The API Spec Q1 standard requires that organizations “maintain a documented procedure for the establishment of preventive maintenance for equipment used in product realization." An effective PM program will reduce operating costs, improve product quality, and increase productivity for the company. Our goal is to minimize interruptions that adversely impact productivity. With that in mind, we thought we would take this opportunity to discuss a number of best practices around the preventive maintenance process.
1. Preventive Maintenance factors:
Understand that preventive maintenance schedules are based on a variety of inputs, including:
2. Develop an actual plan
Most plans can be formed with a triggering mechanism. This means that certain events are slated to occur at a specific interval. The schedule may be developed with a condition-based or company-based protocol. The preventive maintenance schedule should always be assigned to a particular trigger.
3. Form the plan with savings in mind.
The plan should be developed with a specific set of savings objectives. Metrics like the maximum manufacturing time available for each machine may be used to create the schedule. There may be some downtime required where minimal lost production opportunity time may be factored into the planning process. There may even be a schedule developed around the concept affecting the quality of products manufactured.
4. Make the system available to others.
Once the framework has been constructed, the information should be created in some sort of a computerized maintenance system. The system will be formalized and assigned to key personnel responsible for monitoring the maintenance to be performed. The Accupoint system allows tasks to be automated and scheduled in a manner where work orders are generated on a timetable.
5. Set routine maintenance.
Once routine maintenance schedules are established for one system, move on to another critical system. Again, set up maintenance schedules, documenting current conditions for future reference. An effective PM program can extend the asset life and ensures that it can be replaced as a scheduled event, rather than in an emergency situation.
6. Match the cost to the PM protocol developed.
It may be more cost-effective to perform a set of repairs simultaneously to a machine. It may also be much more cost-effective to take a reactive approach to maintenance. This approach may be better if this type of repair or maintenance duty doesn’t occur nearly as often.
In summary, a combination of inspections, repairs, and testing should be a part of any comprehensive preventive maintenance process. In addition, any credible program should be long-term in nature.
To find out how Accupoint can help manage your preventive maintenance management program, call us toll free at 800-563-6250 or visit us at www.accupointsoftware.com.
Maintaining a management system that is effective, satisfactory and suitable is a requirement of the API Spec Q2 standard. In fact, section 6.5 states:
“The organization’s quality management system shall be reviewed at least annually by the organization’s management to evaluate the quality management system’s continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness.”
To that end, we thought we would discuss a couple of items to help streamline your Management Review planning.
When to Have a Review
The standard requires that you review your system annually, at a minimum. However, best practice dictates that you schedule your reviews more often, say quarterly and focus on specific aspects during each session. Ultimately, this makes the process easier to manage and avoids duplication of efforts.
What to Include
When you are setting up your Management Review agenda, make sure to compile data for use in the discussion. Include internal and third party audit results, customer complaints, non-conformities and corrective action requests. Develop a schedule that allows you to review each aspect of the management system by the anniversary date. Be sure to allow for a discussion period, to address areas for improvement as well as ways that the system should be monitored.
Upon completion, prepare action plans to address required changes to processes, resources, and other items identified in the review.
Per the standard, the results of the Management Review must be documented and maintained. In addition, top management must review and approve the summary assessment. Results should be communicated with appropriate individuals throughout the organization. Finally, the results should be used to drive continual improvement efforts within the organization.
To find out how Accupoint can help streamline your Management Review and related processes, please call toll free 800.563.6250 or visit us on the web at www.accupointsoftware.com.
Happy and satisfied customers are the lifeblood of your business. Everybody knows that, but did you know that customer satisfaction should be built into your quality management system (QMS).
When you think about it, quality performance is first and foremost about meeting the needs and expectations of the customer. Therefore, we need to expand our definition of quality management to include customer satisfaction as a means of improving performance over the long term.
The following chart helps to illustrate the concept:
A comprehensive QMS should include components for monitoring and measuring customer feedback. It should contain effective procedures for the receipt, logging, evaluation, investigation & reporting of all issues raised by the customer. The results of this analysis should then be used as a driver for designing and implementing improvements to your system.
For more information on integrating customer satisfaction into your Quality management program, contact the Accupoint team toll-free at 800-563-6250 or visit us on the web at www.accupointsoftware.com
A chain is only strong as its weakest link. When it comes to controlling your supply chain, the better you are at understanding the entire chain and identifying weak links, the better your company will be in the long run.
In today’ post, we would like to present a couple of tips to help make managing your supply chain more effective.
