Consistent to its commitment to continuous improvement, EPIC takes a leap towards Certification of its Integrated Management System.
When you consider a company to work with, you think about what it can offer you and what benefits it can bring to your organization. There are several criteria to evaluate, but an established system to ensure the right processes and procedures are being followed is well worth considering. It guarantees the quality and consistency of the work, bringing you, as a customer, great peace of mind.
Pursuing an ISO Management System certification brings major benefits to the company as well as significant assurances to its customers regarding quality, safety, efficiency, environmental responsibility, and disaster recovery.
Nonetheless, as in the old saying, “The Cobbler’s Children Have No Shoes”, EPIC Consultants has also fallen ill of the “Cobbler’s Children Syndrome”. Just as the cobbler, through the years, we found ourselves so involved in providing the best service for our customers that we neglected applying our best solutions and resources internally. “My first engagement with EPIC, 2 years ago, was as a consultant helping the implementation of a Quality Management system at a healthcare center. Being a field consultant, I had no involvement with EPIC’s internal management. I was, however, a witness of the quality of the work being provided to customers and the incredible results being delivered. It was a surprise when I joined the day-to-day operations to find out the company did not have a fully implemented system itself.” – shared Adriana Abbade, currently EPIC’s Head of Marketing and Business Development.
EPIC Consultants has been implementing ISO and other management systems for over 15 years, but it took a defining moment as the Covid pandemic for it to take a good look inwards and decide to fully implement the ISO Integrated Management Systems (Quality, Health and Safety and Environment -9001, 45000 and 14000) as well as the ISO Business Continuity System (22301). “The main reason why we didn’t implement it earlier was the size of the company.” Says Johnny Rojas EPIC’s VP of Operations and Head of Consulting. “When you have a small company with a few people and small projects, you have an informal management system, and that works. The real need arises when the company begins to grow, and the situation becomes more complex.”
However, despite the significant growth through the years and the multi-million-dollar projects undertaken, “EPIC could not find the right time and availability of resources to sit down, create, generate, validate, and verify all our processes. That was our biggest challenge and why we kept pushing it back. Still, to continue our growth, there is a need to change from a gut feeling decision-making process to a more system-driven process”, added Johnny.
Before, most of our customers would rely on their own previous experience with us or the recommendation of someone they knew and trusted as a guarantee. That worked fine for the 15 years of mostly repeated business (85% of our customers have been working with us for over 10 years). However, as we expand to new markets, new customers, especially governmental ones, need more security than that. This is what the ISO Certification brings to the table. Once a company is ISO Certified, the customer has access to detailed information on how the company works and has the assurance brought by an external, independent audit and endorsement of the company’s commitment to quality, environment, business continuity and the health and safety of all its stakeholders. And this brings huge reduction of risks and increased satisfaction to customers.
Marco Pardave, a senior ISO consultant and lead auditor, who sits in one of the ISO international committees that write the ISO standards and has worked with EPIC through the implementation process, comments that “the main benefit to the customer is the transparency of the processes and procedures. It becomes a completely seamless operation, consistently giving them information about the status of the project and reliability of its service. This generates confidence that deliveries are on time, with good quality performance, within the project requirements, and according to the highest quality, environmental, safety and business continuity standards.”
“EPIC has high potential for growth by entering the federal market and expanding its presence. Our implementation of ISO makes this growth even more solid and sustainable.” Says David Moran, EPIC’s Principal and Head of Construction. “With ISO, we become even more organized, with a framework that allows employees to focus their responsibility and know exactly what and when they must deliver. In turn, it enables us to continuously improve our agility and performance in KPIs such as time, cost, environmental footprint, and safety.”
Read more about EPIC’s change management strategy at our article Major Investment in Human and Process Capital.