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FAQ

CONSULTING: WHY SHOULD AN ORGANIZATION IMPLEMENT ISO STANDARDS
The existence of an organization without customers, or with unsatisfied customers, is in peril! To keep customers - and to keep them satisfied or delighted to the maximum- the product/service needs to meet their requirements. ISO provides a tried and tested framework for taking a systematic approach to managing the business processes (the organization´s activities) so that they consistently turn out product conforming to the customer´s expectations. And that means consistently happy and loyal customers!
CONSULTING: HOW TO GET AN ISO CERTIFICATE
Since there is no single blueprint for implementing ISO that will work for every organization, consultants have the necessary expertise to help managers balance the conflicting requirements, hence, prepare them, thoroughly, for a successful application by using, efficiently the client’s resources, in order, to reach effective and satisfactory results. The organization may engage the services of an independent quality system certification body (Quality Assuror) to obtain an ISO certificate of conformity. ISO certificate will be issued after one month of the final audit that will be held by a quality assuror, after finishing all the internal audits and achieving all the required documents. The certification firm will make some adjustment to the system and recommend the firm to an international rating /certification firm.
CONSULTING: WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF AUDITS
INITIAL AUDIT: This is a complete audit covering the whole scope of certification by which the certification body (registrar) assesses the conformance with the certification criteria to determine if the quality system can be certificated. SURVEILLANCE AUDIT: This is a periodical audit conducted to determine if the certification of the organization’s quality system can be maintained. A surveillance audit usually covers only selected parts of the quality system. RE-CERTIFICATION AUDIT: This is an audit performed towards the end of the certification period to determine if the certificate can be reissued for the further period. Most of the certification bodies (registrars) when planning the re-certification audit would consider the information gathered through surveillance audits and therefore re-certification audits would normally cover an appropriate selection of quality system elements.
CONSULTING: WHAT ARE THE AUDIT CERTIFICATION TYPES
• Desktop (incident, adequacy) Audit- Documentation Review • Conformance or Implementation Audit • Product / Project / Process Audit • Horizontal Audit • External Audit • Internal Audit
CONSULTING: WHAT ARE THE AUDIT CLASSIFICATIONS
FIRST PARTY AUDIT: This is an audit by an organization on itself. It is considered for the benefit of the management of that organization who will use the information gathered during the audit. SECOND PARTY AUDIT: This is an audit conducted by an organization on another organization for the ends and purposes of the organization that undertook the audit. This class includes audits undertaken by customers on their current or potential suppliers, etc. THIRD PARTY AUDIT: These are the audits undertaken by an independent third party that has no vested interest in the results of the audits. Typically these are certification (registration) audits, audits for quality awards, etc.
CONSULTING: WHAT ARE THE NEEDED DOCUMENTS TO APPLY FOR ISO 9001
The Quality Manual (Quality Policy, Planning and Scope of Service…), Processes (Master List, Mapping and Interaction), Forms and documents of external origin incorporated in the system, The Organization Chart and Structure, Work Instructions, Internal Regulations and/or Factory Production Control…
CONSULTING: THE BENEFITS OF OBTAINING THE CERTIFICATE OF ISO 9001
Making a decision to become registered to ISO 9001 seems often a simple one as the benefits are evident and well documented: Tangible proof that the organization´s quality system complies with international recognized standards, avoiding of multiple second parties audits, marketing edge…
CONSULTING: WHAT ARE THE GRADINGS OF NONCONFORMITIES
The grading of nonconformities is based solely on the impact of the nonconformity on the functioning of the quality system as follows: MAJOR: Failure to address any clause of the standard or other criteria against which the audit is carried out or Failure to carry out of the requirements of the standard (or other external audit criteria), or systematic failure to follow the requirements of the organizations own quality system. MINOR: A single lapse against the requirements and/or non-systematic failure.
CONSULTING: WHY ISO 9000 IS THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL OTHER ISO STANDARDS
Once ISO 9000 exists, any other ISO standard could be easily implemented, but the opposite is not true. Beside, if an organization wants to implement another ISO, it should pass by the process of ISO 9000 anyway. Being ISO 9000 makes it easier and cheaper for any organization to get any other ISO Standard in the future.
CONSULTING: WHAT DURATION IS NEEDED TO IMPLEMENT AND GET ISO 9000
Well that depends on the size of the organization, the complexity of the operations, the commitment of management and personnel and the previous issues achieved by the organization itself as for example soft systems, organization chart, flow charts, job descriptions… The average of implementing ISO 9000 is 6-8 months, including the training of personnel and internal audit. An additional 2 month period to is needed to be audited and certified. The consultant visits rate during this period would be on a weekly basis, but in case the organization need to extend this period, the visit rate would be less, but it is strongly not recommended to extend the implementation period.
