Service supply organizations are always seeking to optimize, by improving customer relationships for greater revenue and cost reductions. The constant demands, adjustments and upkeep of customers requires a more formalized way to compare and service them. That is why customer benchmarking is so key. In today’s post, we will examine a few factors that demonstrate the power and influence of customer benchmarking.
First, customer benchmarking demonstrates the costs and services that each customer is accumulating. It logs every customer interaction and the services provided to them, whether it is in the initial contract or not. This helps to determine the total cost for delivering your product or service to the customer.
Second, customer benchmarking helps to determine the true price of your product or service. A comprehensive software solution can isolate the amount of product and the price that is actually received from the customer. This helps to clarify the true value of the customer when compared to the cost of services.
Finally, you use benchmarking tools to determine the satisfaction and feedback of the customer. The tool automatically sends a survey to key stakeholders at the client company. The survey results are tabulated and provide feedback to provide continual improvement efforts. The data helps managers at your company understand how the customer truly feels about your performance. It also compares the feedback across all the customers to get a true sense of the most loyal and the least loyal accounts.
Accupoint’s solution family has helped many firms benchmark customers, improve satisfaction and meet compliance standards, leading to greater revenue and less costs. For more information about how Accupoint Software can help streamline the management of your customer benchmarking program, please contact us today.
Accupoint Software is excited to announce the July 2017 release of our Version 5 platform.
The new version will offer a number of platform enhancements including:
In addition, Accupoint will be introducing some exciting functionality that allows for the creation of interactive training materials, as well as SOPs and work instructions. More information on these and other features will be made available as we get closer to the official launch date.
If you have any questions or require additional information about the upcoming Version 5 release, please feel free to contact us.
Managing critical suppliers allows you to evaluate your most important sources of products and services. Depending on the size of your company and number of suppliers, you will use either a standard classification or a more complex system. The first step is to classify all of your suppliers based on their weight in your production process. You can place suppliers in one of four categories based on their performance and role. These categories include:
Evaluation of suppliers should be conducted on a yearly basis, at a minimum. You should thoroughly document evaluation criteria including: Price, Performance, Service, Reliability, Quality performance, Risk potential and Complaint information.
Key criteria in choosing critical suppliers relationships include:
The weight of each criterion may vary depending on the product or service. For example, is it more important for the supplier to provide high quality or low price? Is innovation potential more important than process monitoring? Points should be given for each criterion. Once this process in complete you will have a clear overview of your production chain and suppliers. You can then share your evaluation with the suppliers and identify areas where improvements can be made. In addition, the results can be used to strengthen the most important relationships.
An effective supplier relationship management system, will provide digital documentation of all suppliers, data, documentation and evaluations in one place. This is especially useful when working with a large number of suppliers. The system should be standardized and allow for easy access and evaluation.
Critical suppliers are the most important piece of the supply chain. You rely on them for the most crucial parts and services. You must maintain a strong relationship with these suppliers and maintain open communication. In today’s global marketplace competitors can spring up at a moment's notice, challenging product quality and prices. You likely buy components, ingredients and services from all over the world to source quality at the best price. Control of your supply chain allows you to protect your business. Clear documentation, scheduled re-evaluation and the support of managers are necessary for successful supplier management, which will give you a tangible competitive advantage.
For more information on how Accupoint can help you with critical supplier management, contact us today.
The Department of Labor states that on-the-job fatality rates are seven times higher for oil and gas extraction workers than all other industries. The only solution to this serious problem is proactive compliance with a comprehensive safety and health management program. Continual risk identification, analysis and policy enforcement are the keys to keeping workers safe and avoiding operational downtime.
Hazards in oil and gas industry are divided between safety and injury dangers and health and illness hazards. Front-line supervisors should work with safety managers to conduct risk assessments that are founded on historical experience, analytical methods and field knowledge and judgement. A risk assessment will ask three basic questions for each possible event: what can go wrong, how likely will it occur and what are the impacts. Both qualitative and quantitative answers offer unique value. Safety planning and risk assessments require that everyone involved understands the objectives, the methods, the resources required and how the results will be applied.
Standard Evaluation Methods
A risk assessment generally involves four basic steps: hazard identification, frequency projection, consequence assessment and risk evaluation. Hazard identification methods include literature research, safety audits, periodic walk-throughs and what-if brainstorming. Popular tools include FMEA, HAZOP and HAZID. Frequency assessment methods include fault tree, event tree, human reliability and common cause failure analysis tools. Consequence assessment methods include source term, aquatic transport, atmospheric dispersion and blast and thermal radiation models. Popular evaluation methods include risk profiles, indexes, matrixes and density curves.
