2020 AND THE YEAR OF COVID-19 FREE OFFER

This year, 2020, is the year I celebrate 20 years as an independent management consultant specialising in ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and other standards.

Over 20 years, I have accumulated knowledge and experience across a variety of businesses and industrial sectors; these have included precision engineering, medical devices, beauty products production, aerospace, furniture design and manufacturing, printing, structural steel and construction.

I have been fortunate to have survived recessions, hard times and challenges, and learnt from all experiences. This learning never stops, and for all of this, I am grateful.

I have met some great people, from fellow consultants, who range from the funny and likeable, to the overly serious and the ones who only see other consultants as ‘the competition.’ Some weird and wonderful business owners and Managing Directors, some who think they are Gods in their own right, through to the eccentrics and down-to-earth, practical, likeable guys who are just trying their best. I have met certification body Lead Auditors – some of whom should look for other work. However, most are decent, hardworking professionals.

These people regardless of my opinions of them as people have helped to shape me as professional. They have entertained, enlightened, confused and taught me. To these people, who are far too many to mention, I am grateful. It is people who give people opportunities and make us laugh. I have had lots of laughs over the 20 years.

I have taken on challenges which I thought were way over my head, only to succeed. All of this gave me the confidence never to say ‘no’ without further exploration.

I have travelled all over the UK. However, nowadays, I like to work closer to home in Sussex and neighbouring counties.

As it is 2020, the year of COVID-19, we are not in a position to celebrate. I had planned to arrange and event but not now because of lockdown and social-distancing.

I would, however, love to give something back. I want to offer FREE consultancy to any small business who is struggling to get back on their feet post lockdown (from 2 to 50 employees) in the Sussex or surrounding counties.

If travelling is involved, I will charge expenses only.

This FREE offer will be based on a first-come-first-served basis and available only to companies struggling to get back on their feet.

STRESS VERSUS QUALITY MANAGEMENT

I appreciate there are always lots of posts and articles on social media about stress in the workplace. Some are good and useful information while most tell us nothing we have not heard before.

Whether we like it or not, stress is a part of modern living. It is something that we seldom have any control over. Even the most chilled people I know suffer from stress sometimes. It is perfectly natural.

Take BREXIT for example, I know two Managing Directors, who are real worriers about the potential outcome to their businesses. The worse thing being is they don’t know what to do about it. To worry about an uncertainty does not make sense and, although, they are trying hard not to let it show, it does. Therefore, as a result, their managers are worried too, and so it spreads through the ranks.

I often worry about some of the top management at some of my clients because I can see the effects of stress. I have been a management consultant for over 20 years. I can say that most cases of stress are avoidable, and when we look back are often trivial too. However, at the time they a perceived to be huge.

The connection between stress in the workplace and quality management is obvious. To obtain a high standard of quality, we need to manage performance. Stressful people can impact on performance. By removing stress, we reduce opportunities for errors.

We cannot exclude stress management from quality management.

Part of the role of a Quality Manager, in fact, all Managers, is to identify processes which are not effective or, as efficient as they could be and therefore, potentially stressful for the operator. You have a legal responsibility.

Tight deadlines, work overload and working below a person’s capabilities are just three causes of stress. Then there are other physical and human factors such as noise, workspace, light and ventilation, confrontation, discrimination, language, offensive posters and conversation. Causes that we would never even consider because we have grown up with them can be stressful for others from different cultures.

The first challenge when implementing an effective management system is to address the culture and current philosophy of the organisation. Not always an easy task.

People tend to hide stress, even to themselves. Stress can be a sign of weakness. There can be a stigma attached.

An employee failing to achieve the perceived level of quality desired may also see themselves a failing. Trying to achieve a high level of quality can be stressful.

A good question should be precisely how is the standard set? Is it too high, are we asking too much from the employee? Or is the employee doing more than necessary?

Of course, this all comes down to communication, to fully understand all needs and expectations, to be able to ask questions and receive answers.

Firstly, Quality Management is about planning and prevention. It all begins at the start. Anywhere else and we are firefighting. Firefighting is costly, stressful, and a waste of resource.