CONSULTING: WHEN DOES ISO EXPIRES AND FOR HOW LONG CAN AN ORGANIZATION HOLD THE CERTIFICATE
When the organization gets an ISO certificate, it has an expiry date of 3 years, but this period could be continuously extended as long as the organization is abiding by the implemented system and renewing the contract with the audit firm, so ISO has no expiry date and that depends only on the will of the organization’s management to keep the ISO certification or not.
CONSULTING: DOES THE PERSON IN CHARGE OF IMPLEMENTING ISO IN THE ORGANIZATION HAS TO BE WORKING FULL TIME FOR THAT ISSUE
Well the person in charge delegated to be working with the consultant during the implementation has to be a full time employee, but not necessary working all his/her time on ISO implementation. It is strongly recommended that there should be not only one person in charge but a team of internal auditors and Quality Managers unless he/she is one of the organization’s owner or shareholder.
TRAINING: WHY ATTEND TRAINING SEMINAR WITH PDCA NET
PDCA Net offers seminars presented by industry professionals with expert knowledge in the subject being presented. Benefit from a business professional with real world experience that can help management along the journey of running a successful business.
TRAINING: WHAT SHOULD SOMEONE EXPECT FROM THE TRAINING SEMINAR WITH PDCA NET
Generally, seminars range from one to two days in length and one has to come with all of the information he/she needs to leave with new ones to increase the performance of the business.
TRAINING: WHERE TO ATTEND TRAINING SEMINAR
PDCA Net offers training at the organization premises (in-house) and in training centers/ venues and that depends on the training type if it is a public or private training.
TRAINING: HOW DOES SOMEONE REGISTER FOR A TRAINING SEMINAR
In case of a public training one can register for a training/ seminar from his/her computer online. All registrations must be completed online. Visit the upcoming training list and select the training seminar you would like to attend, register and follow the steps presented. If a seminar includes a fee, one will be directed to the payment system. If an organization wishes to get a customized training/ seminar, it should be approved as client by PDCA Net management first and then log in to fill the questionnaire and apply to get a training quotation and approves it. In case of the organization, its management could add the people to attending the training/ seminar.
TRAINING: HOW DOES AN ORGANIZATION SCHEDULE A COURSE TO BE OFFERED ONSITE
Whether you need a group of employees trained on new issues, systems, or departments of co-workers trained on new business processes, PDCA Net can provide organizational development professionals and instructional designers to deliver customized training solutions. To do so, an organization person in charge could request to be added as a client and once approved by PDCA Net Management, then he/she could fill the online questionnaire and apply to get a quotation including materials, equipments, schedule and venue cost…for approval.
TRAINING: CAN A CLASS BE CANCELLED BECAUSE OF LOW ENROLLMENT
In most cases we require at least ten students for a class to run. You will be notified by email or telephone if your class is filled or cancelled. PDCA Net reserves the right to cancel classes with insufficient enrollment; payment is then automatically refunded. If PDCA Net have to cancel a class, you can request a full refund of your tuition or transfer to another course of your choice, space permitting.
TRAINING: WHAT IF ONE CANNOT ATTEND A COURSE AS PLANNED
If you need to withdraw from a class, you must notify us at 1-661-755-1244 at least 7 full business days before the class starts to be eligible for a 75% refund. Once the eligibility is confirmed by staff, refunds will be automatically issued.
TRAINING: PDCA NET TRAINING REFUNDS AND TRANSFERS
WORKSHOPS/ TRAINING/ SEMINAR: You may transfer or cancel your training seminar registration anytime up to 7 full business days prior to a workshop. If you cancel at least 7 full business days prior, you will receive a 75% refund. No refunds or transfers thereafter. A 100% refund will be made if workshop is canceled by PDCA Net. RETREATS: There is no transfer option for retreats. If you chose to cancel your retreat registration, you must cancel two weeks prior to the retreat begin date for a 75% refund. It you do not cancel two full weeks prior to the retreat start date, no refund will be granted. A 100% refund will be made if a retreat is canceled by PDCA Net. To cancel a PDCA Net retreat registration, please call 1-661-755-1244 or email tr@pdca-co.net.
