Posts Tagged ‘Quality’

Well it is fair to say that not everything works out as you planned it.  Having launched the App three years ago and having amassed around 2200 followers in over a 120 countries that may seem an odd statement to make.

file.jpgHowever, despite those impressive stats there is one that dwarfs both of those – simply nobody appears to want to interact with this cutting edge technology in relation to 9001.  Having placed videos up there, podcasts, surveys and much more there still appears to be a reluctance to communicate. Fair enough, some companies won’t allow mobile phones to be used at work for work but it still came as somewhat of a shock as I developed the content over the years.

Never mind, onwards and upwards as they say. I intend letting all my 9001 Supremos know of this and tell them that my main activities will now be centred around this blog  That can be the usual posts or videos, presentation and the like. You of course already know that now 🙂

If you have subscribed to it then by all means do tell why it might not have lived up to expectations.

Finally, may I take the opportunity to wish you all the best and every success for 2017 and remember – Make Your Quality Stand Out! Some exciting items coming to this blog in the New Year and as always check out the latest from the Support Centre here.

 

 

 

ShredderIf you already have a system in place you are doubtless pondering as you look towards the 2015 version whether to bang not only the manual but the mandatory six through the jaws of your shredder as well. (Yes, I know Preventive Action goes anyway but let’s run with it yeah)

The likelihood as I see it, having talked to my sites, is that they will be retained and the temptation to run amok resisted. It’s a bit like some of us now being allowed to get our hands our pension pot to do with as with please isn’t it. You so want to but you hold back.

The manual if written properly (i.e. in say 8 – 10 pages max) is a good marketing tool and the procedures are useful support for those getting there heads round the requirements in QA. However, what to do if you are installing your system?

I think that really depends on the skills and knowledge of the team (yeah, no management representative either doing all the work) who will look after these processes. In my opinion, if they know them inside out then there would appear to be no need to burden them with procedures provided adequate records are being retained to evidence control of each process. However, if they are lacking experience, there is no doubt that there is a good case for writing them. As with all parts of the standard – if not having a procedure risks the process falling over, then you need one.

I have to get my head round how to upgrade the 9001 Training Guides to accommodate the extra requirements and the general move-around of existing procedures so by all means let me know what you would like to see and in what format.  The current version for 2008 are here if you’ve never seen them and would like help with that version.

 

 

 

BarryNot surprisingly, this is a very common question from companies during my time on site whilst I am creating the QMS.

First, let us assume the the company has someone who they are putting forward as the QA Representative – not always the case I know.  Also let us work on the basis that this person (you?) has another job, a main job, around which they have to find the time to look after the system. Now, there is a 4 – 6 month period ahead of you that involves a stage 1 audit before ending with the stage 2 audit.

To cope in this second phase when the system has been launched and staff start to work in accordance with it, I always suggest a day a week is required.   This is based on the fact that there will be invariably be at least 2 audits a month to do because the 12 month schedule has to covered in half the time.  On the first traunch of audits there will be CARs raised so they all have be be communicated, actioned – and chased?. There is all that data to locate and analyse on a regular basis; perhaps the approved suppliers list to amend because new suppliers are being sourced and then that Management Review meeting to fit in – and aren’t the majority of the actions going to be for you!

On top of that you have to make sure you know your way around the system, whether it is hard copies or an intranet or both, so you can speak about it with confidence when the auditor is on site. Don’t forget that procedures will need amending and perhaps forms as well so the whole change control process needs time allocating to it.

Mmm, quite a bit to do. It is important that the company and the staff see this commitment on a regular basis as you endeavour to make it all part of the company culture. I find a day a week to be a good test of that Management commitment, but I feel it is a fair and realistic allowance. What’s your experience?

If all that sounds a daunting prospect don’t forget help is at hand in the form of site visits, mentoring over the web and auditor training at the 9001 Support Centre.

ps: Next time I’ll move onto the commitment after the stage 2 when it’s all died down a bit – or has it?

That might seem an odd question but it was the one that CQI’s CEO Simon Feary asked of the local Yorkshire Group recently when we met at Leeds earlier this month.  Simon is currently ‘on tour’ going round the various regional groups to get feedback on this issue.  He also wanted to let members know that he has a vision whereby the CQI will become a ‘must join’ body in 2016.

But why?

Well, you may remember some time back there was a certain report issued stating that there could be a serious amount of money added to UK PLC if more companies made use of a quality management system (QMS) within their businesses.  There was a strong feeling that this would seriously raise the profile of the quality professional, but what happened – nothing.

Likewise, over recent years there have been numerous failures within businesses that can be taken as good examples as to what can happen without the controls that a QMS brings to a business.  Remember the financial meltdown of 2008, that oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the contaminated baby food in China, the fiasco with the food supply chain here in the UK, the irregularities with the tender process for a UK main line rail route and so on and so on.  However, what was the outcome as regards us Quality professionals – nothing.

Why was there so little interest?

You begin to wonder what has to happen in order to get the Q word used and accepted as a must have in the future, so why was it met with such apathy. The belief is that the media don’t really understand what quality is, after all how would you describe it?  The common threads that come through from these disasters is the ‘risk to the brand’ and the ‘high costs’ incurred – not forgetting that lives were lost both as victims and management.  Some would argue it also brought, and may still bring, some of the businesses perilously close to the edge.

On a much smaller scale, I recall offering an article to my local respected business newspaper on the benefits of 9001 to SMEs only to be asked – what’s 9001?

Do you know the way forward?

So, have you any ideas as to what the Quality community needs to do to make itself sexy?  Let’s be hearing from you via this blog.

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:

“This 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.”

“These 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.”

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.

Over the years there have been many instances when I see sites pin their ‘flying colours’ to the mast after their audit and it makes me wonder because I know for a fact that the site in question has major issues,  For example, the system hasn’t been managed for months; internal audits haven’t been done and customers have raised serious concerns.  So how come a third party can give it such a glowing report?

In fact I can remember one such site where I was called in to do a resurrection job because a major customer had serious doubts over the certification body whose certificate hung so proudly on the wall.  After a little bit of digging I came to the conclusion that the customer was right.  I couldn’t put up any defence, the system was in a mess – so who was helping who?

This is a timely comment in view of the latest, and some say controversial, version of ISO17021 coming out last month.  The standard now sets out requirements for auditor competence as well as the actual auditing of a system. Its purpose is to set the standard for certification bodies so as to increase the level of trust associated with the role in certification.  They have two years to bring it to fruition so it will be interesting to see if we see a reduction in the number of ‘flying colours’ in that period.

My belief has always been that an auditor should be offering a balanced assessment of a QMS, but if there are any deficiencies, particularly glaring ones, then they shouldn’t shy away from their responsibilities and should report the issues accordingly and look for suitable corrective action.  It does nobody any favours just to keep that certificate on the wall when all around it is falling down. Can you share any similar horror stories?

Tips on auditing are part of my ISO 9001 Training Guide videos currently available on free subscription.