Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

CQI article – November 2012

This latest in the line of good content coming out of the CQI reflects on what they and I can only describe as a missed opportunity following the recent report on how much buisnesses adopting a Quality Management System in the UK could yield the GDP.

Having been asked¬†to a meeting at BIS, Simon Feary¬†talks¬†us through the lacklustre response from them that¬†basically¬†revolves around their stance¬†that they don’t see it as their role to tell business what to do. Maybe not in terms of operational specifics but surely some support and encouragement¬†as to what might be a¬†useful gconcept. Give me strength.

One aspect of getting certified that sites need to manage is who they select to do the certification audit.  In my opinion, the first thing to make sure of is that it is a UKAS ( or equivalent ) body so that you know you are getting a qualified service.  However, there are still organisations out there that operate outside those limits and it can be tempting to go with them if money is tight.  Having said that, the old adage that you only get what you pay for happens to apply whoever you select.

You might be forgiven for thinking that of all the business assessments that you have to pay for then surely the quality system will be one where everyone delivers from a level playing field Рnot so.  In fact on several discussions I have initiated on LinkedIn the concept of high cost Рlow cost auditors seems to be accepted as part and parcel of this process.

Can it make that much difference?

Well yes it can actually.  There are clearly the market leaders who, not surprisingly, charge a premium price.  However, even looking beyond them the differences can be significant.

Putting them all into the mix,  I had a single site with less than 10 staff and I did my usual of getting three quotes so the client could get a feel of the overall costs.  This was both for the Stage 1 and 2 certification audits then the annual maintenance and surveillance audits for the three year approval period.  Now, the costs ranged from £2750 to £3681, a difference of £931 or near as makes no difference a third.

So, don’t follow the crowd and go with what the rest have got.¬† Get several quotes¬†when the time is right¬†as you would for other business¬†services you purchase and make sure you are on the right side of the line.¬† If you need any more help on this then I’m more than happy to help. Visit the web site on www.thebpasgroup.co.uk.

It’s good to see this quantified in a recent piece of research instigated by the CWI (Charted Quality Institute) and CMI (Charted Management Institute) that states the impact on GDP which equates to 6%.

Who comes out on top?

It actually offers a UK Quality Comparison Table that shows Manufacturing at the top but makes the case that the Public sector could do better if it adopted the quality approach.  Some of us have been saying that for some time and I refer you to an earlier blog here.

However I digress.  As Simon Feary, CQI CEO, says:

‚ÄúThis research quantifies the contribution of quality management to the UK economy for the first time and in doing so shows that we cannot afford to forgo the huge economic, business and employment potential that it provides.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúThese findings should send a powerful message to organisational leaders that quality management needs to be fully implemented in all organisations and to policy makers that they need to create an environment in which quality management is encouraged and can thrive.‚ÄĚ

The way to get the most from your QMS

One of the key areas where a good, well maintained QMS should assist is in the removal of waste and variation both of which can be costed to help get the message across to senior management.  In addition the non-conformance system can have all its elements assigned a cost whether it is the obvious cost of scrap components, rework or simply the time taken to process each record.

In addition, you may also be familiar with the concept of Quality Costs whereby the cost of Preparation, Inspection and Failure again drives awareness as to how the cost of lax controls and processes can harm a business.  At least, armed with this information, you can then move on to reverse the trends.

How to get the full picture

This is the link to the CQI press release and from the site you can get the full report.  However, for those with less time here is the article on this piece of CQI QMS Research from my CQI magazine that also contains three case studies.  If you want any help in putting some costs to your business operations through your QMS then I am more than willing to help.  Contact details are on my web site so just get in touch.

There should now be no doubt that a good QMS really can put pound notes on the bottom zone.  Spread the word people.

Well who would have thought it. That recent report by Sir Philip Greene has condemned Government procurement practices as ‘shocking’. He then goes on to quote examples that are just too bizarre for words. Yes I know this is nothing new but uncontrolled and inefficient processes, coupled with a lack of understanding and ownership and performance measures, just appear to be rife.

Wouldn’t you just love to get amongst it all and sort it all out. The framework is there with ISO and businesses have to comply so why should politicians be exempt. Now today I read that whilst Sir Philip raised concern over the current practice of payment within five days to suppliers, to the point of negotiating later payments, the latest Enterprise Czar Lord Young wanted prompt payment to SME to be retained.

You could¬†have a field day. ¬† I have to admit that can’t quite see frustrated Quality professionals marching on Downing Street, but come on where would you start?

Customer satisfaction. . . . . how are we meant to measure that then for heaven’s sake. ¬†Not the dreaded questionnaires, oh telephone surveys well that’ll work. ¬†Why don’t we send our sales people out to talk to them whilst we’re at it.

This is¬†one of the major stumbling blocks for many companies when they start¬†¬†to get¬†their heads round paragraph 8 in the ISO 9001 standard. ¬†However, there it is plus your data on deliveries and reject levels isn’t good enough on its own – it needs to be data that your customer has generated. ¬†Well I’ve got some great news for you – the goal posts are on the move!

I just read Dr Osman Khan’ blog here and it discusses the need not just to get the order there on time at the right price and quality but to go one better and delight the customer. ¬†Would that create ‘delight’ – well think how you felt when you last bought something then received more than you expected – more than would just keep you satisfied. ¬†Suggests it would work doesn’t it and certainly in current times when any competitive edge is worth recording especially if this generates more customer loyalty for your efforts.

Customer satisfaction is the base line, a given, so you need to go beyond it. So when you next sit down with your team don’t just settle for ‘satisfaction’ raise the bar and aim for ‘delight’. ¬†Now there’s a challenge.

Companies who install quality management systems are often left to their own devises once the system is installed. To me this is the time when they need the practical support so they get their house in order before the audit. Having worked with many sites to put a system in, I have been very staggered by the lack of good stuff out there so have decided to do something about it. Check it out via this ISO 9001 Training Guides link and let me know what you think. The main web site is here.

The last twelve months have flown by and been really busy – a defining period for our business. So much so that this idea of a blog just got lost in the ‘noise’ I guess – tell me I’m not the only one! Anyway as we enter our seventh year we are determined to get all this social media harnessed effectively into our business plan.

The last quarter has seen investment in training on such techniques from the likes of James Lavers with his Video Conversion course and Crowd Conversion from Robert Grant. This Saturday I am away to London again for a session on Public Speaking with Joanna Martin.

All this is because we want to offer help to businesses who need to work smarter and not harder which invariably means streamlining their systems so they are less wasteful and variable in whatever they do. More will follow on how we intend to do this – and a tad quicker than the last post. Must away as I have a webinar to attend.