SOME CASE STUDIES - HOW CAN QM&T HELP YOU?
- Manage change from an Inspector led Quality System to an Operator led Quality System
- Instigate Ownership of Quality by the entire Company
- Updated Quality System to reflect change in Business
- Manage Software Quality
- Assist with implementation and acceptance
- Implement Suggestion Schemes and Quality Improvement Schemes
- Quality Assure your Projects
- Perform Quality Health Checks
- Process Mapping
1. MANAGE CHANGE
The company wanted to change from its “old-style”, bureaucratic quality process with its reliance on Quality Inspectors to a modern approach where the Operators felt responsible for their own Quality.
QM&T was able to streamline the procedures and bring the Operators on-board through the use of Quality representatives, training and changes to their pay agreements. This not only needed a culture change but also required negotiations with the Unions to ensure that the new approach was welcomed and accepted by the Operators. QM&T was retained as on-going Quality Manager to support the staff in the operation of the new system.
2. INSTIGATE OWNERSHIP OF QUALITY BY THE ENTIRE COMPANY
QM&T was engaged by a manufacturing company because the Quality Manager spent all his time fire-fighting and the rest of the company saw Quality as the Quality Manager's problem. QM&T revised the Quality procedures to make them simple and easily understood. Then a system was instigated to push quality issues back to their source, i.e. solve the root cause and not just treat the symptoms.
The system used Customer feedback (for external issues) and Non-Conformance Notes (for internal issues). Once raised the issues were passed back to the relevant department for a solution to be found. Thus, it was no longer the Quality Manager who had to solve the problem but the person who was responsible for its occurrence in the first place. This had the added benefit of educating the company to think about quality in all aspects of their work.
3. UPDATE QUALITY SYSTEM TO REFLECT CHANGE IN BUSINESS
A company that originated as a computer re-seller had developed its own network management software for sale. This is a major growth industry and the company is now doubling in size each year. QM&T was brought in when it was realised that the quality system monitored the sales and helpdesk but not the software development. QM&T assisted the company in updating their procedures to bring software development within the quality process. (See also Case 4)
4. MANAGE SOFTWARE QUALITY
Following the introduction of a Quality System for software in Case 3, QM&T worked with the software team to ensure that the processes were adopted. The software was being written rapidly to keep up with the company expansion and adequate testing had not always been carried out. The release of part tested software was causing huge problems at the helpdesk and involved the software team in time consuming problem fixes. QM&T showed that time would be better spent testing before release and instigated a three phase approach to help the software team follow the new procedures.
- 1. Training - make sure they know why and how to use it:
- 2. Coaching - make sure they are using it and if not why not - re-emphasis the needs:
- 3. Telling - the final big stick - if you can’t follow the procedures then the company cannot employ you (nobody ever got to Stage 3).
Further, QM&T supported the manager in ensuring that nothing was accepted for release to customers until the testing had been completed. This improved the reputation of the company, decreased the efforts required on the helpdesk and ensured that in practice the software team spent more time developing new software because they no longer had to fix so many customer problems.
5. ASSIST WITH IMPLEMENTATION AND ACCEPTANCE
A major Construction Industry company had an excellent quality system, part-time quality managers on each site and an overall national Quality Manager, but the system was not being followed. QM&T were brought into support the company in achieving successful implementation and acceptance. Initially the system was reduced to its bare bones so that it was very simple to understand and operate. Then, QM&T supported the company whilst the system was explained to the workers. They accepted that following this reduced system was useful and the system was successfully implemented.
6. IMPLEMENT SUGGESTION & QUALITY IMPROVEMENT SCHEMES
The company was about to be part of a large Japanese group and wanted to demonstrate its quality commitment to the Japanese prior to being part of the group. QM&T were brought into the company to provide the experience and support to the Quality Manager during the successful implementation of a Suggestion Scheme. A UK based company that was part of a Japanese Group wanted assistance in turning a Japanese style quality approach into a system that would operate well in the UK. QM&T worked with the Quality Manager to develop an English style quality system which was accepted by the workforce. 7.
Quality Assure your Projects
A UK based company that was part of a Japanese Group wanted assistance in turning a Japanese style quality approach into a system that would operate well in the UK. QM&T worked with the Quality Manager to develop an English style quality system which was accepted by the workforce.