Tip 1: Understand the big picture. Gather performance data on each vendor in the chain and update it constantly. If your data only includes some vendors or incomplete performance data, the picture of your supply chain is as incomplete as a jigsaw puzzle missing half the pieces. Without concrete data, you may have an idea of potential snags but ultimately you are guessing. As a result, you're not able to make the best decisions on how to resolve issues related to your operations.
Tip 2: Use integrated technology to manage your supply chain. Technology enables more efficient and effective data collection and analysis, giving you increased response time to head off potential problems. In addition, by using integrated technology you can improve communications with relevant stakeholders resulting in minimized disruptions to production.
The efficient use of supply chain controls enables your company to reduce costs and satisfy customer requirements. How well do you know your supply chain? Accupoint can help your organization to get a handle on comprehensive supply chain management. To find out how, visit us on the web at www.accupointsoftware.com or call toll-free 800.563.6520.
Technological innovation in hardware and software applications continues to make a major difference in how we live our lives and conduct our work.
This is especially true in the Oil and Gas industry. Just a decade ago, questions and answers had to go through phone calls, faxes or face to face meetings. Information was compiled and stored on paper documents in a limited number of locations. But today, questions can be answered instantly through e-mails and texts and information can be stored in one place yet easily accessed by an entire workforce via electronic devices.
Unfortunately, access to new technology alone does not guarantee improved results. We've all heard stories of someone we know with a phone that doesn't understand how to do the simplest tasks. Or of the company that purchased new software but never utilized it because the employees were uncertain of how to use it.
Here are two helpful reminders when considering new technology. First, educating and training the workforce is just as important as the technology itself. Products touted to save your staff time and energy cannot work if the staff doesn't fully understand how to use them. Be sure to factor training and support into any purchase decision. Give users the ability to ask questions and build a firm foundation of success.
Second, continue to incorporate mobile technology into your processes. Mobile adoption will continue to grow and will help drive improvements to organizational efficiency. Mobile computing can provide a variety of benefits to the Oil & Gas industry including: data capture in the field, ease of collaboration from multiple locations, and better decision making. Many organizations understand these benefits, but are not fully implementing it into their operations.
As with any new technology, there are issues to be addressed including: safety, data security and authorized areas for use. New technology has the potential to empower employees and increase productivity. Ultimately, you have to be willing to allocate the resources to get the technology into their hands and then make sure they really know how to use it properly.
To find out more about Accupoint’s mobile compliance technology, visit us at accupointsoftware.com or call us toll-free at 800.563.6250.
Internal audits are a key requirement of any Quality Management System. As you are aware, the internal audit is designed to measure the effectiveness of the system. With that in mind, let’s take a look at two basic components that are critical to audit success.
First, understand the motivation. Many look at internal audits as a necessary evil—a time consuming effort that drains people and resources away from daily operations. This thinking makes it difficult for the internal audit to be successful--unless your definition of success is that it's done and out of the way. We need to communicate the importance of the internal audit function to the rest of the organization. In addition, staff members should understand the benefits a successful internal audit program provides to the effectiveness of the organization.
Second, define the objective of the audit before beginning. In other words, plan the audit and execute to that plan. Determine specific processes that you are measuring and the acceptance criteria for determining success or failure. We can't make suggestions for improvement, if we don’t understand the status of the current process. When successfully executed, your internal audit is much more likely to result in streamlined operations and positive impacts to the bottom line.
Finally, keep in mind that an internal audit is a means to an end. It's like practice for a sports team. Practice isn't always the favorite part of any team’s schedule. However when the players become committed to practice as a way to evaluate and work on gaps, the end result is improved play during the next game. The same is true with an internal audit.
To learn more about how Accupoint can help your organization maximize the internal audit process, visit us on the web at www.accupointsoftware.com or call toll-free 800.563.6250.
A Quality Management System (QMS), when properly designed and implemented, provides great benefits to companies in the oil service industry. It enable the companies to do a better job of meeting customer demands while also improving the ability to deal with health, safety, and environmental issues. If you are given the responsibility of helping to design, evaluate, or implement a quality management system, here are some items to consider.
Be sure to include all parties in the process, not just the Quality Control Manager or Supervisors. Including members of all work groups and departments insures that various perspectives are considered in the creation of training and procedural manuals. This structure also insures that all of the final documentation is easily understood by the end users.
Avoid the downfall of creating paperwork just for the sake of having some type of documentation on file when the results are not really used or implemented. Instead, consider adding control plans, flow charts, and work procedures that are continually evaluated, revised when needed and put into practice. These documents can help to simplify the operations in a variety of locations throughout the company.