However, I know and have known Quality Managers who love firefighting and fixing problems that have occurred. They can then take the credit for right corrective actions. As often may be the case, detecting, hazards and risks early and preventing a problem from ever occurring does not always grab the attention and the brownie points.

So, this is all well and good, but what can we do to reduce stress in the workplace?

Well, firstly, we need to understand the workplace in question and its culture. To do this, we need to get to know the people.

As obvious as this sounds, I know Directors and Managers who do not know their employees or even their teams, as individuals.

Here is a list of my tips to help reduce stress (in no particular order):

  • Talk to each other;
  • Effective and commitment to leadership;
  • Share problems;
  • Mentoring and proper supervision;
  • A sense of humour;
  • Manage lead times and deadlines;
  • Maintain a safe and healthy infrastructure and working environment;
  • Ensure competence through effective instruction and training;
  • Listen;
  • Review working hours and break times;
  • Be nice;
  • Remove blame culture;
  • Encourage ownership, pride, and responsibility for actions;
  • Manage workload,
  • Encourage employees who have a desire to achieve more;
  • Review what the company needs and expects from its employees, at all levels, and if these needs and expectations are reasonable.
  • Adjust accordingly;
  • A happy workforce is a more efficient workforce
  • If you can’t change the people, change the people.

It does not matter whether you agree or not with the above statement or bullet points. The fact is that Stress and Quality Management are the same. By effectively managing one, you can reduce the other.

If you would like to discuss this further, please ring me on 07932 155 985 or 01273 510725

QUALITY MANAGEMENT PROJECTS AND MAIN CONTRACTOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES.

The past two years we have been involved with helping construction companies in Sussex, and Surrey improve their management systems this has included writing sustainable procurement policies and plans, and environmental, quality and occupational health and safety management systems.

Combined, we can develop an integrated management system to cover all aspects of the business.

Construction is considered a high-risk business, not just in respect of health and safety and environmental impacts, and we also need to consider the sometimes-complex supply and customer chain.

Most main contractors are coordinators and project managers having to rely on their partnership relationships with external professional bodies such as architects, structural engineers and skilled trades

There is growing pressure on construction companies to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and environmental performance. To removing, reducing and managing associated aspects and impacts, such as dust, pollution, noise and nuisance, waste and energy usage.

Sustainable policies and plans demonstrate a commitment and how a company intends to control the purchase of sustainable materials like wood – for example, the principles and values of the Forest Stewardship, against illegal logging and enforced labour.

On the same principle, we have also written anti-modern slavery policies.

All businesses are under more pressure to prove commitment to issues they may not have considered in the past. The risks have always been there, for example, information security. The risks were the same before as before GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations 2016), the new GDP Regulations have just made us all more aware.

With all that goes with the day to day running of a business and all the unforeseen issues to be dealt with, it is understandable that company directors and their management teams do not get the opportunities to write policies or implement effective management systems, internal audits, then train all staff members and relevant contractors.

The possible solution lies in outsourcing these processes.

This is where QM Projects comes in.

We are specialists in ISO 9001:2015. ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018, and we are competent trainers and internal auditors.

This is what we do, to leave you to do what you know best, which is running and growing your business.

A REVIEW OF 2018 – A GOOD YEAR FOR ISO STANDARDS AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT

This month I celebrate 19 years as an independent management consultant working with an extensive spread of businesses. Looking back over 2018 and, to the types of business sectors I have worked with, I consider it was a good year and felt this was an excellent opportunity to explain the kind of support we offer to businesses in different sectors.

Structural Steel Welders’ Fabricators

I am a sub-contract lead auditor for the Steel Construction Certification Services (SCCS) Ltd. and audit these companies against BS EN 1090 and ISO 9001:2015. I currently am the Lead Auditor for nine client companies, spread through the year.

Construction Main Contractors

We help these clients with maintaining and auditing their ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management); ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management); Management Training and Internal Audits. This is an exciting sector, and I would always welcome more opportunities in construction. I am currently helping three main contractor companies.

