Drive Continuous Improvement by Analyzing Audit Findings

Internal Audit Management and Tracking Software
Creating an environment of continuous improvement requires a management-driven mindset and detailed analysis of audit findings that should be conveyed at all the levels in the organization. Thanks to the advanced audit management software, it has become easier to manage audit-related activities.

The continuously changing landscape of quality standards and customer requirements has made it important for organizations to have improved, effective, and efficient auditing structure that can help them attain quality as well as operational excellence. However, the audit process should be presented as one of the tools to drive continuous improvement.

Let’s Have A Closer Look at Process of Auditing and Its Role in Quality Management

The process of auditing in quality management helps to ensure that all the set of policies, processes, and procedures are defined in compliance with regulatory standards and customer requirements. ISO 9001 is proactively helping organizations to keep their audit processes managed with globally accepted quality standards.

The organizations that follow ISO guidelines takes a streamlined, process-oriented, and risk-based approach to maintain the highest level of quality in their products and services, ensuring reliability, safety, and consistency. In fact, those are the ones capable of meeting customer expectation while complying to industry standards.

What is the Quality Audit, Internal Audit, and External Audit?

A quality audit is the systemic approach of examining and verifying the quality system of the organization.

An external quality audit is performed by a certified audit firm who will evaluate whether an organization is practicing and complying with the established quality processes to develop a quality product or service.

An internal quality audit is carried out by the quality department which will evaluate the compliance to quality standard implemented to create a quality product or service.

The quality audit helps to verify and confirm if the quality objectives are achieved and is compliant with quality system regulations. External audit can be concluded by issuing a compliance certification and internal audit can help with standardization of processes.

How A Quality Audit is Conducted?

Here are the different stages of a quality audit:

  • Define the scope of an audit
  • Identify the entity who will help conduct an audit.
    • If external entity – contacts a specialized and approved establishment.
    • If internal entity – schedules an audit
  • The quality audit is prepared and planned.
  • The quality audit is conducted. It may include individual interviews and tests.

At the end of the quality audit, a meeting is organized between the auditor and the management of the company.

  • A report is sent a few days later to the management.
  • A follow up quality audit may be proposed in case of observations or findings.

Commonly Faced Challenges in Conducting an Efficient Audit

Lack of Communication :

From audit planning to scheduling, conducting to executing, until its effectiveness check, maintaining a smooth communication is a bare necessity. If the details will not be communicated well with the team members involved, all your audit efforts could go in vain. The details may involve the frequency of audits, people assigned with audit tasks, the audit workflow to be followed, and much more.

The best way to maintain consistent communication with your audit team is investing in a audit management software that enables you to document the process details in a centralized platform that can be accessed by every team member as and when required even if it is just for reference purpose. Make sure the software comes with the additional capabilities like Email Alerts, Notifications, Follow-ups, and Approvals to streamline the entire process in a jiffy.

Inefficient Filing Systems :

Though many companies have realized the potential of technological solutions to make their audit processes simple, fast, and efficient, there are still many organizations that feel apprehensive of a digital approach for managing their business processes. This, as a result, poses difficulties for the audit team in collecting the requisite data and analyzing the same for effective findings that could drive improvement.

The organizations that still follow a paper-based approach are simply killing the productivity and efficiency of their audit teams even if they conduct audits annually. The traditional approach could result in voluminous paperwork for creating checklists, generating reports, documenting activities, and much more. It will only make the audit process inefficient by increasing the cycle time.

Poor Traceability :

Traceability is a very important factor when it comes to audits and their analysis. Each audit can result in numerous findings followed by requisite CAPA actions. And, lack of traceability could lead to serious problems for your quality management system to work effectively and efficiently. You might miss the signals on risks, findings verification, audit closure, etc. to make informed decisions to improve organizational efficiency.

A voluminous amount of paperwork cannot be traced as efficiently as an electronic system. It will result in delayed audit process, dramatically affecting your business bottom line. If you want your business to attain a competitive edge, you must ensure the Audit management system deployed in your organization offers great reliability, flexibility, accessibility and traceability.