PROJECT AND EVENT: WHAT IS A PROJECT
A project is generally defined as a program of work to bring about a beneficial change and which has: a start and an end, a multi-disciplinary team brought together for the project, constraints of cost, time and quality, a scope of work that is unique and involves uncertainty…
PROJECT AND EVENT: WHY SAYYING THAT PROJECT MANAGEMENT IS THE BEST METHOD TO IMPLEMENT CHANGES
Although environmental change occurs continuously in the world and in our daily lives it is rarely implemented that way in organizations but rather as a series of steps; a ladder of change. A new piece of legislation, market imperatives, management initiatives and new technology create projects that need to be managed, often across departmental or disciplinary lines. Project Management is a methodology and a discipline which can bring significant benefits to organizations by: Ensuring limited resources are used on the right projects, Harnessing the energy of staff in achieving beneficial change, Managing complex changes in an organized way, Assessing risks, defining goals and key success areas and setting quality objectives. However, every organization has finite resources and, therefore, a limit to the number of projects it can initiate and control. Pushing too many projects through a resource limited organization causes gridlock and stress. Managing the project portfolio efficiently is a fundamental principle of good project management. Because most projects involve new ideas and learning (even a project to build houses or flats may involve new materials or unusual soil conditions or there may be new initiative for tenant selection or co-ownership schemes) project management has evolved a discipline to manage the new and unusual. Its objective is to: define the project, reduce it to a set of manageable tasks, obtain appropriate and necessary resources, build a team or teams to perform the project work, plan the work and allocate the resources to the tasks, monitor and control the work, report progress to senior management and/or the project sponsor, close down the project when completed, review it to ensure the lessons are learnt and widely understood. It is this structured approach that makes project management the best method for change management.
PROJECT AND EVENT: HOW IS A PROJECT DIFFERENT TO ANY OTHER WORK
A continuous process is not a project. The development of a new rent or lettings policy is a project but the subsequent day to day operation of that policy is a continuous process that is usually managed by an individual or a department.
PROJECT AND EVENT: IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT RELEVANT TO ANYONE
If one have been given a specific job to complete then he/she should consider using the principles of project management if it has the following features: A defined goal, Time, cost and quality (or functionality) constraints, Requires expertise and support from other functions, Involves a unique (to one’s or the organization) scope of work… Using a project team approach will help to achieve the beneficial gain in a structured, controlled and cost effective way.
PROJECT AND EVENT: HOW IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT RELATED TO OTHER INITIATIVES
TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT (TQM): The introduction of TQM aims to encourage ‘divine discontent’ in staff and to give them the tools to achieve continuous improvements in the way they work. Improvement projects use the principles of project management especially where the improvements are cross functional ones. TQM looks critically at the operational side of the business using a project management methodology to implement the improvements. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: Performance management brings together all the best practice for managing staff to achieve their full potential. Effective project leaders use all the principles of performance management to motivate the team but do not have the authority of a line manager. BUSINESS PROCESS RE-ENGINEERING (BPR): BPR focuses on optimizing the processes in an organization and, if necessary, redesigning them to meet the customer’s needs. In a major survey on BPR by the Harvard Business School Review the second most significant factor in the recent failure of BPR initiatives was the lack of Project Management expertise and culture. The first was the failure to analyze and understand the process requirements. The research and the implementation should be managed as a project.
PROJECT AND EVENT: WHAT IS THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT METHODOLOGY
If a project has a beginning and an end, what is its life cycle and how is it managed? To be effective and workable project methodologies should be appropriate to the task and the organization. For simple projects in a small organization, agreed milestones, a few checklists and someone to steer the project are all that are required. For complex projects in a large organization a more structured approach is needed, to set up and approve the project, monitor and guides its progress, solve its problems, deliver the end product (or gain) and close it down. In order to understand the methodology one need to look at the project life cycle. The detailed life cycle will be dependent upon the size and type of organization and the size and type of the project. However, in outline they all have very similar elements. • The Project Life Cycle: A typical methodology would involve a number of stages and activities which occur at different parts of the life cycle. • The preparation stage involves the Project Manager and sponsor in the preparation and approval of an outline project justification, plan and project budget. There is no reason why a project sponsor should not also be the Project Manager. A Senior Manager who has a strong business reason to drive the project will have the organizational authority and "clout" with other senior managers and will often make an excellent Project Manager. The startup stage involves the selection and briefing of the project team and some discussion on the roles and organization. • The Feasibility or Research stage will establish whether the project is feasible and establish the risks and key success measures. Unless the