Finally, when designing your preventive maintenance program, don't just go by the manufacturers recommendations. Be sure to include the input of the operators who are actually using the equipment on a regular basis. Input from "real world" application can prove to be extremely valuable.
These are just few of the issues to consider when designing and implementing a QMS. The benefits of a well-designed QMS are numerous and include easy-to-access documentation, elimination of unnecessary documents, fewer on-the-job mishaps, more customer recognition, and of course, a benefit to the bottom line.
To learn more about how Accupoint Software can provide solutions to develop and simply your quality management system, call us toll-free at 800.563.6250 or visit us on the web at www.accupointsoftware.com.
Follow us on Twitter: @Accupoint_ and LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/accupoint-software
Youngstown, OH—August 25, 2014. Accupoint Software, LLC a global provider of compliance management software solutions, is pleased to announce our association with the Wollam Petroleum Advisory Group (WPAG), LLC. WPAG is a world recognized consulting firm that supports the oil and gas industry by working with operators, service providers, regulators and the American Petroleum Institute on the development of industry standards, training, and certification.
The change in focus on quality systems requires companies to rethink their approach to compliance. The distribution agreement between Accupoint Software, LLC and WPAG, LLC will utilize the specialties of both companies to assist manufacturers and service providers in meeting the ever-changing market demands as well as build progressive compliance management programs.
“Accupoint Software is extremely pleased to be working with such a progressive and successful organization, said Jeff Cianciola, CEO of Accupoint Software, LLC. Oil & Gas product and service providers are under increasing pressure from customers to comply with new compliance standards and regulations. We believe that this agreement creates a synergistic effect for our customers by combining leading edge technology with best practice consulting.”
"The combination of Accupoint and WPAG, LLC creates an exciting opportunity for the Industry," said Bryan Wollam, CEO, WPAG, LLC. "In addition to creating world-class products and services, this is a compelling strategic partnership which ensures the mitigation of risk and process optimization for both company’s clients. This agreement will yield many synergies and benefits to the industry today and in the years ahead. Jeff Cianciola and his team have created an innovative, comprehensive integrated platform, meeting the intent of API Q1 and Q2. Accupoint and WPAG, LLC will work together to deliver the most innovative IT solutions and services, which guarantees a superior customer experience within the highly competitive and dynamic marketplace in which we operate."
The agreement benefits client companies by delivering an innovative structure of consulting, training and solutions to provide a foundation for success.
About Wollam Petroleum Advisory Group, LLC
The Wollam Petroleum Advisory Group specializes in the development, implementation and sustainment of management systems that improve efficiencies while minimizing risks. WPAG has international experience with the development of industry standards, consulting, training, auditing, and inspection of both large and small operators, manufacturers, and service providers.
The Wollam Petroleum Advisory Group is a privately held corporation headquartered in Houston, Texas. For more information, go to: http://www.wollampag.com
About Accupoint Software, LLC
Accupoint Software LLC is a global provider of innovative compliance management systems. Our solutions empower companies of all sizes to make optimal decisions that improve profitability and positively impact operations. Our integrated platforms streamline business processes, increase customer satisfaction and help organizations to navigate today’s complex regulatory requirements.
Accupoint Software LLC is a privately held corporation headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio. For more information visit: http://www.accupointsoftware.com
Contingency planning is simply an outline of procedures to follow in case some major event impacts your operations. Technically, the contingency plan is a document that identifies the actions the organizations will take when a specified incident happens. The plan demonstrates that the organization has thought of ways to minimize the impact to its operations and by default the customer’s.
Below are 8 steps for effective contingency planning:
By following the steps outlined above, you will be able to create effective contingencies to address your business functions. Remember, contingency plans should be developed for critical processes, tasks and/or systems.
To learn how Accupoint can help you streamline contingency planning, call us toll-free at 800.563.6250 or visit us on the web at accupointsoftware.com.
Last week we talked about three crucial aspects of a great Management of Change (MOC) program. Those areas were the specificity and detail in the change requests, followed by risk and reward analysis, and the proper selection of a MOC evaluation team. This week we’re going to touch base on a few more important parts to a fully functional MOC program.
The new 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.
Be sure to check back in next week for part 3 of 3 on Accupoint’s overview of Management of Change. For more information on how Accupoint’s solutions can help streamline your MOC program, visit www.accupointsoftware.com or call us at (800) 563-6250.