Inaccurate Approach :

It tends to be a difficult job to generate accurate reports for trends and activities when you don’t have all the information. Without having accurately generated reports, it may become difficult for Quality Controllers and Managers to develop the right strategy for implementing the continuous improvements. They will, in fact, need an electronic system to plan yearly audit schedule; conduct, track and monitor the audit; document audit observations/findings; and help implement and monitor corrective and preventive action plans.

The paper-based systems make it impossible to keep track of every aspect of a quality management system. Further, quality controllers fail to have a bigger picture that insightful audit findings are expected to offer. Therefore, the inaccurate approach is one of the reasons that many companies couldn’t make most out of their audit findings.

How Do Audit Findings Help to Drive Continuous Improvement?

Having access to the properly analyzed audit findings enables organizations to drive continuous improvement by taking the required actionable steps within time. Make sure you have an advanced audit management software that can help you extract and trend audit findings to;

      1. Integrate leadership and develop corrective and preventive action plans to address:
        • quality system gaps
        • noncompliance to regulations
      2. Encourage staff to participate in the quality process,
      3. Develop procedures and train users
      4. Adopt an adapted process approach,
      5. Have a factual approach to decision making,
      6. Maintain a good relationship with suppliers, customers and regulatory entities.

Take-Away’s

Audit findings play an important role to strategize the entire process of quality improvement so that your organization can comply with the regulatory standards and meet customer requirements in a streamlined manner.

Most importantly, you need a powerful audit management software like Qualityze that can help you manage the end-to-end audit processes including planning, scheduling, executing, tracking, monitoring and trending.

Always remember audits help you to unlock the potential of your existing resources efficiently and effectively.
Request a demo for audit management software and experience Qualityze difference.


Industry 4.0: A Quick Brief on Benefits and Challenges

Quality Management Software Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 indicates the start of a new industrial revolution to enhance communication, analysis, and utilization of the resources in the manufacturing companies by bringing together two powerful components: advanced techniques of manufacturing and internet of things.

Also referred as the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 is the digitization of industrial marketing keeping the smart manufacturing operations at the forefront. Though the term Industry 4.0 was introduced in the context of manufacturing initially, it has now covered every industry thanks to technological advancement. It is considered as a leap in quality management system driven by IoT.

Industry 4.0 comprises advanced analytics, Robotics & Automation, Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, and Process Digitization across the business supply and value chain.
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Effectively Managing Automotive Quality through Qualityze EQMS

QMS for Automotive

 

Because of its complex supply chain dependencies, societal implications, widespread use of social media and its ability to impact product quality issue: even a single misstep or oversight in quality can cause massive setbacks within a matter of minutes in the automotive world. These issues are magnified in today’s global economy.

We have seen in an increase in high profile automotive recalls over the past several years that have costed a fortune to several auto giants to correct. Some have had lingering damage to their brand names resulting in lost market share.

Though these might be some of the most expensive recalls ever to strike the auto industry; they will not be the last. Every day government regulations becoming more stringent, as dissatisfied consumers uncover new product issues and increasing competition compels auto makers to deploy increasingly complex supply chains to support their businesses.
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7 Signs You Should Seriously Take an ‘EQMS Way’ of Managing Your Training Requirements

Training Management Software

 

Employee training has always been a vital component of a company’s quality culture and actually solidifies it but in certain scenarios EQMS is the best choice to effectively manage the trainings in an organization. With the added benefits of interoperability with standard documents (such as SOPs/WIs/Guidelines, etc.), CAPA, Risk Assessment etc. an EQMS way of managing trainings is becoming a trend nowadays.

The following 7 signs are in no particular order. You have to read them and decide which ones are prevalent in your organization or how many of these can you relate to?
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How to Build an Effective Competency Matrix

In ISO 9001:2015, the clause 7.2 specifically requires an organization to determine the necessary competency of employees and ensure they are qualified on the basis of appropriate education, training, or experience.

