Process excellence and quality management systems have the power to transform entire organizations into lean, highly efficient cash flow machines that exceed customer expectations. While quality management systems, including API Spec Q1 or API Spec Q2, comprise different tiers and tools there are common methodologies for monitoring and improving quality within companies. Two common tools include standard operating instructions and quality auditing.
Standard Operating Instructions
Standardizing processes and systems is a critical step in quality assurance and enhancing operational efficiency. After benchmarking a process, the next step is to measure, analyze and improve it, leading to benefits for employees, customers and businesses. Writing a standard operating instruction is part of standardizing a process, so that subject matter experts along with management can analyze and improve it. These written instructions are either detailed or in an outline form, depending on the needs of employees and management.
Product, process and system audits improve the way individuals and teams function within organizations. These audits examine what the ideal process or system is relative to current state operations. This element of a quality management system is also closely tied with corrective action requests, which take a systematic approach to identifying and solving operational deficiencies. Independent audits related to efficiency and effectiveness have the power to drive quality and innovation in functional departments across organizations.
For additional information on quality management systems and the power of process excellence to improve your business, please contact us today. System optimization can take your business to the next level, with the proper planning and professional support.
An internal quality audit is folded into a company’s corrective and preventative practices. The audit takes a snap shot of the organization’s compliance procedures, and then analyzes that snapshot to identify potential problems. In the oil and gas industry, internal audits are an integral part of the quality management system.
To that end we have outlined 5 key steps to ensure that your internal audit process is effective:
Oil and gas concerns are usually multi-state and multi-location enterprises with hundreds, if not thousands of employees. The compliance audits for the oil and gas industries are exhaustive and complex. Effectively managing the audit function will ensure compliance to customer requirements, as well as related regulations and standards. For more information on how Accupoint Software can help improve your internal audit process, please contact us.
Many service supply organizations are using internal audits as a method to improve operations and impact their bottom line. In addition to being required by API Spec Q2, an effective audit program will highlight potential problems areas, identify failure points, and determine the effectiveness of controls.
Internal auditing provides the mechanism that organizations use to examine business processes and evaluate compliance with both internal and external requirements. Successful auditing incorporates best practices and other tools to provide maximum impact. To that end, we have outlined five useful tips to help advance your next internal quality audit.
1. Strong Attention to Detail
It is important for internal auditors to note and document evidence throughout the auditing process. These notes are used later to analyze events and reconstruct specific situations. This does not mean that auditors should focus on tiny, unimportant details through nit-picking, but rather components that are a part of a bigger issue that can be addressed.
2. Friendly Attitude
Stress levels are already high when employees are dealing with an audit. If an internal auditor is aggressive, hostile, or difficult to deal with, employers often minimally engage and will not share as much. If an internal auditor presents with a friendly attitude and is open, they will be more likely to get feedback. The last thing an auditor wants to do is put an employee on the defensive or make them feel ill at ease.
3. Reporting Supported by ChecklistsInternal auditors use checklists to balance reporting and should ensure that they are clean and support numerical values and ratings. These checklists enable companies to report on growth as well as challenges that exist across various departments. These reports are essential and allow businesses to assess whether their improvement efforts are working, and what training is needed to reach their goals.
4. Generation of Auditing TeamsInternal auditing teams can be very successful, especially with all the documentation that goes into completing an audit the right way. While a single auditor would be responsible for actively listening while documenting their findings, a team can allocate responsibilities to various areas such as recording, listening, and documenting. This way, all team members can collaborate to ensure no information is overlooked.
5. Looking at the Whole Picture
When an internal audit is taking place, the auditor or team should be able to look at the picture as a whole, incorporating current situations as well as past audit results. Focus should take place on past issues to determine whether they have been corrected and closed before reassessments take place in the same area. This is a delicate balance that will prove most effective and time efficient.
In addition, there are numerous best practices that should be examined in relation to internal audit activities. An internal audit is usually successful when the auditor is able to implement the following activities.
For more information on how we can help manage your internal audit process, please call us at 800.563.6250 or visit us at www.accupointsoftware.com.