organization undertakes research or new product development, feasibility often means “can this process or technology be cost effectively applied to the organization or department”, rather than is it generally feasible. It may include the identification of external resources such as specialist consultants or product and service providers who may wish to tender goods, software or services for the project. The work will be undertaken by the team (which may include external consultants) and coordinated by the Project Manager. This team should consist of the key users or main beneficiaries of the beneficial change the project is delivering (hence the term ‘project deliverables’ or ‘products’). They may be line managers, supervisors or staff with particular skills. They must be the best people available and never those ‘who can be spared’ because they have difficult or awkward personalities. The object is to build a team that is better than the sum of the individuals. It is often the difficult people who consider and manage the detail. Their expertise and diligence should not be ignored but they are usually happier working in a solitary way or with like minded individuals. • Defining and planning the project in more detail by writing and publishing a full definition of the project and determining a project plan. This work is undertaken by the team and coordinated by the Project Manager. Both should be communicated widely to ensure maximum understanding of the project’s objectives by all staff that will be affected by the project. Now is the time to ensure their input to minimize surprises at a later stage. • The implementation stage involves the execution of the project as agreed, whilst carefully monitoring progress and managing changes. The team may need to be expanded at this stage to resource all the tasks. If so, it is essential they are fully briefed and feel ‘included’ as part of the team. When project management is not an integrated part of an organization’s culture it is a very good idea to undertake some team building events that allow the team to work together in a competitive but non-threatening environment. As people get used to forming and dissolving teams the need for and style of such team building events will be decided by the team. • The close down stage involves the satisfactory delivery (satisfactory to the project ‘customer’ that is) of the products or services that achieve the beneficial gain. A project review should be held to learn the lessons. These should be formally documented and published ‘warts and all’.
PROJECT AND EVENT: DOESN’T PROJECT MANAGEMENT STIFLE CREATIVITY
No - in fact a well managed project will encourage cross functional creativity because that is what is needed in ‘change projects’. An experienced Project Manager will know when to tap into this creativity and when to drive the project forward. It is only when project methodologies become bureaucratic and overrides common sense that creativity can be stifled.
PROJECT AND EVENT: WHAT DOES A PROJECT MANAGER DO
Typically a Project Manager will be nominated to lead a project and will be expected to be fully accountable for meeting its objectives. The Project Manager will be the leader of the project team and will be responsible for ensuring the following are completed in a timely way: Gaining approval for the project aim and terms of reference, Selecting and leading the team and setting individual objectives, Ensuring a feasibility study is complete, Ensuring that the project is planned in appropriate detail, Allocating and monitoring the work and cost, Motivating the team, Reporting progress back to the organization, Helping the team to solve project problems, Achieve, through the team, the goals, Reviewing and closing down…
PROJECT AND EVENT: WHAT SKILLS DOES A PROJECT MANAGER NEED
Very broad skills and a deal of experience are needed to manage a large project successfully. They include business knowledge, technical skills and individual and team leadership skills. INDIVIDUAL SKILLS: The personal skills are likely to include good presentation and persuasive skills, good written skills but allied to goal orientation, high energy and credibility. Having high energy does not mean you play squash five times a week but that you have the intellectual energy and commitment to deliver the project with a positive ‘we can do it’ team approach. Good Project Managers know their own strengths and weaknesses and will compensate for these in selecting the team. TEAM SKILLS: They will appreciate the differing needs of both individuals and the project team at different stages of the project. They will be aware of different team types. TECHNICAL SKILLS: They will have technical skills in setting objectives, planning complex tasks, negotiating resource, financial planning, contract management, monitoring skills, managing creative thinking and problem solving, as well as their own specialist topic.
PROJECT AND EVENT: IS THERE A HIERARCHY OF PROJECT MANAGERS IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Yes - dependent on the size of the project and the number of projects in the portfolio, an organization may require several people to lead different projects or significant stages of a major project. There are generally 3 management levels but the title ‘senior’ may be added to differentiate between experienced (or full time) Project Managers and those who have less experience or are part time Project Managers. PROGRAM MANAGER (sometimes known as a Change Manager): is responsible to the Senior Management for the portfolio of projects under his control. The role is a strategic one. He/she will have command of Project Managers and Project Leaders who report for individual projects. The Program Manager is responsible for ensuring that the portfolio of projects delivers the beneficial business gain intended. PROJECT MANAGER: A Project Manager is experienced in the skills and disciplines of project management, may manage more than one project at a time and may have Project Leaders as directly reporting staff. PROJECT LEADER: A project leader usually manages a project stage or a small project where his/her particular skills or expertise are a large part of the work. A Project Leader may report to a Project Manager or to the Program Manager.
