Where’s your basic business information please?

Posted: July 21, 2010 in ISO 9001, Management systems, Performance measures, Quality

When putting together a quality system it goes without saying that you will need to build in numerous measures relating to various processes around the business. Now most of these will often be new to a site so you need to carefully explain what is required and why. However you enter into this phase almost taking for granted that the basic measures of a companies finances, throughputs and performance will already exist so you can just build on them – not so it appears.

It always takes you by suprise when these basics have been overlooked so you end up spending time foraging for ways to get them defined as well. A considerable amount of financial information often exists but is invariably secreted away in a financial package that only a few people have access to, whilst planning and throughput information may be hampered by being within a very manual system so making it very labour intensive to extract. At worst, this can even prevent a regular review of performance by the management team.

You therefore need to be ready to establish early on just what exists before you try to add the ISO elements. This is simply achieved by asking such questions as:

How many order lines get booked in off purchase orders, processed through the factory and delivered to customers each month? This is crucial for the non-conformance part of the standard where you ideally need to quote the occurence of problems as a percentage of throughput.

What percentage of order lines do not meet planned margin? Any salesman I have ever known wants to be knowing that immediately so a dynamic report as each order line is closed is better than having to wait for the month end.

How many days does it take to issue a quotation? This is a good potential quality objective that links back to customer satisfaction but it is suprising how many companies are happy to expend time and energy creating elaborate quotes then forget to measure how effective their process really is.

There are many more so what would be your particular favorites?

ps: The one concerning margins can be converted in to a really cool quality objective with a killer customer focus. If you need help with your quality system then get in touch via the web site.

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