With the changing landscape of the oil and gas industry, companies are under increasing pressure to improve operational efficiencies as prices continue to remain low and margins are narrowed. In order to reduce costs and improve efficiency, many organizations are adopting a structured quality management system (QMS).
Health & Safety
Due to the hazardous environment that many oil and gas companies operate in, the federal government along with the International Organization for Standardization developed a standard for Process Safety Management procedures and protocols. While this addresses the procedures to prevent major chemical accidents and occupational safety hazards, it is limited in encompassing the operational aspects of the industry.
The goal, is to develop an oil and gas compliance solution that includes industry best practices for all systems such as service quality, risk assessment, employee training, document control, corrective actions and preventive maintenance. A comprehensive solution may seem difficult for our complex industry; however, incorporating common standards of practice is essential to realizing integrated operational excellence.
Clients and Stakeholders
Both clients and stakeholders, are becoming increasingly demanding regarding the standardization and regulations that those companies they do business with must comply with. As an example, many customers are now requiring that their service supply organizations comply with the API Spec Q2 requirement. Using a system designed specifically for this standard streamlines the administration and reporting of said requirements.
A quality management system increases efficiency and collaboration. It ensures compliance and provides metrics reporting to prove such compliance. It defines strategies, goals and best practices and the means to secure them. A good quality management system is, however, only as good as the team behind it. Ensure that policies and procedures are in place that clearly communicate expectations and requirements.
The Bottom Line
Planning and control of critical tasks is required to minimize risks and improve operational efficiency. A comprehensive management solution can connect multiple locations with secure, real-time communications, thus providing instantaneous performance feedback. Furthermore, deployment of an effective quality management system tells your customers that you are at the top of your class and aiming for the best in products and services, ultimately ensuring customer loyalty through operational efficiency
For more information on how Accupoint Software can help you implement a quality management system specific to your needs, please contact us today.
Preventive maintenance refers to the practice of keeping machinery and equipment up-to-date in order to prevent problems before they occur. Preventive maintenance is important in all types of businesses, but particularly in the petroleum industry.
Both the API Spec Q1 & API Spec Q2 standards require a documented preventive maintenance program, specifically section 5.7.8 in both standards. The goal here is to keep all equipment in working order as a means to minimize risk and improve operational efficiency.
The best practices for preventive maintenance include creating a preventive maintenance plan and carrying out the plan effectively.
Create or Review Your Preventive Maintenance Plan
What are the specific preventive maintenance needs of your facility? Take into account your facility size, types of machines used, and other unique factors. If you don't currently have a plan in place, you will need to create one. Existing plans can benefit from periodic reviews.
Management should agree on a definition of what preventative maintenance means for your facility before you begin creating or revising a plan.
Take an inventory of each machine and its specific maintenance needs. Include both cleaning requirements and upkeep for each machine. Create a schedule for long- and short-term maintenance.
Organize your maintenance schedule using computer software. With so many types of machines with different needs, software can help keep everything organized and easy to keep track of.
Physical observation of machinery will also be necessary. Schedule walk-through examinations of machines by qualified employees.
Keep Employees Informed
Employees need to be aware of the preventive maintenance plan, especially those who will be conducting the inspections or performing the maintenance. Emphasize the importance of preventive maintenance and its role in your business's continued success.
Keep up with the Plan
Ensure employees carry out the plan by keeping up with inspections, cleaning, and other periodic maintenance. Software that creates work orders can make sure the preventive maintenance of your facility is implemented smoothly.
Creating or updating your preventive maintenance plan doesn't have to be difficult and time-consuming. The work you do in advance could save you time and money later on. To find out how Accupoint Software can help streamline your preventative maintenance plan, contact us.
Companies relying on the traditional spreadsheet to manage their QMS often find it to be overwhelming to manage as the data volume continues to grow. Those working using spreadsheets have to contend with issues like how best to collaborate when working within the same sheet or how to maintain data integrity. Quality management software can be advantageous for organizations that want to save time and improve productivity when managing data.
