Achieves Gold standard with 85% pass mark
Outsourcing specialist Direct Response Limited has become the first company in the world to achieve a new industry approved online ISO 9001 quality accreditation. The company, a rapidly growing specialist in voice, data and contact centre services, was able to cut out all the red tape normally associated with such an accreditation.
ISO 9001 is recognised as one of the world’s leading quality management standards for companies globally. Direct Response used the new ASCB(E)* accredited process that is carried out by The HPA** in association with Underwriters Laboratories (UK) Ltd, part of one of the largest certification bodies in the world, to undertake the whole process to ensure quality service targets were being met under conditions of rapid growth..
Direct Response, recognised by the Deloitte and the London Stock Exchange as the fastest growing technology firm in SE England, provides outsourced voice, data and contact centre services to other companies and has increased its turnover from £1 million in 2003 to £2.3 million in 2004. Direct Response is expecting to continue its rapid growth to £3.5 million in 2005. Focusing primarily on the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market, its growth is attributed to excellent customer service and the fact that smaller firms are embracing the benefits of outsourcing services such as call handling, helpdesk provision and advertising response services.
ISO9001:2000 On-line Registration is a unique and newly launched 3rd party registration method appropriate for any organisation, irrespective of size or market sector, that wishes to gain registration to ISO9001:2000. It comprises a number of online assessments, supported by reduced onsite activity, whilst adding more business value. These assess an organisation's management system, to check that it is in accordance with the requirements of ISO9001:2000 and that it is being effectively used. Direct Response’s registration process included pre-assessment checks, an initial certification assessment and clause-specific improvement assessments.
For Direct Response, the online assessments have made the road to quality accessible, easy to monitor, and free of unnecessary red tape, benefiting both customers and the business itself.
Chris Robinson, managing director of Direct Response said, “One of our key focuses is quality and ensuring the highest customer satisfaction. ISO is not an end in itself. It is a set of management disciplines which helps us as a company to get things right first time and every time leading to a happy set of workers, suppliers and customers. It is our management system that will win us new customers but with an ISO 9001 accreditation it provides customers with an extra assurance that we are a totally reliable organisation.”
Aimed at keeping every process on a continual improvement cycle, on-line auditing is a new concept in process auditing, which could see the end of certain manual audits. Direct Response’s audit involved inviting a sample of management, staff, suppliers and customers to answer a set of questions online. The answers identified whether key business process were working or not, and allowed the analysis of the entire organisation by staff level or by department to determine the level of quality being achieved. For Direct Response it means that its processes are not static and can now be continually updated quickly and efficiently.
ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 146 countries. The HPA, which is a member of this network, has been working with Direct Response to achieve the ISO accreditation. Managing Director, Ian Rosam, explains, “International Standards provide a reference framework, or a common technological language, between suppliers and their customers - which facilitates trade and the transfer of technology. Although ISO standards are voluntary, they may become a market requirement, as has happened in the case of ISO 9000 quality management systems. Direct Response has worked hard to get its online accreditation and this is something that will revolutionise the entire standard. It’s a real achievement.”
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Notes to Editors
Direct Response Ltd (DRL) provides award winning voice, data and contact centre services. With service quality as its key focus, DRL works with businesses to improve the way they communicate with their customers by using technology and outsourced contact centre operations. DRL was founded in July 2001 and currently has 30 employees based in London, supported by over 400 contact centres agents based in two UK operations, as well as contact centres in South Africa, Holland, Romania, the USA, Canada, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
In October 2004 it won the prestigious Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Rising Star Award for the London and South East region. Based on annual percentage turnover growth, Direct Response was also independently recognised as the fastest growing call centre in the UK and the 33rd most profitable, which comes on the back of a number of other awards including finalists for the 2004 Unisys Service Excellence Awards and a finalist in the Orange National Business Awards. Direct Response is accredited with ISO 9001:2000 quality assurance and Investors in People.
To find out more about Direct Response please visit its website on www.drltd.com
**More details on The HPA (The High Performance Assessment Ltd) and its ISO 9001 certification processes can be found at www.the-hpo.com
*Further information on the ASCB(E), the Accreditation Service for Certifying Bodies (Europe), can be found at www.ascb.co.uk
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