Specialist Printers

I have worked with this company for over eight years. We helped them implement ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 Integrated Management System and continue to maintain the system, process their internal audits and provide training when required.

General Digital Printers

We implemented ISO 9001:2015, but unfortunately, the company has since stopped training.

Office and Educational Furniture – design, manufacture and installation

This is another company we have known for about eight years. We helped them to implement ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and Forestry Stewardship Council, Chain of Custody certification.

Scientific Instrument Design and Manufacturer

We supported this company to implement an effective management system and to eradicate some bad habits. Gained ISO 9001. We are occasionally called back to provide some refresher training or to complete internal audits. In 2018 it was all about the transition to ISO 9001:2015.

Emergency and commercial vehicle transfers and applications

We have been working together for five years, and I am their external Quality / Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Manager. I maintain their integrated management system against ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, which includes training, internal audits and risk assessments.

Precision engineering sub-contractors including CNC laser cutting, water jet, CNC machining centers, (mills and lathes) fine fabrication. CNC brake press and metal forming

I am currently working with three such companies and I am a day-a-month Quality and Health and Safety competent person for one of the above. This is the sector where I started as a general machinist and setter/ operator factory supervisor back in the 70’s; from then it was aerospace and real quality engineering.

Lift Services – maintenance, repairs and installation

Implemented, maintain and audit their integrated management system to ISO 9001:2015 and OHSAS 18001.

Industrial IT Systems – IT infrastructure component suppliers

Implemented their system from a start-up with just the owner. I have continued to provide internal audits, advice (consultancy) and training.

Specialist injection moulders – research & development, design, manufacture and assembly.

A day per month. Implemented ISO 9001 and 14001, audits, training and problem-solving. HACCP ISO 22001.

Commercial Boilers / Heating installation and servicing

Transition to ISO 9001:2015.

Communication Technology providers

Transition to ISO 9001:2015

Curtain Walling and Aluminium Doors and Windows – design manufacture and supply/install to the construction sector

Implementation of ISO 9001:2015

Commercial Partitioning and Interiors – design and project management

Implementing ISO 9001:2015

Fertiliser Producers

I worked with a fertiliser producer some years ago and implemented ISO 9001. The owner purchased a property to start manufacturing, and I helped them adjust the management system to integrate manufacturing/blending and warehousing processes and the transition to ISO 9001:2015.

Medical and Boating Refrigerators – manufacture, calibration and test

I help to maintain ISO 9001:2015, internal audits, occupational health and safety competent person and risk assessments.

Specialist Roof and Canopies (steel fabrication) design, manufacture, and site construction

Initially implemented the Factory Production Control procedures to BS EN 1090-1 / 2 and ISO 3834-3. Called back in 2018 to help with their internal audits and the ISO 9001:2015 transition.

Electronic research and development – specialist product

Implemented ISO 9001 four years ago and return, once a year, for a couple of days.

Waste Paper/Shredding

I maintain their integrated management system, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Provide consultancy, internal audits and system updates.

Building Cladding Systems – purchase, warehousing, logistics, supply, (sub-contract installation teams)

Fire safety production testing verification and validation. Design of connection systems. Implemented ISO 9001. Consultancy, training and internal audits.

Luxury Bathroom Suites – design, manufacture, logistics and warehousing

Implemented ISO 9001:2015

Plant Hire (mainly to the construction sector)

Implemented ISO 9001:2015

Hopefully, the above might explain why I enjoy doing what I do. It’s the diversity and the characters of the people I meet and, the challenge and rewards in helping a company improve. The friendships. The training and the satisfaction gained from it. Not forgetting the stories of inspiration and motivation that many of these business owners tell; from an idea in a shed or on the kitchen table to very successful global businesses.

Most of the above projects are in Sussex with a few in the surrounding counties.

Some of the above are successfully concluding, and therefore, I am open for new projects to take forward.

Funding Options

If you are looking to implement ISO 9001:2015 Quality or ISO 14001:2015, there are some excellent Funding Options available. These have to be taken up by March 2019 and apply to manufacturing or design businesses whose head offices are in East Sussex.