The Hazard Identification (HAZID) Technique
HAZID is a safety tool to describe activities that identify risks and associated events. Offshore petroleum facilities often use HAZIDs to identify potential hazards to personnel, such as injuries and illness, to the environment, such as spills and pollution, and operational issues, such as delays and production losses. Offshore petroleum leaders often use the HAZID technique to analyze operational procedures on vessels and machinery. A HAZID planning session will involve an interdisciplinary team that includes those who have experience with facility design, such as engineering, and facility operation, such as veteran employees. Together, they will use checklists to methodically brainstorm and identify potential hazards associated with each part of the system.
A what-if analysis uses subjective questioning to ponder potential performance problems and their consequences. For example, if an intake air filter is blocked, this will reduce the air flow through the compressor, which will consume more energy and lead to functional inefficiencies. The solution is through monthly inspections and scheduled filter replacements. Contact us today to learn how Accupoint can streamline your safety, compliance and risk assessments processes.
Staying ahead in today's global economy often requires companies to make changes. The ability to adapt to change is a crucial part of organizational management. When your company adopts clear methodologies and processes to respond to change you will be set up for success. Organizational buy-in has become a prominent topic of discussion. Due to the team-based structure of most companies, change is often created through influence. Therefore, you need to be skilled in gaining support for your ideas. You need buy-in to implement your revolutionary ideas that move the company forward.
To successfully achieve organizational buy-in, your effort needs to be constructed carefully with attention paid to all of the factors that help a change initiative gain support. While there is not one method that will always work to overcome natural resistance to change, here are four tips that will help you achieve successful organizational buy-in.
Make It Clear
Disciplined thought and honest effort go a long way. When you present reality truthfully, the right decisions become clear. Being honest will also allow your coworkers and employees to trust you. Perhaps the most influential factor in achieving organizational buy-in is committing to open, honest and complete disclosure. To be successful you need to go beyond the data and analysis. A change effort makes the most headway when you appeal to employees' emotions. Using clear, striking examples that appeal to feeling will compel people to want the change. Show what the existing problems are and how this change will resolve them. This will motivate others to act.
Make it Manageable
Presenting a complex, multiyear project can easily make employees and coworkers feel overwhelmed. When you break the project down into steps with clear goals, it will seem more manageable. Consider presenting the larger project as smaller bite-sized phases. This will also make it easier to feel like progress can be made; it will give the change momentum. You can use this method to implement the change in smaller steps in the real world also. Utilizing this technique will help you resolve any potential problems before they become bigger.
Listen to Employees
The relationship with your employees and coworkers is important. You will need their help to achieve buy-in. Your job is to sell everyone on your idea. Explaining your ideas clearly and making it manageable are both ways to strengthen your relationship. Then you need to listen. Address concerns or any interpersonal issues. Your change effort will depend on management's dedication to open dialogue. Remember that listening well can sometimes be even more important than speaking well. Your employees are a valuable source of ideas and support.
Trust the Team
When trying to achieve organizational buy-in, there needs to be strong methods to drive management from the bottom up. You will be implementing change as a team. When change is driven both from the bottom up and top down it creates a strong dynamic and momentum. This means getting both employees and even customers on board. Everyone will come together to harness the force of change and push for success.
Senior management is ultimately responsible for the success of the change effort. Avoid some common faults by paying attention to how much funding is needed, what the required competencies and capabilities are, and what metrics and rewards can be used to support the change. Effective leaders will find the right levers and incentives to reduce resistance and gain momentum for change.
For more information on achieving organizational buy-in, and a variety of other business management solutions for the oil and gas industry, contact us today.
Contract management and review are important, and often neglected disciplines. According to research done by the independent International Association for Contract & Commercial Management, good contract management practices could improve profit by 9% of annual revenue. Contracts can leak, costing money through outdated pricing, or misunderstandings and breakdowns in communication that lead to losses.
Contract review is the process for determining customer requirements prior to the supply of a product, and proof that the organization has the ability to meet the defined requirements. Contract review should be part of your company's business management. Attention must be paid to the requirements related to products, supply and management of information. Your company will determine the specific needs of the customer including delivery and post-delivery activities, such as warranty and maintenance services. You also need to consider requirements that are not explicitly stated by the customer, but are still necessary. You need to know any regulatory requirements that apply to the product.
