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.
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Not too long ago, only large companies could afford the advantage of software to improve production, efficiency, and safety. The high price tag resulted from the nature of on-site software. Not only was the price for the product high, but also clients were charged fees for service and training on the software that could dwarf the cost of the product. This structure prevented many budget-conscious firms from purchasing software that could benefit them.
Times have changed.
The increased availability of SaaS (Software as a Service) applications have made it possible for companies of all sizes to achieve the benefits that were once only attainable by larger firms. On-site software has the distinct disadvantage of requiring installation whereas SaaS requires no installation because it operates in the cloud. This eliminates the need for additional personnel expenses to manage an on-site system. SaaS applications also do not require the frequent maintenance that is common with its on-site counterparts.
The SaaS model is ideal for firms that choose to operate in a cost-effective manner. You may have thought about software for your business but quickly dismissed it because of perceived costs. If your firm could benefit from a software application, don’t assume that it won’t fit your budget.
For more information on how Accupoint's flexible, cloud-based platform can provide your organization with a cost effective alternative to manage your compliance management systems visit Accupoint or call us at (800)563-6250 to learn more about our SaaS applications.
Internal audits are a great way to help improve the company’s processes, as well as identify areas for improvements. However many organization struggle to develop an effective and value added approach to performing an internal audit.
Conducting a successful process audit is a relatively simple process. In the past, I have utilized an approach that is illustrated using the following graphic:
standards, process set-up instructions, blueprints and inspection instructions. We can verify that these items were properly controlled and that the operator was using the most current revisions.
If we chose to, we could review training records of the operator(s) to verify that they have been certified to perform the process. In addition, we can review the inspection equipment used to check the product and verify that it has been properly calibrated.
We can review the inspection records, CAPAs, Deviation Requests or Customer complaints. In fact, there are no constraints as to where the audit trail can take us.
Using this approach we can get a very specific snapshot of operational compliance to required standards. Furthermore, utilizing audit results to drive continuous improvement yields enormous benefits to the organization.
For more information on how Accupoint Software can help your organization transition to an automated internal audit system, please call us at 800.563.6250 or click here for more information on our flexible, cloud-based compliance solutions.
Quality is crucial in the oil and gas industry. We are constantly adjusting and readjusting in order to improve our products and services. But even with this improvement, nonconformities will happen. So, in order to act responsibly, we must have plans in place when nonconformities occur.
The impending API Q2 Specification highlights controlling nonconformities. API Q2 stresses that your organization identifies responsible parties and have the proper procedures in place for tracking nonconformities in services or service-related products (SRP). When responding to these nonconformities it is important that you treat each incident appropriately and that the effect on the service performance is analyzed thoroughly.
Nonconformities should be handled in the following order:
1. Make a correction, or;
2. If correcting the issue is not possible, stop using the service-related product, or;
3. If neither option is acceptable, request a waiver or deviation from the customer.
Once you have identified and corrected the nonconformity, with CAPAs (if required) you need verify the action was effective. Throughout this process, you need to document required changes and communicate, if applicable, the information with your customer and other interested parties.
Control of nonconformities and related impacts are a focus of the new standard and it is important to manage the process in order to be in compliance with the requirements of API Q2.
Whether we are checking the weather or communicating with loved ones, technology has made a significant impact on our personal lives. As you might expect, these advances have also significantly impacted the business world.
Picture this. A quality manager needs to make sure that his organization is in compliance with ISO 9001. In order to do this, he needs to practice careful process and data management. Historically, organizations would spend countless hours every day manually recording metrics by hand and filing them away in hard copy. When it was time for an audit, the management representative had to dig through mounds of paperwork and hope that everything was where it was supposed to be. Once he finally retrieved all the information, it needed to be presented to the auditor who was required to wade through the stacks of records to ensure the processes were in compliance.
What is wrong with this scenario? The quality staff is shuffling through paperwork instead of monitoring operations to identify possible improvements. Additionally, cumbersome legacy systems are unorganized and confusing, which leads to mistakes and poor audit results.
With the advent of cloud-based technology, organizations can now cost effectively record quality data and develop metric reports with the click of a button. In addition, records are accessible anytime, from any web enabled device.
We have successfully integrated technology into our personal lives; why not improve our businesses as well? Technology has empowered quality managers everywhere to get back to the basics and focus on managing processes instead of drowning in a sea of unmanageable data.
Click here to find out how a cloud-based Quality Management System can help your organization.
If you are anything like me, you realize that sustainability is one of the biggest concerns that our planet faces today. As we become more environmentally responsible, green movements seem to be a focus of every industry. No industry has faced as much scrutiny as oil and gas has lately. So, when I see an example of responsibility, I like to take note of it.
Freshwater is a key component to the fracking process and hauling large quantities to dry areas is costly and inefficient. Not to mention the time and money required to transport the used water to underground disposal wells.
As a result of these issues, oilfield service companies such as Baker Hughes and FTS International have begun to treat the used water and reuse it in the fracking process.
This practice has spun off some benefits to surrounding stakeholders and businesses. The reduction in the transportation of water has drastically reduced the number of trucks on the road, thus reducing traffic in these fracking areas. Also, companies producing materials that aid in the treatment of used water are seeing an increase in business.
Given the benefits of recycling, likely accompanied by additional regulations for reusing fracked water, I expect this practice to become more prevalent in the oilfield service industry.
“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”
It may seem cliché, but in today’s hyper-competitive environment progress is essential to sustaining success. In my experiences, I have found that organizations that are constantly seeking areas for improvement will outperform a company that rests on its laurels.
Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) is an integral part of process improvement but it has never, and never will, yield perfect results. So, as quality advocates we must realize that once we run through one cycle of PDCA that additional changes will always be required to improve processes.
It’s easy for members of an organization to be satisfied with “well enough”. The problem with this mentality is that processes become obsolete now faster than ever. I have seen many processes that were seemingly fine, slowly erode due to complacency, wiping out that critical competitive edge. The best way to ensure a superior product or process is to be a promoter of continuous improvement.
There are many external factors that can negatively affect your company that you have no control over, but the best way to mitigate these risks is to constantly pursue perfection in those you can control.
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In my experience with audits, I have found that the organizations that prepare throughout the year are generally more successful than those that attempt a crash course weeks before an audit.
These last minute preparation efforts often lead to increased costs resulting from a redeployment of resources. In addition, it can contribute to confusion and frustration throughout an organization. This “cramming” often makes employees anxious, causing them to perform poorly.
Successful companies have transitioned to systemic, daily processes which has them constantly prepared for an audit. Not only does this improve the overall external audit process, it increases the productivity of the entire organization.
The most effective way to increase organizational preparedness is to perform regularly scheduled internal audits. These audits should carry the same significance as an external audit and the auditor, who is not responsible for the activity being audited, must have the ability to look critically at operations and report honestly without fear of reprisals. The company must take proper steps to continually improve internal processes, resulting in a more effective operational environment.
By instituting an effective audit management program, organizations have a tool to help streamline business processes, improve productivity and increase customer satisfaction