PROJECT AND EVENT: WHO ELSE WOULD BE INVOLVED AND WHAT WOULD THEY DO
A number of people may be involved depending on the size of the project. They fall into a number of groups. The PROJECT SPONSOR: The project sponsor should be a senior person in the organization who has the most to gain from the project’s success and the most to lose if it fails. THE STEERING TEAM: The steering team may only be one person on a small project (perhaps the project sponsor) who meets informally with the Project Manager. On a large project a formal cross functional senior team will be set up to meet regularly to review progress and provide strategic guidance. FUNCTIONAL OR LINE MANAGERS: The line manager of each team member will want to be kept informed about the progress of the project and be involved in setting of individual objectives. THE PROJECT CUSTOMER: The project ‘customer’ should either be a member of the steering team or represented on that team.
PROJECT AND EVENT: WHAT ARE THE MAIN ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
There are three key roles in the management of projects whether they are service development projects, organizational change projects, TQM projects, or facilities projects. TOP MANAGEMENT: Setting the conditions and culture such that the business can select and implement appropriate projects to support the business. MIDDLE MANAGEMENT: Ensuring that all projects are selected, allocated, steered and closed down satisfactorily. Ensure that projects that are not approved are not worked on. OPERATIONAL STAFF: To use the tools and techniques to manage projects effectively.
PROJECT AND EVENT: WHAT TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES ARE USED IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Project Managers use a number of tools and techniques during a project life cycle such as: VERIFIABLE OBJECTIVE SETTING: this ensures that the objectives for the project can be measured and verified to ensure that they have been met BRAIN STORMING: this technique is used at all stages of the project to encourage creative thinking and solve problems WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURES: this is a technique to analyze the content of work and cost by breaking it down into its component parts. It is produced by identifying the key elements, breaking each element down into component parts, continuing to breakdown until manageable work packages have been identified. These can then be allocated to the appropriate person.
PROJECT AND EVENT: PROJECT EVALUATION REVIEW TECHNIQUE (PERT/ CPA)
NETWORK ANALYSIS OR PERT is used to analyze the inter-relationships between the tasks identified by the work breakdown structure and to define the dependencies of each task. Whilst laying out a PERT chart it is often possible to see that assumptions for the order of work are not logical or could be achieved more cost effectively by re-ordering them. This is particularly true whilst allocating resources; it may become self evident that two tasks cannot be completed at the same time by the same person due to lack of working hours or, conversely, that by adding an extra person to the project team several tasks can be done in parallel thus shortening the length of the project. CRITICAL PATH ANALYSIS (CPA) is used in conjunction with PERT analysis to identify the tasks that are critical in determining the overall duration of the project. MILESTONE PLANNING is used to show the major steps that are needed to reach the goal on time. When several tasks have been completed the milestone is reached. It is often used at senior manager reviews. GANTT CHARTS (named after the inventor) or bar charts, as they are sometimes called, are used to display and communicate the results of PERT and Critical Path analysis in a simple bar chart format that can be readily understood by those not involved in the detail of the project.
PROJECT AND EVENT: WHAT ABOUT RUNNING MORE THAN ONE PROJECT AT A TIME
If an organization is considering managing a portfolio of projects it needs to consider 5 key areas: Commitment of the senior management team to the effective use of project management and its acceptance by staff. People in the organization who have been trained in the principles and practice of project management are required. Systems that provide the information needed by senior management to manage the portfolio of projects. A methodology that is clearly understood by everyone and which every project will follow. An organizational structure to select the projects that support the strategy, guide them, priorities them and close them down.
PROJECT AND EVENT: WHY HAVE AN EVENT
Any number of reasons including: raise money for charity, raise awareness, create publicity, reward employees/suppliers, honor industry professionals, have fun…
PROJECT AND EVENT: HOW LARGE OR SMALL AN EVENT CAN PDCA NET CATER FOR
There are no set numbers or average. PDCA Net have provided entertainment and organized private dinners for 15 guests in a normal dining room through to events that have been well over 1000 people.
PROJECT AND EVENT: WHAT TYPES OF EVENTS CAN PDCA NET MANAGE
Charity Balls, Dinner Dances, Awards Ceremonies, Christmas Parties and other Seasonal Events, Themed Events, Family Fun Days, Marketing Events, Product Launches, Launch Parties, Marketing Campaigns, Fashion Shows, Press Launches, Conferences, Presentations, Away Days, Incentives, Team Building, Private Parties, Birthdays, Sporting Hospitality, Wedding, Opening, Open House, Business Meeting, Business Lunch, Concert, Exhibitions, Building and Facility, Video Clip, Seminars…
PROJECT AND EVENT: WHAT IS A FREE VENUE FINDING SERVICE
PDCA Net can help an organization or private find and allocate a suitable venue as PDCA Net is not tied to any specific property or location but PDCA Net do have a vast amount of knowledge, contacts and experience in all types of venues across the country. PDCA Net will only ever suggest venues that are practical and one that will cater to client’s needs. PDCA Net do not charge for this service and a client will pay the same price or on some occasions a lower price than if he/she/it went to the venue directly.
