3 things ISO taught us about our business

Tuesday, 12th September 2017

ISO accreditation is very important to our team at MCS. For us, it’s about far more than putting ticks against boxes and receiving a ‘pass’, and it always has been. From the start we’ve used the ISO process as a valuable tool, one that helps us to review and reshape our operations, to really think about how we service our clients and operate our business.

We know that for many businesses, ISO can be a daunting experience, one that forces you to analyse your operations and deal with those niggling problems that are lurking out of sight, out of mind. What we came to realise in our experience is that ISO is less about highlighting your faults than finding solutions.

This summer, we received a 100% pass rate for the third time, with no non-conformities. It was no small task, but for us, the effort that we put into the process was well worth it. Not only is it a testament to the whole team’s focus and consistent diligence, but it actually creates a better framework for us to do business in.

ISO accreditation has been a great journey for us, and a positive experience that we’d encourage other businesses to pursue. Here are the three key lessons that ISO accreditation has taught us about our business – perhaps they will encourage you to set off on your own ISO expedition.

We succeeded by taking a different approach

ISO accreditation can be used to iron out the kinks, or it can be used to really think about your business structure and procedures. For us, the process was always about making MCS Corporate Strategies better, more efficient, and more able to support our clients.

We approached ISO the way we approach everything: ISO is a set of guidelines and we needed to make our service fit. This is the same approach we use to claim R&D tax credits for our clients, and that is why we are so good at what we do.

Just because the first reading or the standard interpretation of a claim suggests it doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that interpretation is correct. If a peg is round and a hole is square, we don’t just say no. We find out why that hole is square. Is that shape definitive or assumed? Can it be adapted to fit?

At MCS, we’re not afraid to step away from the obvious and question the accepted interpretation to find a solution that really works. Using the same approach with ISO helped us to analyse and adapt our methods for the better.
We’re good at ISO because we’re good at what we do

Diligence, flexibility and insight are key to filing an effective R&D claim for our clients. We’ve always prided ourselves on offering a complete solution that takes everything into consideration – from gathering evidence to liaising with HMRC – and is tailored to each company we represent.
Those qualities were just as important when it came to our ISO. Our dedication to providing the best service to our clients, and having the most robust framework to support it, is what drives us to improve every aspect of our business whenever we can. ISO has really opened our eyes to opportunities to improve our operations, just as we are always looking for ways to improve on a claim for a client.
Client confidence is at the heart of our business – and ISO supports that

Quality is important to us, and we want our clients to have full confidence in us. Anything to do with HMRC can make businesses apprehensive, and a key part of our R&D service is taking away some of that apprehension. Passing our ISO certification naturally helps clients to have confidence in us, and the process we take to get it makes sure they have reason to.

Essentially ISO ensures that our quality control is watertight – but also, that we have the flexibility to respond to every client’s needs.

Thanks in part to our thorough ISO accreditation preparation, we are able to take a more flexible approach to cases and still have full confidence in the outcome. As such, we can avoid the ‘prescriptive’ R&D claims method taken by many other consultants, and keep developing bespoke solutions that work.

Working towards your ISO accreditation? It could result in R&D

If your ISO process has required you to create new bespoke processes, or make dramatic changes to your business, it might have resulted in research and development. To find out more, contact us on 01926 512475 to speak to an one of our experts.