Therefore, many organizations maintain a competency matrix with nomenclatures as Qualification Matrix or Skills Matrix to determine the required competency for employees working in different functional areas to identify any skill gaps,  bridge those gaps through a well-defined competency development program such as training programs and assessments to verify employee comprehension.

Often times it is debated within organizations whether the competency matrix should be prepared and maintained by the HR Department. or the responsible Operational Managers. Though, we’ll not touch on this controversial topic here, keep in mind that the post below is specifically meant for Operational Managers to help them develop an understanding to identify the skill gaps, growth opportunities for their employees and ensure job activities are effectively completed.

A Competency Matrix is typically a table that displays people’s proficiency in specified skills and knowledge.

All businesses have the requirement for qualified employees. The more competent the people, the better potential business results. However, under certain critical environments such as technical tasks or safety compliances, it is important to understand what employees comprehend about their specific jobs tasks.

Have a look at figure 1 and take the following steps to prepare a Skills Matrix for your team:

Training Management Software for Education and Training Providers

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Importance of EQMS in the Logistics Industry

Quality Management Software for Logistics IndustryIn today’s era managing logistics has become a basic requirement in the success of any organization’s operations.

An effective logistics management strategy ensures control over inbound freight, optimal inventory levels, organizes the reverse flow of products, and utilizes freight moves through appropriate transportation modes – all these significantly cut costs which directly impact the bottom line.

With the growing complexity of logistics management, many companies select a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) service provider to manage or partially manage all their logistics functions. 3PLs are equipped with expertise and advanced technology to cut costs and improve processes more efficiently than most companies can do on their own.
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Employee Competence in ISO 9001:2015

Training Management SoftwareThis blog refers to ISO 9001:2015 Clause 7.2 “Competence” and is specifically relevant to organizations seeking to implement or update to the latest ISO 9001:2015 version -.

At the heart of creating Excellence in People is building a high-performance culture. That’s why various global excellence models such as EFQM and Malcolm Baldrige Excellence frameworks and even global quality awards such as Deming Prize have given due focus on “People”. ISO 9001:2015 is no different and recognises the importance of people by emphasising their “competence”.

In today’s economy, many organizations are experiencing high employee turnover which increases the operational challenges for organizations in terms of effectiveness and efficiencies..
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ISO 9001:2015 – Revealing Perspectives of Outsourced Process

QMS for ManufacturingThis blog aims to help organizations understand the meaning and interpret the requirements stated in ISO 9001:2015 concerning “outsourced process” and how to carry out a meaningful gap analysis against your current processes and procedures.
The Clause 8.4 in revised standard specifically talks about control of externally provided processes, products and services.
There is a noticeable change in terminology of the revised ISO 9001:2015 standard that “Purchasing” and “Outsourcing” are now referred as “externally provided processes, products and services”.
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After an Audit, What Next?

Internal Audit Management and Tracking SoftwareHave you ever felt anxious about something that was about to happen at your workplace.? Imagine if the “something” was called an audit, increasing your anxiety to a stratospheric level regardless of the preparations you have made for it.

Well, Product Audit, Process Audit, System Audit, Safety Audit, 5S Audit, Internal Audit, External Audit, certification audit, re-certification audit, surveillance audit, environmental audit, energy audit… the list goes on and when it’s an ISO certified site it gets worse.   People working ISO Certified facilities get familiar with all different audit types mentioned above and in some way all of the different types of audits types can be addressed by using an effective QMS system.
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Requirement of Knowledge Management in ISO 9001:2015

Requirement of Knowledge Management in ISO 9001:2015This blog refers to ISO 9001:2015 Clause 7.1.6 “Organizational knowledge” and is specifically in relevance to organizations seeking to implement or update to the latest version of ISO 9001:2015 along with anyone thinking about implementing the international standard.

“You know more than you can tell”

Albert Einstein’s research assistant Michael Polanyi outlined a fine distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge through the above sentence. And so has the ISO organization through this revised version of ISO 9001:2015.
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