Before your company commits to a contact or order, or any changes to existing contracts you need to consider several factors including:
Communication is also critical to success. You will need to determine effective means of communication in relation to product information, contracts, order handling, feedback and complaints. This is all part of your customer relations management processes and determining customer requirements. If contract review is ever done offsite, you need to link the activities to your on-site quality management system.
You must conduct risk analysis before committing to a contract. Consider whether taking on additional obligations will affect your supply chain, for example. Manufacturing risk analysis will help you assess your ability to effectively provide the specified product. Do you have the resources needed to fulfill the obligations? Can you meet timing demands? Are there additional developments costs and investments? Look at potential failures in processes, including suppliers. Is there solid potential for increased profits? Considering all of these factors will allow you to enter into contracts that are efficient and effective, which is good for your bottom line.
For more information on how Accupoint can help improve your contact review process, contact us today.
It has come to our attention that a large number of people in the oil and natural gas industry are struggling with the topic of management of change (MOC). Although the details of implementation will be very different for different situations, great MOC programs are developed from the same basic foundation.
The first fundamental aspect of MOC is the actual change request. What change needs to be made? What are the individual specs for the materials needed? What plans and documents need to be included in the change request to fully communicate what is needed? If you can’t clearly communicate what it is that needs to be changed, then the change can’t be implemented properly.
The next aspect of MOC that needs addressed is the reward of the change. Why am I even making this change? Each change should be fully connected to satisfying a business objective. Again, specificity is important in addressing these concerns. The reward needs to clearly satisfy a business goal. If it does not, why even bother taking the risk?
Possibly the most important foundation of the MOC program is the evaluation team. The MOC evaluation team is responsible for the objective evaluation of the requests. Members should represent different areas of expertise throughout the organization, with different experiences under their belt. There shouldn’t be any aspect of a request that the team can’t properly address and evaluate. Team members should be respected among their peers, and confident enough to speak up when they have concerns. If these criteria are used, your organization will select a MOC evaluation team that can handle any challenge put in front of them.
The API Spec Q2 requirements take a risk-based approach to quality management. When making changes, risks must be identified and measured by level of acceptability. Risks that are deemed unacceptable must be paired with mitigation plans. These plans are then designated to be carried out before, during, or after the implementation process. The purpose of the mitigation plans is to help bring the risk down to an acceptable level.
The next area we will address deals with the approval aspect of MOC. Many organizations get into trouble in this area, confusing the need for approval with the need to inform. It’s important to note that every change doesn’t have to have the same approver. A great MOC program should have an approval matrix describing who needs to approve which type of decisions, as well as a list of people who “must be informed”. If your organization gets these steps right, the approval process will be quick and painless.
This leads us to the communication section nicely. As stated before, there are those who need to “approve” and those who “must be informed”. We need to track our communication efforts with respect to the MOC. In other words, any message and corresponding response must be documented. The person responsible for sending the message is also responsible for getting a confirmation from the recipient. This means after the change is communicated, a receipt confirmation should be requested. Also, it is important to make it clear to your organization that an email response should be expected from the recipient. Simply flagging it as “Request a Read Receipt” isn’t going to get the job done. Once the recipient has responded, stating that they have received the message and understand the information, then the responsibility shifts to them to carry out the appropriate action.
Implementation of the change
First, we will want to execute any per-implementation changes and corresponding mitigation efforts that were identified. Subsequent to the implementation we will want to perform any post-implementation tasks that are required. Example would include updating procedures or modifying training materials to address the change.
Next, we need to confirm the effectiveness of the change. Once the change has been implemented it is important to make sure that the change does what it was intended to do. Sometimes organizations experience undesirable results. When this happens, we must determine if the system should be restored to the old model, or develop a new MOC to address the unintended results.
Finally, we need to follow-up and confirm the success of our mitigation efforts. This ensures that the new system will not produce any unseen difficulties for the organization. Also, we need to verify that the change is going to leave the system running smoothly and safely. Once all of these steps have been completed in their entirety, then the change can be closed.
After closure, we still have one final but critical step remaining. We must perform surveillance audits to confirm the changes were carried out consistently and the system is being used as intended. Comprehensive process audits are a great way to determine implementation results. Randomly selecting a few processes related to the change and auditing them is a good way to achieve this. It is important to remember that audits should be performed at periodic intervals. The frequency of audits depends on several factors, but should be scheduled in a manner that guarantees the sustainability of the change.