Barriers with the traditional spreadsheet
Traditional spreadsheets can be challenging to keep updated. Different individuals working on the same spreadsheet can lead to versioning issues where it’s difficult to keep track of the most current file. Collaboration within a spreadsheet is also limited. Comments can be hidden or mistakenly overlooked due to the very layout of the spreadsheet. Working within multiple spreadsheets can lead to difficulty when reconciling data. One version may have been edited with the current information, while a team member works concurrently on a different file at the same time, making updates to a different item. It can be challenging reconciling the two versions. Quality management software makes for a good alternative to the long and often cumbersome spreadsheet.
Top advantages of a quality management software solution
Millions of companies are utilizing quality management software solutions to answer the need for a better way to manage data and information. Both management and team members alike recognize the value in being able to better manage large volumes of data in order to improve their information flow.
Adopting Quality Management Software (QMS)
Accupoint’s quality management systems can automate your program updates based on parameters set. This means that you don’t have to worry about changing and overhauling your system because the solution evolves as your business needs do.
Cutting costs with accurate real-time data and improved collaboration are the most common reasons for making the switch to a quality management software solution. Better reporting, collaboration, data integrity, and automated program updates become possible with the right system and solution in place. Excel spreadsheets can serve a purpose for a specified amount of time when data is limited in volume. As the amount of data grows, management must be prepared to evaluate quality management systems if they are to remain productive.
For more information on Accupoint solutions or to schedule a platform demonstration, please call us toll-free 800.563.6250 or visit us at www.accupointsoftware.com
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.
When it comes to quality management standards, complying with the latest revisions is key. A big change is underfoot in the standards world, with the release of the new ISO 9001 standard. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) reviews all standards every five years to ensure they are up-to-date and comparable with the modern market, and since the latest ISO 9001 was released in 2008, a revision has been long-awaited.
However, there is no need to fret about a complete overhaul of your system; the 2015 update is just that - an update. The ISO reports that the main change with the new standard is a restructuring
"to make it easier to use in conjunction with other management system standards, with increased importance given to risk."
If your business is registered to the 2008 version of ISO 9001, you have a three year span to update your quality management system to the 2015 version. The new standard was just released in September of this year, meaning that you have until September of 2018 to fully integrate it into your quality management protocols. However, as with anything safety and quality related, it is better to update to this revised standard sooner rather than later.
More information on the new ISO 9001 standard can be found on the ISO's website, where you can watch a quick video outlining the main changes within the new standard.
If you have any questions on ISO 9001:2015 and how Accupoint can help you meet the new requirements, please contact us at 800.563.6250 or visit us at www.accupointsoftware.com.
For any business, the more efficient your business processes are, the lower your business costs will be. Identifying the appropriate corrective actions not only eliminates poor practices, it also ensures that your business is in compliance with applicable API standards.
There are many reasons why corrective actions become necessary. Those reasons can include process issues, customer complaints, or improper training among other things. Effective corrective actions should be informed by data that is gathered throughout the productions cycle. The most effective way to gather this data is through the utilization of software. Through automation, it will be easier to see process dependencies that may not be apparent if each stage and its supporting processes were looked at individually. This approach eliminates the likelihood that a corrective action in the production process has a negative impact on processes that follow it, like packaging and shipping.
Choosing comprehensive quality management software that includes data collection for corrective actions will help ensure that your micro decisions are made with considerations for the macro business environment. The software should also allow you to quickly gather information to assess the impact of corrective actions to make ongoing changes rapidly if needed. And, the software should have functionality to generate real-time reports to support recommended corrective actions to win company buy-in.
Accupoint Software empowers companies to make optimal decisions to improve productivity and drive more efficient operational procedures. For more information on how Accupoint can help you manage your corrective and preventative action programs, visit www.accupointsoftware.com or call us at 800.563.6250.
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.