PROJECT AND EVENT: HOW MUCH IS AN EVENT GOING TO COST
Each event is unique, each client has his/her/its own specific requirements therefore it is difficult to provide ballpark figures. PDCA Net would however suggest that the client contact us so we can discuss the requirements and PDCA Net will then provide a proposal outlining all associated costs.
PROJECT AND EVENT: WHY SHOULD AN ORGANIZATION USE PDCA NET AS A VENUE BOOKING AGENT
The number and varying quality of hotels and event venues has increased hugely in recent years. The choice is now enormous, from deluxe to budget, from conference centre to art gallery. Existing venues upgrade facilities to compete with local competition. How does PDCA Net keeps track of them all? Which venues give the best value? And which offer the best facilities for an event?... It is impossible for most clients to monitor these developments. Even experienced employees spend too much time searching for the right venue and the find the venue is either the wrong type, in the wrong location or not available. PDCA Net can elevate all these and that is why more and more clients are relying on PDCA Net specialist knowledge.
PROJECT AND EVENT: WHO USES PDCA NET VENUE FINDING SERVICE
Major corporations and organizations, even government departments, companies both large and small and associations use our venue finding service. From very large companies with the need to book many events and bedrooms throughout the year to the occasional one-off booking, no matter how small, each client receives the same level of service.
PROJECT AND EVENT: HOW DO PDCA NET SELECT A VENUE FOR AN EVENT
Based on a client’s exact requirements, PDCA Net finds out the most adequate type of venue, location, price range, what facilities are required... PDCA Net have extensive databases on hotels, conference venues, event venues such as galleries, castles, marquees and many other venue types, which are constantly updated. PDCA Net is not restricted in the search for the right venue in the way travel agents has to search using a central airline system. Because of this, PDCA Net advice clients on the most appropriate, best value venue matching or exceeding needs and expectations.
PROJECT AND EVENT: HOW DO PDCA NET BOOK EVENT WITH A VENUE
Not all bookings are for conferences, large awards, dinners, and accommodation. These can range from a simple afternoon meeting to managing a major event on behalf of a client, but all of them demand an understanding of client´s needs as well as specialist knowledge of the venue and venue management. Before a booking can be made, discussions between the client and PDCA Net would have focused on the size of the event, its location and style. A number of alternative venues will normally be proposed for consideration before the choice is agreed. For a major event, PDCA Net recommends that clients visit the venue, accompanied by one of its team. Depending on the level of involvement PDCA Net’ clients require of it, PDCA Net may continue to play a key part in the planning and organization of the event and even provide event staff and other facilities and services such as delegate management and full event management.
PROJECT AND EVENT: ARE VENUE RATES INCREASED TO COVER THE COMMISSION PAYMENT
Not at all, client would be charged the same rate if he/she had booked the venue by himself/herself.
MS AND COUNTERFEIT: WHAT IS MYSTERY SHOPPING
Mystery Shopping is an objective view of a business through the eyes of a customer. A Mystery Shopper visits the business anonymously, posing as a regular customer, to experience and evaluate the level of customer service provided. Mystery shopping provides management with a detailed assessment of employee performance and the variables that affect the ordinary customer´s experience and satisfaction.
MS AND COUNTERFEIT: WHY DO COMPANIES USE MYSTERY SHOPPERS
Organizations use mystery shoppers to check their customer services, and ensure their employees are behaving politely to members of the public. It’s important for an Organization to have a good reputation where treating their customers is concerned. Companies, from insurance firms to fast food outlets deal with a mystery shopping agency to conduct their market research using people like mystery shoppers. Assignments from the agency are given to a mystery shopper because employees will not recognize one as being associated with management. Mystery Shoppers are given instructions of what to do, such as buy an item, make a complaint, use a service or make an enquiry. Mystery Shoppers then make a report and submit it to us within 24 hours and PDCA Net forwards the feedback to its client, who pays it and PDCA Net pays the Mystery Shoppers. Mystery shopping helps companies find out weaknesses and areas for training and improvement, not just for their employees, but to find if customer service procedures are working or need improvements.
