Procedures are extremely important in any business. Not only do they help tell employees how and why a task is completed in a certain manner, but they can also help show that the company is compliant in regards to regulations as well. For this reason, having proper procedure management is a must in any business.
When it comes to procedures, there are a few things that auditors will look for first. For example, auditors will look to determine if the procedure was put through the proper approval process. Also, auditors will look to see if a system is in place that can objectively review a procedure. In order for businesses to answer these questions, proper documentation must be gathered.
One of the most difficult things about procedure management is keeping track of documentation. Since there are many ways that employees can correspond with one another, there are many documents that may surface in the process of developing and maintaining a procedure.
For example, while email correspondence may be available for one procedure, physical, paper documents may be available for another. Because of this, many companies choose to rely on specific software to keep track of all the documents related to the procedure process. Through this software, auditing procedures is a much simpler process.
Software can also benefit a company because it provides the ability to store procedures in a convenient location. Not only will this help to streamline the audit process, but it will also help ensure that procedures will be completed as directed.
To learn more about Accupoint’s comprehensive procedures management and document control functionality, contact us www.accupointsoftware.com or call us toll-free at 800.563.6250 to arrange for a platform demonstration.
Manufacturing today has come a long way in ensuring quality product is going out to their customers. Both manufacturers and service supply organizations are expected to maintain high quality standards. This is especially true in the petroleum and natural gas industries. By implementing our up to date compliance solutions, one can be assured of attaining and maintaining this goal. Whether you are a small company or large, global or local, we have the solution for you.
A lot of changes have been made in the petroleum and natural gas industries; new standards have been set and by using our Quality Management System you can stay ahead of the pack. With an effective Quality Management System in place, you assure your customers that everything is being done to produce the highest quality product. It is a competitive field; you need to show your customers, you can give them what they need to stay on top.
You will find Accupoint's compliance solutions are easy to integrate with all of your customers’ requirements into one simple cloud based program that can be accessed from anywhere. PC, smart phone, tablet, its there! Whether in the office or on the run, everything you need is at your fingertips. Keeping up to date with any changes is important in maintaining high standards; with alerts and email notifications you can ensure costly mistakes are avoided. So, next time someone says "get your head out of the clouds" tell them you're working, in the cloud.
Please contact us and request a demo. We are more than happy to demonstrate what we have, and how our compliance solutions can help your business.
Despite the bitterly cold, and blistering winter the Eastern Seaboard has just fought through, the mild and almost non-existent winter of the West Coast has the US using 30 percent less natural gas than we did last year. And now according to The Fiscal Times, "there is over 1,470 billion cubic feet of natural gas in storage." With the peak season over, improved natural gas pipelines, and this increase in supply, the US is experiencing the lowest price for natural gas in three years.
The improved pipeline situation is a result of new pipelines, and older ones being re-purposed, making it easier to get the gas where it needs to go at a fraction of the cost, and ultimately driving down the end price as well. The US Energy Information Administration claims, "The US natural gas pipeline network is a highly integrated transmission and distribution grid that transports natural gas to and from any where in the continental US. The grid is comprised of more than 210 natural gas pipeline systems, over 300 thousand miles of interstate and intrastate transmission pipelines, more than 11 thousand delivery points, 24 market centers or hubs, and 400 underground natural gas storage facilities."
It's likely that natural gas drillers, coal mining companies, and coal plant owners will be the hardest hit by the low prices, and will have to make strong and effective decisions to improve their operations in order to absorb some of the lost revenue. While consumers, and utilities that own their own power plants will come out ahead. It will be imperative for drilling companies to increase their productivity by deploying advanced technology, more efficient equipment, and smarter operating software systems. The natural gas industry certainly isn't going anywhere, and will most like come out of the price plummet situation more streamlined, effective, and prosperous. Please contact us today to increase your competitive edge with comprehensive quality management solutions that are designed to help companies optimize decision-making capabilities, and improve their bottom line while offering a flexible, cloud-based platform.
In recent years, a number of well-known companies have experienced high profile quality defects. These defects have led to negative media attention, impacting the public perception and financial health of the organizations. In looking for the root cause of these quality defects, it is important that to remember that the results are always a combination of process as well as management failures. Ultimately, management is the driver of the corporate quality culture.
As a result of these failures, management teams are starting to realize that quality not only comes from processes and equipment, but from motivated workers as well. Companies are finally embracing the idea that quality is everyone’s responsibility. Every level of the organization, from the CEO to the new hire on the floor, has a responsibility for the success or failure of the Quality Management System.
And while progress is being made, still more work needs to be done. Talk is cheap, and management’s message that “people are the lifeblood of the organization” needs to be backed up with tangible actions. Empowering employees with more responsibility in the quality of the product or service, makes good financial sense and goes a long way towards establishing a corporate culture where quality is an essential element of the overall business strategy. It also leads to employee engagement and accountability.