This funding can help meet your costs of implementing an ISO standard, and I can help you with the application. Don’t delay; let’s talk about the options and contact me as soon as possible.

Please visit my website for more information or email me at ian@qmprojects.com

Ian Walker CQP MCQI

THE BENEFITS OF ISO 9001:2015

Every company is keen to offer customers and clients quality products and services but, at times, it is difficult to achieve. Companies can improve the quality and reputation of their business by implementing standards such as ISO 9001?

ISO 9001:2015 is the most recognised standard in the world. It is a quality management standard designed to increase effectiveness, efficiency and customer satisfaction through embedding a quality management system within the company. The aim is to increase productivity, reduce any unnecessary waste and costs while ensuring processes work efficiently and that the end services and products are manufactured to a high quality.

The 9001 standards can be applied to any businesses, and its general guidelines are flexible enough to be used across all sectors.

Companies and organisations who are planning to work towards any of the ISO standards may find it worthwhile to use a consultant who can support you, and your team, through the audits; advise on the most suitable processes, offer guidelines with paperwork and support the training of all staff. Your consultant should be competent in all aspects of business management systems, qualified, experienced, and a good communicator/trainer who you can work with as part of your team. Therefore, trust and integrity are important values to look for.

There is much to consider before setting out. ISO 9001 is not a rigid set of requirements but one that has to suit your own particular business. Various audits need to be undertaken including an internal audit to gather feedback from people who know the company well. There is also a second party audit to evaluate performance and/or a third-party audit when a UKAS accredited certification body comes to the organisation to carry out an evaluation. When this proves successful, your business will gain UKAS accredited 9001 certification. Implementing an effective management system is about adapting to a philosophy

The main principles of ISO 9001:2015 are:

  • Customer focus
  • Understanding the context of the organisation
  • Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties
  • Quality Management Policy and Objectives
  • Good leadership and commitment
  • Internal and external communications
  • Inclusion of staff
  • Addressing risks and opportunities
  • The management of the process
  • Internal Audits
  • The Management system Reviews
  • Continual improvement
  • A factual approach to decision making
  • Relationships with suppliers and other interested parties

If you would like to talk about ISO 9001, (Quality) 14001 (Environmental) or 45001 Occupational Health & Safety in more detail, or any of the other standards, please contact us on 01273 510 725. We are based in Newhaven, East Sussex but cover the whole of the south of England and London.

EXHIBITING AT BRIGHTON BUSINESS EXPO

We will be exhibiting at the Brighton Business Expo this year and it promises to be an exciting event for businesses looking to grow and prosper.
The event, on 11 October at the Brighton Race Course, is free to visit – more information here. The event will run from 10 am until 4 pm. There are dozens of business seminars and stands including our own at stand number 95 so why not come along and talk to us.
QM Projects can give you first-hand information about reaching those ISO standards and discuss the process you need to have in place. You can find further information here on all of the standards we offer including the two most popular ISO 9001 and 14001.
We hope to see you at the show on 11th October – do pop the date in your diary! Of course, if you can’t attend please give us a ring or fill in our contact form.

LAST CHANCE TO ACT – ISO 9001 AND ISO 14001 TRANSITION

ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 Transition

You only have until the September 15th 2018 deadline to adapt your ISO 9001:2008 and/or 14001:2004 to meet the requirements of the 2015 versions.

You cannot afford to leave the transition process too late.

We are specialists in this field.

Why has the ISO 9001 and 14001 Standard been revised?

The ISO review their standards every five years and revise if necessary. This ensures that they continue to be useful tools in an ever-changing business environment.

The way we do business is more complex than ever and customers have increased expectations and greater access to information. To reflect these changes, both the ISO 9001 and the ISO 14001 need to be relevant.

What is the difference between ISO 9001: 2008 and ISO 9001:2015?

The main difference is the structure which has been updated in line with ISO standards and the focus on risk-based thinking. Although this has always been part of the standard, it has increased prominence in the revised version.

What is the difference between ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 14001:2015?

The key changes with this standard are the structure, increased prominence of environmental management and leadership; improvement to environmental performance and better lifestyle thinking for environmental aspects; the addition of a communications strategy and the addition of proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm and degradation.