7. QUALITY ASSURE YOUR PROJECTS
The company wanted to switch on a £20 million new factory line and have it work first time (ie when the key was turned the factory started). QM&T was brought in to support the Project Manager with professional advice and assistance. The Project Manager was helped with the implementation of the TCATS (Test, Commissioning and Acceptance Testing) system. The result was “When the key was turned the factory started first time”. How many examples of large capital projects, do you know of that worked first time?
8. PERFORM QUALITY HEALTH CHECKS
QM&T can give your company a Quality Health Check. This reviews your systems and procedures and will offer suggestions that will benefit your operations. This can also be used prior to Inspection by a Certificating body to highlight issues that may need attention.
- Provide Quality Management
QM&T can support companies on a long term basis through the Q_Assist Scheme. This can give your company a Quality Manager, Quality Auditor or Advisor appointed from one of the skilled and experienced QM&T staff. They provide long-term consultancy services including close support both to implement changes and to give confidence in the Q-System.
Offer Training and Support
QM&T can offer a wide range of courses and in-company training schemes. For details on the full range of these schemes and on distance learning packages see the QM&T web site Training.
9. PROCESS MAPPING
One of Europe’s leading soft drinks manufacturers, wanted to improve efficiency, processes and performance and meet the new standard ISO 9001.2000. This meant taking action in three areas:
Introducing a paperless process management system
Maintaining and managing manuals across the UK
Modelling business processes and using simulation tools to identify areas for improvement.
Already familiar with flowcharting tools, the organisation wanted to take this technology further. They needed a product that was user-friendly so it could be implemented across the business, while allowing them to maintain central control and electronic storage of documents.
Solution The organisation selected a combination of the QM&Ts software process mapping products to provide benefits in different areas.
Benefits The organisation changed its procedural documentation into flowchart format to create a bespoka Process Management System. This electronic data centre can be accessed through the intranet, reducing the need for paper based systems.Using ISO certification procedures, the organisation has updated many sections including
- Fleet Administration
- Technical Centre
- Central Engineering Services
An Aerospace organisation restructure its process management, greatly improving aircraft engine overhaul times. This has helped strengthen plans for capacity expansion at the business unit in The Netherlands. The world’s largest independent airplane engine overhaul company, wanted to improve service, speed up processes and increase customer satisfaction. Traditionally, this would involve costly and time consuming change trials to operational processes. However, they wanted an alternative. They wanted to see where performance could be improved, quickly, easily and before changing business practices. Approach Using the QM&T software, the organisation was able to analyse current operational processes and see where improvements could be made. It also showed how the processes were affected by organisational structure and where there was capacity for expansion.
By collecting a range of data such as schedules, activity times and events, the QM&T software made it possible to analyse results and gain valuable insight into:
- cycle times
- wait times
- resources (labour, equipment)
QM&T software has shown how engine overhaul time can be dramatically reduced – and delivery time greatly improved. It has helped improve efficiency, customer satisfaction and profitability.
One of the oldest Building Societies in the UK and, with assets of over £3.3 billion, rates as the ninth largest wished to improve efficiency across its UK portfolio of 44 branches. The New Financial Services Authority regulations dictated that financial institutions like Building Societies fully document their business procedures. In the past, the Society had used text-based documentation, but this had proved inefficient, so they turned to QM&T software for an alternative. The objective was to introduce a diagram format to make procedures easier for staff to understand. An additional objective was set to put the documentation on the Society’s Intranet.
The new system had to supersede the tools the Society was used to and support on-line publication. The chosen flowcharting tool needed to be both easy to understand and used across all of the Society’s business areas and for contractors. Solution The Society’s Business Improvement Team looked at several products to assess their suitability and found that whereas many of the products included flowcharting as a feature, only QM&T's software was purpose built. And only this product has the additional capacity for use in longer term projects like modelling. In addition, the objective of making the highly powerful software ‘easy to understand and use’ was also met. Benefits Using QM&T software, the Society has been able to meet the demands imposed by the Project and External Compliance. Some 22 areas of the Business have been impacted by the introduction of the new Core System and over 2000 processes have been reviewed, rebuilt and converted to ‘new core system’ language. The Team has made the new Administration Procedures for the Branch Network available via the Society’s Intranet. This has meant a significant saving in print costs alone.