People fundamentally want to be acknowledged and appreciated for their contribution to the organization. They want to take pride in a job well done and be successful. Companies that encourage this culture are sure to outperform their competition.
To learn how Accupoint’s flexible QMS solutions can help impact your organization's quality culture, visit www.accupointsoftware.com or call us toll-free at 800.563.6250!
In today’s post, we would like to discuss one of the essential additions to Spec Q1-9th edition: Risk Assessment and Management.
With the Deepwater Horizon incident of 2010 still fresh in our minds, we are all aware of the consequences of failing to acknowledge and address risks. However, it’s also important to realize that catastrophic incidents are neither inevitable, nor something we should have to accept as we pursue operations. Correctly managing our technology and processes can allow us to mitigate risk without impacting productivity.
To begin, let’s take a look at the requirements of Spec Q1-9th edition standard:
The organization shall maintain a documented procedure to identify and control risk associated with impact on delivery and quality of product. The procedure shall identify the techniques, tools, and their application for risk identification, assessment, and mitigation.
Risk assessment associated with product delivery shall include:
a) facility/equipment availability and maintenance; and
b) supplier performance and material availability/supply
Risk assessment associated with product quality shall include
c) delivery of non-conforming product
d) availability of competent personnel
Records of risk assessment and management including actions taken shall be maintained.
Spec Q1 emphasizes the importance of managing the risks related to facilities, equipment, materials, non-conformities, and personnel. So let’s explore the concept of risk management more fully, and review some composite factors that have been identified in past incidents:
1. Lack of Commitment-. Management sets the tone and culture of an organization, and there is a strong correlation between the level of managerial commitment and corresponding incident rates.
2. Flawed Management of Change- A large percentage of incidents take place after changes to a process or procedure. Implementing an effective management of change procedure and, more importantly, evaluating those efforts can dramatically reduce incident rates.
3. Inadequate Focus- In the race for productive operations, organizations tend to place an emphasis on response, rather than prevention. Building risk management into your processes from the beginning can help reverse that trend and lead to positive impacts to the corporate culture.
4. Ineffective Communications- In many cases, information is spread throughout the organization, with different departments having a piece of the puzzle. As an organization grows, this problem becomes worse. An effective risk assessment/management system reduces barriers to communication and improves communication systems.
In our next post, we’ll look at ways in which technology can be used to mitigate the items identified above and help your organization develop a world class compliance management system.
For more information on how Accupoint ‘s solutions can help your organization manage risk, contact us at 800.563.6250 or visit our website to arrange a demonstration of our flexible, cloud based API Spec Q1 management solution.
Asset management is a key component of limiting risk and liabilities in any organization, but none more so than in oil & gas service providers. As this article in the Oil & Gas Journal makes clear, a consistent and thorough plan of preventive maintenance can not only steer your organization clear of costly fines and insurance premiums, but can also save you millions in reduced downtime and damage and, indeed, save lives.
Most often, catastrophic equipment failures are not the result of a single individual or factor. Rather, it is the result of a systemic failure to implement proper procedures, to ensure appropriate training is conducted, and to maintain equipment consistently and effectively.
Created as a result of the Deepwater Horizon incident, this is precisely what the API Spec Q2 standards aim to remedy.
According to the API Spec Q2 guidelines, “the organization shall maintain a documented procedure for the establishment of a PMITP [Preventive Maintenance, Inspection, and Test Program]. The procedure shall address record keeping requirements, inspection, maintenance, redress, repair, make-up, testing, and acceptance criteria for service-related product.”
Specifically, this PMITP must include, at a minimum:
However, imagine integrating all of these components, including preventive maintenance planning, into one, seamless application. Moreover, imagine an application that can put all this information in your hands at the touch of a button, whenever you need, wherever you need it.
Contact us at Accupoint to see how we can help streamline your asset management and make your preventive maintenance planning as simple as possible.
Most of us take it for granted that employee training and education are important components to any successful organization. The history of extraordinarily successful companies is littered with stories of the ways in which organizations cultivate their human capital (Google, Anadarko Petroleum, and American Express are but a few examples).
I wanted to share a brilliant article by Jim L. Smith in Quality Magazine this month that spells many of the key components managers should consider when implementing training programs for employees. One item of note is the potentially inhibiting use of ROTI [return on training investment]: Mr. Smith notes:
“The greatest waste in America is failure to use the abilities of people...Management expects training to pay large dividends immediately. A rule of thumb is that if ROTI is less than 3:1, then training should not be considered unless it’s mandated.”
This may be an erroneous rubric for two reasons. 1) Management is responsible for removing barriers to good, productive work. Management must continually and consistently encourage and reinforce new skills and behaviors. 2) Newly trained employees will demonstrate their new skills over the course of their careers. To put an arbitrary dollar figure on an arbitrary time period is to limit the opportunities of your employees to demonstrate new knowledge and impact your organization in a positive way.