Have I left it too late to update the ISO 9001 and the 14001?

Your 2008 certificate will not be valid after September 2018, therefore, you only have until September 2018 to adapt. Each organisation is unique in what it needs to do and, if you contact us now, we may just have the time to help you achieve the new standards.

Talk to us about transitioning today and we will provide you with a quote and advise you on the transition time for your business.

Contact us now through our enquiry form or phone:

Ian Walker CQP MQCI

Principal Director and Consultant

T: 01273 510 725

M: 07932 155 985

ARUN TECHNOLOGY

Arun Technology are experts in metals analysis and launched the world’s first portable CCD based metals analyser in the 1980s. Today, they remain at the forefront of their industry following extensive investment in research and development.

Quality Management Products have been helping them through the transition to ISO 9001:2015 and have provided them with staff and management training.

We were delighted to receive the following testimonial from Ian Dickenson, Production Manager at Arun Technology in Crawley.

‘Quality Management Projects have supplied valuable advice and support in our move to ISO9001:2015 transition and re-certification UKAS accreditation assessment.

Ian created bespoke QMS material and training for us.

Re-certification/ Accreditation secured!

Thank you very much for all your help.’

C&W SEALS ISO 9001:2015 STANDARDS

QM Projects has been working with C&W Seals, based in Worthing, West Sussex since 2013 initially assisting them to implement ISO 9001:2008 and more recently ISO 9001: 2015.

The company have over 20 years experience in the development and manufacture of seals and gaskets solutions. They are one of the largest converters of microcellular PET materials in the UK and work closely with lighting manufacturers and experts to support their clients to achieve the best lumen output from their products.

Perry Wilkins, from C&W Seals, had this to say about our work with them:

Ian from Quality Management Projects originally came to us in late 2013. In 4 months he assisted us in the implementation of ISO 9001:2008 system that he put together based around the information we gave him and the observations he made in the time he spent with us. With his training and advice, we have maintained and built on the system and moved up to the 2015 standard. We would highly recommend Quality Management Projects to anyone looking to implement a Quality Management System into their business.

C&W Seals are committed to achieving quality and excellence in their production and supply processes for a wide range of industries.

WHAT ARE ISO STANDARDS

The ISO standards are internationally recognised standards for Quality Management Systems and are considered quality benchmarks across the world.

The ISO standards ensure that a company is doing everything necessary to continually improve the quality of their products and processes confirming the company has a good reputation within their industry and has the processes in place to manage products and services. Improving quality means your company will remain competitive and be able to meet increasing demands from customers.

Many clients are now looking to work with companies who are ISO certified and this can open up new markets which may not have been accessible without implementing ISO standards.

Is it worthwhile for my company?

Are you an SME, a small to medium-sized enterprise, with between 3 and 48 employees who would like to expand?

ISO standards can open up export markets and reduce cost and time to market. They are frequently behind the makings of a good business and help SMEs compete with larger competitors whether your company is in manufacturing, food products or the service industry. The standards enhance credibility and prove the business can commit to meet goals and sustainability, whilst safeguarding the interests of customers, employees and stakeholders.

A key component of ISO 9001 always places customers and quality first reinforcing your marketing and providing assurance that all aspects of health, safety and performance is of the best quality.

There are a wide range of ISO standards from specialist technical standards such as ISO/IEC 17025 to a BS EN ISO 9001.

At Quality Management Projects we provide support for a range of ISO standards which include:

  • ISO 9001 – Quality management
  • ISO 14001 – Environmental management
  • ISO 50001 – Energy management
  • ISO 27001 – Information security management
  • BS EN 1090 – Structural steel
  • BS OHSAS 18001 – Occupational health and safety
  • AS 9100 – Aerospace

These standards and, many more, are developed by experts from across industry, trade, consumer associations, universities and governments. The ISO, based in Switzerland, is always interested in the development of their standards and particularly the voice of their members.

If you would like to know more about commencing the process, which ISO standard is right for your specific industry and the kind of benefits you will achieve, please phone us on 01273 510725 or contact us via our webform.