Accupoint Software is a global provider of innovative compliance management systems. Our integrated platforms streamline business processes, increase customer satisfaction and help organizations navigate today’s complex regulatory requirements.
Securing materials and equipment is the first step in the supply chain. A company's competitiveness is directly influenced by the performance of suppliers. A supplier that does not perform well can add costs, cause serious delays and can damage your company's reputation. It is imperative to have a system to evaluate your suppliers. It will help you determine potential problems like low standards of quality, poor communication, and substandard resources. Every company needs to have a supplier evaluation model in place to measure a supplier's ability to comply with their contractual obligations.
Supplier evaluation will identify their strengths and weaknesses. Several criteria should be considered including quality, delivery, service, and flexibility. Generally, the most important factor is quality followed by delivery, service and then flexibility. An effective means of evaluating suppliers is assigning them to one of four categories based on performance: full partner, associate partner, high risk and incapable. A full partner meets or exceeds all expectations. An associate partner needs some work, but performs well overall. A high risk supplier must be carefully evaluated. They can be used for the production currently underway, but future contracts require consideration. An incapable supplier will be dropped as soon as possible as they cannot properly fulfill their obligations.
A full partner must be compatible with you company’s current and future business plan. They will always demonstrate high quality, on-time delivery, superior service and flexibility. The supplier participates in your automatic ordering system. They will provide full support quickly, and be available anytime for questions. A full partner should also assist with new designs and provide samples within one to two weeks. They will demonstrate an ability to develop new processes and be committed to research and development. They will not ship out-of-spec parts, and have well documented quality controls. They will optimize lead times and allow order flexibility within reason. They will show commitment to cost reductions and share their cost structures and pricing models.
An associate partner will meet most of the criteria of a full partner. The associate partner should demonstrate a commitment to improving quality and delivery. You can work with them to develop action plans to meet your goals. The supplier must fulfill the needs of your company. They should be willing to work toward meeting the criteria to become a full partner.
High Risk Partner
A high risk partner is not compatible with the goals of your company. Their current quality and delivery are acceptable to maintain current production, but there is no benefit in expending the resources to bring them to associate or full partner status. The cost and quality are below your company’s acceptable standards.
Incapable suppliers do not meet quality standards. They do not demonstrate the capability of improving quality, delivery, service or flexibility. These suppliers must be dropped immediately.
Evaluating the performance of suppliers using an Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) model helps to determine the importance of each criterion and interpret the findings. You will determine what is most important for your company, and use that to rate your suppliers. Supplier can be measured based on the four main criteria: quality, delivery, service and flexibility. To determine the rest of the criterion you should consider whether the attributes are “soft” criteria (like supplier commitment or service) or “hard” quantifiable criteria (like the supplier's ability to fulfill orders). When thinking about cost, consider that the total cost of a product includes all the factors that go into getting your product to market in addition to its initial procurement cost.
For further information on how Accupoint can help your critical supplier management process, contact us today.
The petroleum industry requires dangerous work. Protecting personnel from injury requires rigorous monitoring and training protocols and scrupulous attention to reporting, prevention and data analysis when an accident occurs. Here are three fundamental concepts to keep in mind when designing an effective injury management program:
1) Know your hazards. Most injuries in the petroleum industry fall into one of two large categories: safety-related injuries and health-related injuries.
Safety-related injuries include those related to:
Health-related hazards include:
Be aware of where each of these may appear in your site or team workflows and make sure preventive and responsive protocols are in place to deal with each.
2) Manage your risks. A robust risk management program has the following 7 steps:
3) Design a program that works. Effective injury management programs must satisfy the following requirements:
If you adhere to the guidelines above when designing and refining your injury management program, you will be able to anticipate problems more effectively and resolve them more efficiently. For more information on how Accupoint’s web-based solution can help you improve your injury management program, please contact us today.
There is always the potential for accidents in any work environment. Properly utilizing OSHA's LockOut/TagOut (LOTO) procedures can help you greatly reduce the risk of injuries while performing maintenance on hazardous machinery.
It's more than simply putting a tag or a lock on the machine that's being worked on, though. Making sure that you know all of the required steps of the LOTO procedures will help you ensure you're creating the safest environment possible for your employees.
Training your team to effectively enact the LOTO procedures is important, but don't forget that it's ultimately up to you to make sure they are being followed properly. To learn how Accupoint Software can help improve your LOTO process, please feel free to contact us.