, ensuring they provide a strong, stable support for operation and enable growth.
PROMAN are Alcumus ISOQAR’s longest standing client, with their certificate number being 003!
We chat to Patrick to find out about the role ISO management system has played in their growth.
What have you found are the benefits of being ISO certified?
Being ISO certified has led to enhanced credibility and reputation in the recruitment market. As it's a globally recognised certification, it demonstrates our organisation's commitment to international standards of quality, consistency, and reliability. This has led to improved customer confidence thanks to the quality service we provide alongside high customer satisfaction.
It has also led to operation efficiency; being ISO certified has encouraged a culture of continuous improvement within our organisation leading to efficiency gains across the business.
What would you say has been your biggest achievement as a business?
Following the takeover by PROMAN in 2015, we rebranded in 2018 and put in place ambitious plans to expand our service offering nationally and reach £100m turnover within 3 years. Whilst 2019 was a strong year for us, our forecast for 2020 naturally didn't include a global pandemic and the impact it would have on our clients. Our teams worked incredibly hard to ensure we continued on an upward trajectory despite difficult trading conditions and the labour availability shortage which came the following year.
By the end of our 3 year plan, we managed to not only achieve but smash our target by 15%! Our Quality Management System really came to the forefront in that period, as we went from office to home working. Our controlled processes enabled that switch and ensured consistency across our operations through the lockdown period.
And in contrast, what has been your most difficult challenge? How did you overcome that?
Like many businesses, the impact of COVID-19 had a significant impact on our day-to-day operation. In a very short space of time, we had to revolutionise the way we worked, from being almost entirely office-based to working from home without any deterioration of our service levels.
This meant investing in new systems and creating alternative processes that kept in line with ISO standards. Despite these challenges, we successfully navigated a difficult landscape and managed to achieve 20% year-on-year growth thanks to the hard-work and dedication of our teams.
We are celebrating 30 years of providing UKAS accredited certification. How has ISOQAR evolved since you been with us, how has that impacted your business?
ISOQAR’s evolution ensured we as a business strived for continuous improvement of our business processes, company strategy and risk analysis and kept us dynamic and fresh thinking.
The ISOQAR standard and our Quality Management System has been the foundation to our growth and innovation over 30 years, particularly as our business evolved with increased technology through and after COVID.
Any advice for those going through the certification process?
Achieving ISO certification is an ongoing commitment; achieving certification is only the first step and it requires you to continuously monitor and improve your processes to maintain compliance.
First of all, be transparent and organised! Make sure you have all documentation readily available for audit once you thoroughly understand the requires of the ISO standard you are in the process for. This may start with an internal audit at first to assess your company's compliance with the ISO standard, and then perform a gap analysis to assess where you may fall short. Once you have done this, establish a robust document management system to maintain and control all information which may be required in the future.
Encourage as many stakeholders as possible in the business to be involved in the accreditation process and maintenance of the system. Not only does many hands make light work, but many heads create fresh ideas and improvements in your process. Work hard to market internally the value of the accreditation and the system to ensure compliance and engagement, so people want to be part of the project moving forward.
If you are ready to start your certification journey, ISOQAR can give you a free no obligation quote.