MS AND COUNTERFEIT: HOW DOES AN ORGANIZATION MYSTERY SHOP
There are different types of mystery shopping. Example: Visits, Video Visits, Telephone Calls, Email or web enquiries… Mystery Shoppers never take notes while in the shop/establishment, but do carry a pad and soon as Mystery Shoppers are outside (or in the car) write everything he/she remember down. The more one delay writing notes, the less he/she will remember. Mystery Shoppers are being paid for accuracy! If Mystery Shoppers reports are of poor standard, badly written or very brief, PDCA Net may not call on him/her again to be a mystery shopper. If a PDCA Net finds out that Mystery Shoppers were discovered to be a mystery shopper, it can refuse to pay. And finally, KEEP A COPY of notes and all receipts, PDCA Net may contact you after a few weeks to ask questions its client has asked about a Mystery Shopper experience. Once Mystery Shopper have become established with PDCA Net he/she can start to turn down jobs, so do submit mystery shopping r reports within 24 hours, and make sure they are well written and detailed.
MS AND COUNTERFEIT: WHAT CAN MYSTERY SHOPPING DO FOR AN ORGANIZATION
A well planned and executed mystery shopping program will provide management with a method to measure the current performance of their employees. The detailed feedback from the mystery shopper´s visit provides management with an understanding of their staff´s areas of strength, while highlighting those areas requiring additional attention or training. Mystery shopping provides decision-makers with actionable information to increase sales, increase profits, improve customer satisfaction and enhance employee performance…
MS AND COUNTERFEIT: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO START A MYSTERY SHOPPING PROGRAM
PDCA Net works closely with clients to develop a mystery shopping program that addresses the Organization´s organizational goals, training objectives and quality initiatives. On the average a new mystery shopping program can be implemented within a couple of weeks after the initial consultation with the client.
MS AND COUNTERFEIT: CAN AN ORGANIZATION USE AN EXISTING MYSTERY SHOPPER EVALUATION FORMS
PDCA Net has developed and implemented hundreds of programs for a variety of industries. PDCA Net’s experienced designers can custom develop a completely new evaluation form, use an existing mystery shopper forms or suggest ways to improve a current evaluation strategies to target key objectives and areas of concern.
MS AND COUNTERFEIT: HOW DO PDCA NET HANDLE A SHOPPING REQUESTS
PDCA Net uses a team of Account Supervisors to handle all of its client requests. Each client is assigned to an Account Supervisor who is responsible for day-to-day client management activities including shopper follow-up, audit and review, and final distribution of the completed mystery shopper and program summary reports. PDCA Net believes this approach to be an essential link in maintaining excellent communications with its clients and to ensure the quality and reliability of its mystery shopping programs.
MS AND COUNTERFEIT: HOW ARE PDCA NET MYSTERY SHOPPING REQUESTS SCHEDULED
Shoppers are scheduled through PDCA Net HOD scheduling staff and automated scheduling system. PDCA Net selects only the best qualified mystery shoppers to perform evaluations. Each shopper has a detailed profile in PDCA Net proprietary database that provides instant access to demographic information, as well as a complete history of their experience and certification level. The performance of every PDCA Net Mystery Shopper is graded after completion of each shop. This ensures that PDCA Net selects only the best qualified mystery shoppers to ensure the quality of the reports. And all these activities are coordinate and planned with the clients.
MS AND COUNTERFEIT: HOW DOES PDCA NET REPORT THE MYSTERY SHOPPING RESULTS
The primary vehicle for reporting is through the PDCA Net Web site/ Web System. PDCA Net transfers account management, user login and password administration to clients so that they are able to maintain 24/7 access to the shopper reports and summary data. PDCA Net provides for multiple levels of password protected access to allow corporate, division, regional and individual store level access as necessary. Efficiencies in technology permit PDCA Net to narrow the window from time of shop to time it is published online for client access. Online data entry by shoppers provides instant access to the information for review and quality control. Once published, the data is available instantaneously for review by the approved clients over a secure web browser interface.
MS AND COUNTERFEIT: DOES PDCA NET GUARANTEE SHOP REPORTS
All PDCA Net mystery shopping programs come with a 99% satisfaction guarantee. Should a client receives a mystery shopper report that was not completed to its specifications or satisfaction, PDCA Net will replace the evaluation at that location at no additional cost.
MS AND COUNTERFEIT: WHEN WILL A SHOPPER OR INVESTIGATOR GET PAID
A Shopper will get paid, on the industry average, between 2 weeks and 4 weeks. Do not expect to be paid immediately, but do chase them after 5 weeks if one still waiting. Accounts are usually done at the end of each month. Keep a copy of receipts, as shoppers may need them (the real ones are submitted to the agency for a refund, or proof of purchase if keeping products).
