In pursuit of quality

When Gaia Resources was starting out, I had my fingers in everything.  I was doing that typical small business owner role – business development, accountant, systems administrator, marketing lead, spatial analyst, etc.  The positive side of all that is that I could get involved in everything, and I am a stickler for quality – so I could make sure that what we proposed was of the right quality before it went out.  We’ve evolved and gotten bigger and bigger over the years since those heady days, and so I find myself struggling to keep fingers in all the pies I want to.  While Gaia Resources has changed and grown, my tendencies towards Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) have stayed the same, so I’m finding myself often with a feeling that I’m being spread too thinly (which I’m sure is a standard for small business owners!).

This came to a crunch in the last few weeks when we had a couple of quality issues about systems we developed emerge.  While I’m really proud of how the team came together to fix these issues, and how they worked with our clients to resolve them, I’m still gutted that they happened in the first place.  However, timing is everything, and I do certainly believe that a failure is a chance to make an improvement – and there’s some really great ideas out of those couple of failures that we’ll be posting about in due course.  At the same time, over the last few months we’ve been working very hard on a range of things behind the scenes to improve the company, starting from our recent strategy day (see here).

The largest thing we’ve been doing is to move towards getting accredited by the International Organisation for Standards (ISO) against two standards – ISO 9001 which is all about Quality, and ISO 27001 which is all about information security.  The second of these we have been pushed towards very strongly with our work in the Archives sector, but the ISO 9001 accreditation is something that I see as a way of enshrining my OCD into the corporate way of being even more strongly than just through our culture.

As part of this accreditation, we’ve developed two policies – a Quality Policy and an Information Security and Management System Policy, which we are also making available on our web site through these links, so that they’re up front and centre for all our clients – and even on the walls in our office for our staff (see right).

While we won’t always get everything 100% correct, we will keep working to improve the systems that we develop under both the Quality and Information Security areas.  This is something that I’m very keen on – not just as a small business owner, but just as another obsessive person trying to make the world just a little bit better.

So if there’s some way that you think we can improve what we’re doing, we’d love to hear from you.  Please drop me a line directly via, or start a conversation with us on social media via FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.


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