Quarter 4 / 2019

Make Your Quality Stand Out

The Vital Bit Missing From Internal Audits
It really does surprise and disappoint me that the quality of audits isn't always what it should be, so let me use the 'Rule of Three' to explain what I mean.

The top level is the standard and that simply guides everyone as to what needs to be done whether it is identifying  material , controlling non-conforming products, customer satisfaction etc etc.

So then your documented information 'translates' all that into how you intend to do it. Simple enough.

So many times I see the audit report stop at this point and just list the process without any objective evidence that validates that it is actually happening. What's the point?

The audit is all about 'proving you do what you say you will do in the procedures' hence you need to check records to establish that this is happening. Otherwise, in my opinion, your report it isn't worth the paper it is written on. It's like you had a chat with someone and you just wrote down all the answers, which of course will be right because they know what they should be doing.

The best advice I can give you is to imagine someone else has to see what you saw so dig out some records for them! If you want any help as regards training your auditors then click the picture above and watch the video and then get in touch for a chat to see how I might help.

Why You Need To Consider Your Interested Parties 

We all now need to be aware that strategic actions we take in business can impact on this group of people as stated in the upgraded ISO standards. A good example has been the development of, so called, SMART motorways across the UK, something you can identify with I'm sure.

These seemed to have been introduced without that much recourse to the views of motorists and now the RAC have reviewed them in their Motoring 2019 report and stated that 72 percent of motorists are worried about whether or not they would reach the refuge areas. Sadly, we already have reports of motorists that didn't with fatal consequences. 

Now I appreciate that this scenario may not fit the norm for a business planning to make strategic changes in how it operates, but the principle is the same. Consider the implications before making that decision.

As the report stated:
We need to set the scene at the very start and communicate and consult with our customers, stakeholders or in this case the general public, especially if we want the initiative to be successful.
Keep Matching Control To Risk

A lot of people miss out on the opportunity to reduce the control over processes based on the sound data they have collected. Let's consider goods inwards for example and the checking of documents, especially certificates.

You might start off checking every one as you know there are always issues with your suppliers. However, as you discuss the issues with them some respond and their performance improves. ( Clearly, if you are not talking to them then not much is going to change so you may have to take that on board first ).

The risk is that you still check every one because 'that's what we have always done'. You are quite at liberty, based on the hard evidence of your data, to lower the rate of the checking to say 50% on the good ones and monitor to ensure all is still under control. PDCA in operation even! If performance starts to deteriorate, then revert back to 100% and so on.

You could end up with some who never give you a problem so you could reduce the check further to 10% or even zero, all of which releases resources to work on those who, let's say, need a bit more encouragement. The thing to remember is that you are taking decisions backed by robust data you have collected and not on a whim. If you are not already adopting this approach, why not give it a try?

ISO 9001 Client Goes On To Win Chamber Award

Further to the post in the last issue, I'm delighted to report that CRM did in fact walk away with the award for Business Growth. Well done indeed and thanks for the acknowledgement from Owner Lee Perry "We couldn't have done it with out you Pete".

They operate as a  technical  materials  supplier  converting all sizes of nickel alloys, stainless steel, duplex, carbon and titanium materials into a variety of finished shapes. Just click their logo above to visit their website.
"Just to let you know that I really enjoyed reading your latest mail shot and love the effort and detail you put into them. They have a really nice friendly feel about them", OW

"This is really nice", CR

So, till next time, make your quality stand out!

Pete Thornton-Smith B.Met, C.Eng, CQP, IOM3