MS AND COUNTERFEIT: HOW MUCH CAN A SHOPPER OR INVESTIGATOR EARN PER MYSTERY SHOP
How much a shopper or investigator will earn depends on the mystery shopper business he/she is working for and in what area - supermarkets and restaurants usually pay more than fast food outlets, for example, including the refund of the meal.
MS AND COUNTERFEIT: HOW LONG DOES AN ASSIGNMENT TAKE
This varies. A retail shop can take 20 minutes to an hour, a supermarket can take 30 minutes to an hour, a restaurant one hour to two hours while a fast food outlet can be less than 15 minutes! Shoppers may be asked to return again a few days later, and write another report, eat another meal, buy another item or follow up a complaint one was asked to do – or simply to see if their customer service has improved since last time!
MS AND COUNTERFEIT: WHAT IF A SHOPPER OR INVESTIGATOR MISS A DEADLINE FOR MY REPORT
Most organizations will expect a shopper to send them a report within 24 hours of doing an assignment. This helps them know that the shopper made a more accurate report than relying on memory if he/she went a week earlier! If one file a late report will mean he/she will earn less from the Organization, the longer leave it, the less they pay. Plus a late submission of a report would certainly mean that organizations will call on a shopper less often to do an assignment. So, as soon as one has visited a shop or restaurant (or whatever) ensure one sends the report in the same day if he/she can. Be prompt!
GENERAL: HOW DOES A USER USE THIS WEBSITE
This web-system consists of 5 major parts, beside the Social activities, the search engine, the news toolbar, the sponsor’s ads, and the login sections: STANDARDS AND AUDITS where one could find information and updates about the most used International Standards in a simple way, and how each is audited and certified, beside info about the Accreditation and Certification bodies all over the world. ABOUT PDCA its Foundation and Scope of Service, PDCA Logo, Mission Statement, Objectives, Advantages and Strength, Structure, a brief about PDCA Internal Regulations, Job Analysis, Terms and Conditions, How to contact us and the Comments/Suggestions Sections, Beside the listing of PDCA Net Clients, Suppliers and Members and the template to apply to become one after the management’s approval. PDCA SERVICES including the 6 PDCA Net services: Consulting and Auditing for International Standards, Training and Development that contains the training listing (previous and upcoming), Recruiting including the apply section for an existing posting and the Search or Request section to post or to search for an existing job, Mystery Shopping, Counterfeit, Event and Project Management For each of these sections one should be registered as a client and approved, then fill the questionnaire relevant to the service required, before getting a draft quotation for that service. GLOSSARY it contains the meaning and explanation of any business word or term in English, with the possibility to request a missing one. MISCELLANEOUS that contains the Picture Gallery, the listing of all PDCA Net Events and Projects, the Sponsor’s list, the Guest Book, the website Rating, FAQ list with the possibility to send a question, the Signs and Conversions from one system to another. Register yourself as a Client or Supplier or Member and when approved as a stakeholder, log-in (using the Username and Password that one have previously added in your online application) to continue your request, offer and/or work application... To update your profile, check your account, your activity status, reports, schedule…
GENERAL: WHAT ARE PDCA NET POLICIES FOR PAYMENT OF FEES
Full tuition must accompany the registration for training/ seminar as for consulting and other services, payment are schedules for the best interest of both parties. If the registration is paid by the employer, then no charges are requested. Payment may be made by check, money transfer, cash, and credit card. For more information regarding payment and the payment mode, check out term and condition section in “about PDCA”
GENERAL: DOES PDCA NET PROVIDE CONSULTING AND TRAINING AND OTHER SERVICES OUTSIDE OF CALIFORNIA
Yes. PDCA Net provides its services both in-person and remotely through the Internet. Additional charges to cover travel expenses may apply to in-person consulting and training outside of California.
GENERAL: HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE FOR YOUR SERVICES
Our rate for consulting services is $100/hour. Additional fees may apply for travel outside of California. As for other services, PDCA Net will calculate the price and set the payment mode and send them, in form of a quotation, to the client for approval.
GENERAL: ARE THE INFORMATION SAFE
Absolutely; information is completely safe and secure. PDCA Net safeguards and protects data in a number of ways.
GENERAL: IS THERE A FILE SIZE LIMIT ON UPLOADS
There is a limit of 500kb for pictures, logo… One will be directed to the file limit upon uploading it.
GENERAL: IS SOMEONE HAVE A QUESTION THAT ISN´T COVERED HERE
PDCA Net team will be happy to deal with any queries one may have. One must go to FAQ section in the website and at the bottom add the question one wishes to get an answer for so PDCA Net specialist could reply to it.
If the question you are searching for is not available, please add any specific question here
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