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Resourcing a QMS: best approach.

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by Mike H, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. Mike H

    Mike H New Member

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    Hi all, I am new to this forum.

    I would like some advice on how companies resource maintenance and audit of their QMS. We are looking at succession planning as some of us are getting a bit long in the tooth.
    My company is a UK-based manufacturing company of @200 employees. Mature QMS (20 years + registered to ISO9001) with little change other than accommodating changes required by new versions of the standard. We do about 6 internal audits p.a. (3 year cycle), 4 days of CB visits p.a. System maintenance and audit are part-time roles fitted around other responsibilities. Crude estimate is a max. of 3 months p.a. of resource from QMS 'specialists', complemented by other people's input.

    Do companies like ours:

    a) always resource the system in the part-time way we currently do?
    b) 'buy in' resource specifically to do the QMS role (i.e. consultants/professional quality managers)?
    c) is there a third way?

    What are the pros and cons of each approach? Does familiarity with a system (a) give benefits or lead to complacency? Does (b) offer fresh thinking that might help improvements?

    Any thoughts appreciated. Apologies if there is already a thread on this I have missed.

    Mike
     
  2. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome Mike!

    Resourcing the QMS is as different as the QMS itself but is also dependent on the needs and expectation of interested parties, including regulation. The greater the regulations, the more resourcing is needed and sometimes deep subject matter expertise that could limit a person's scope of contributions. That is, the specialist may be able to wear fewer hats.

    Buy in tends to be based on culture and awareness of top leadership. Pros and cons are also based on customers and regulations, and the risk of getting it wrong.

    Sorry if this is not specific enough. I cann only say we must learn our balance point. We want to deliver a high product quality and/or service, but not go broke from overhead in the process of doing so.
     
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  3. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting question, Mike. Would you share what's behind it?
     
  4. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    A third way could be by appointing a dedicated team (not greater than 5 for your company's size) whose regular job is to maintain the QMS by:
    • convening the strategic or annual business planning;
    • facilitating objectives/targets setting;
    • developing and facilitating QMS related training and seminars;
    • managing and performing the internal audits for the company;
    • developing programs for workplace organization and do the workplace inspection themselves;
    • keeping track of the accomplishment of corrective actions;
    • spearheading resolution of customer complaints;
    • liaising with external parties like CBs, regulatory bodies, customers;
    • keeping track and monitoring of achieving the set objectives/targets;
    • controlling documented information;
    • managing customer perception;
    • convening the management reviews;
    • reporting the performance of the QMS to top management;
    • performing other tasks for other management systems like for environment, safety and health.
     
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  5. Mike H

    Mike H New Member

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    Thanks to all for your contributions. Has helped me in my thinking about this subject.
     
  6. normzone

    normzone Well-Known Member

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    Your organizations approach will be dependent on the awareness and concern of the top management.

    Some companies dedicate entire armies to this issue, others hire one token guy and expect him to achieve miracles with a spoon and a post-it note. I tend to work with the latter. In the end, it all comes down to risk and what level of it your top management is willing to endure.

    The benefits of having this function resourced in house is that the subject matter specialists usually know where the bodies are buried.
     
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