Equas SmartPro is a successful supplier of Quality Management Systems for ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS18001 certification. Since its inception, the company has invested heavily in the design of modular quality and environmental management processes that are tailored to each client's application. Equas SmartPro has built an enviable reputation among its many clients across private and public sectors and its 'ISO in a Box' product is an accepted success story.
Keen to expand, Equas SmartPro began to explore the possibility of franchising the 'ISO in a Box' business model, building a network of independent consultants who rely on the parent company for continuous systems development, and to keep procedures and documentation up to date.
After thorough research, Equas SmartPro commissioned GreyRidge to design and manage a new internal Management Information System that would allow them to monitor and control the activities of their franchisees. This project proved a great success. The new software was developed using GreyRidge's GRAD* framework which ensured that the project was delivered on time, on budget and proved an immediate hit. This enabled Equas SmartPro's expansion plans to proceed with confidence.
Until 2008, the company's operations were based wholly in the UK. The large amount of documentation required to implement an ISO-certified Quality Management System was delivered in electronic 'paper' format as were the frequent updates to each client's system and most communications with franchisees.
The company's ambitions turned to other countries (ISO 9001/14001 being the international quality standards), looking for involvement in multi-national projects and to expand its by now successful franchise model into foreign markets. Equas SmartPro's Managing Director, David Morgan, and his fellow directors quickly determined that the company's existing paper-based distribution processes would not work in an international setting and again turned to GreyRidge for a solution.
GreyRidge were able to see how an electronic document management system could solve the problem. Such a system not only allows initial document sets to be distributed (via an Internet hosted service, it also provides easy access to clients who, having logged in, can call up whatever document they may require at any time. Updates to documentation are equally easy to implement and distribute.
GreyRidge's questioning (part of the information gathering that happens within the GRAD framework) led it to suggest that an opportunity existed to make Equas SmartPro's product more dynamic. This would allow the company to move beyond the design and delivery of quality management systems into active monitoring of the system's use. Implemented correctly, this would enable Equas SmartPro to provide a far more valuable product to its clients and one that would generate more revenue.
The result of this collaboration is Equas SmartPro's new 'ISO in a Box Activ' product. Launched in December 2008, 'ISO in a Box Activ' allows franchisees to establish new client accounts on-line, and automates the production and distribution of documentation which clients can access anytime and anywhere. The 'Activ' part of the product's name describes the new processes that audit the client's operation of its Quality Management System, providing feedback to the client and to the consultant, thereby enabling systems to be tuned and adapted to meet each client's requirements and practices.
Equas SmartPro has gained significant advantages from GreyRidge's large scale investment in GRAD and its underlying technology, not to mention the quality of commercial experience and business understanding that GreyRidge's people bring to every project. GRAD provides the Internet hosted, secure environment that an application such as Equas SmartPro's new 'ISO in a Box Activ' product needs.