A second notable article was Leonard Vroegindewey’s great blog post about getting Millennials to buy into safety programs. Given the tremendous role Millennials will play in the workforce in the coming years, it is imperative that employers find innovative ways of capitalizing on their inherent desire for interactivity, social connection, and demand for improved workspaces. Importantly, employers must find better ways of integrating technology into training programs. Do you have any suggestions for how this can be done? Follow us on Twitter and let us know!
So, bottom line, what does this mean for your organization?
API Spec Q1/Q2 lay out strict guidelines for planning, implementing, and documenting worker training and work environment. But this is just the beginning. Knowledgeable and empowered employees are more responsible for their work and their environment. As a result, organizations see improvements in morale, attitude, and, most importantly, a reduction in the cost of quality. These employees comprehend and control their processes, which translates to fewer defects, improved customer satisfaction, and, ultimately, improved profitability for your organization.
Contact Accupoint Software today to learn how we can help transform your organization by streamlining your training process.
Following the traditional headlines, there is a deeply misguided pessimism in the media when it comes to manufacturing in the United States. Given the recent political/economic issues, it seems the days when the Big Three automotives, US Steel, and other industrial giants dominated the global landscape are long gone.
Moreover, people seem to have lost faith in the opportunities manufacturing can provide as a career. Production is seen as something dirty, unsafe, with long hours and low pay that will only worsen as employers outsource production to China and other BRIC nations.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
America remains the wealthiest, most productive country on Earth, due, in large part, to the resurgence of manufacturing and the burgeoning shale-energy industry. Moreover, the United States continues to lead the world in technology, innovation and advanced manufacturing. Furthermore, as with the rise of the middle class in emerging markets and the maturing of the global labor force, more companies are looking to “homesource” production in the United States. Organizations such as the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition are similarly dedicated to showcasing the wonderful opportunities present in the manufacturing sector, from skilled laborers to quality inspection to supervisory/management roles.
Today, on October 4th, we celebrate National Manufacturing Day, during which we celebrate our roots as the greatest industrial power the world has ever seen and aim to change the perception of manufacturing. Accupoint is proud to take part in this educational effort. We service some of the country’s most innovative. Every day, we grow more and more impressed and excited at the prospects for manufacturing.
Please join us today in sharing in the pride of the companies that built America’s past and will continue to build its future.
To find out how Accupoint can help you build a world class organization, call us toll-free at 800.563.6250.
There’s a great discussion regarding QMS going on over at the ISO 9001 LinkedIn boards. Unfortunately, we’re still seeing the mindset that QMS software can’t or doesn’t add value to companies, much less create a competitive advantage or generate profit. Our friend Dave Gentile even goes so far as to suggest that Word documents are sufficient for navigating today’s complex quality control operations. At Accupoint, however, we believe QMS is more than compliance or preparing for quality audits. QMS is about creating better prepared, more agile organizations.
It’s an old cliché that “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Yet, like all clichés, hidden just beyond its inanity is its truth: the first step to making decisions that positively impact your organization is possessing high-quality information. Furthermore, to set yourself apart from your competitors, it’s imperative that you find new and innovative ways of collecting that information, provide enterprise-level access to that information, and then use that information correctly. An effective QMS, particularly Accupoint’s solutions, can help you do just that.
All across the manufacturing and oil & gas sectors, Accupoint’s family of knowledge management solutions have given our clients the power to transform information into knowledge that gets results. Our intuitive user-interface integrates quality, health and safety, and environmental management modules into one seamless application. This results in less training, less hassle, and more accurate reporting. Furthermore, our solutions are cloud-based and designed specifically for point-of-operation use. This means everyone from your production managers to control/compliance officers to your c-level executives can access our application on any mobile device. By making it easy to report quality issues and access real-time data, our application helps organizations emphasize prevention, rather than crisis management.
QMS isn’t just about compliance. QMS is about creating progressive, flexible, adaptable organizations that are always seeking improvement. The fact that you’ve found us is the first step. Let us help you make the next one.
For more information on how Accupoint can help streamline your Quality Management Software needs, call us toll-free at 800.563.6250
[Youngstown, Ohio, August 13]—Accupoint Software today announced it will join more than 100 exhibitors at the YOUNG 2013 Conference & Expo taking place in Youngstown, Ohio, Sept. 12 and 13, 2013. YOUNG 2013 is the premier Utica Shale show in Ohio and will be packed with exhibitors, experts and attendees from the shale industry and related industries and suppliers.
Accupoint Software will exhibit its flexible, cloud-based solutions in booth #113 on the YOUNG 2013 show floor.
In addition to the exhibition, Accupoint will be presenting an informational session on the API Q2 Specification. Jeff Cianciola, of Accupoint Software, will provide insights on how API Q2 differs from previous compliance standards and how it will affect industrial professionals.