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J

judgeelectrical

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i have just been through the mcs visit day and now need a re visit as my qms is not up to scratch. Can anyone reccomend a way to go with this , ie someone who i can pay to help me through this, or a template i could use to implement one, i am struggling a bit at the moment
 
OP
A

accordfire

Might want to be moved to the business forum this one.

Essentially, a QMS system operates on the principle of:

(1) Document the Business
(2) Follow the Documentation
(3) Audit the Following
(4) Note the differences
(5) Amend the Documentation
(6) Follow the Documentation
(7) Audit the Following
(8) Note the Differences
(9) Ad infinitum.

In essence, the point is to produce documentation that describes your business, and how it does things, so that you can then refer to the documentation, and do a given thing the same way every time.

However, it can be daunting, especially because so many "consultants" like to make things as complicated as they possibly can, to black art the subject, and justify charging thousands for something that forces you into changes you don't need or want.

While it would help to know specifically what your QMS fails were, I can bet you weren't consistent in a process somewhere, or the auditor felt you were missing a process, or paperwork.

Here's the easy way to QMS heaven:

First up - flowchart your business operation.

By this, I mean, draw a flowchart which takes you from customer enquiry, to getting your paws on their cash. There should be many "sub-flows" along the way - for example:

------
Phone Rings/Website Email Enquiry/Pigeon Falls out of the sky with a slate and chisel/whatever means enquiry generated.

What do you do next?

Answer Phone/Respond to email/Pick Pigeon Up......

Key Point: RECORD THE INFORMATION IN SOME UNIQUE WAY. This is the point your audit trail starts.

From this point on, that enquiry needs tracking from here to the very end of your dealings with it.
------
So, next to the enquiry, two results are possible - either no further action, or a further action such as a survey.

No further action is the end of the process, and needs parking in a "no further action" trail, for future reference, and identification - also very useful for sales, marketing and analysis.

In short, you need to be able to identify that you had an enquiry, and that it resulted in no further action. You may, alternatively have an "information sending" process in this part of your flowchart - e.g. sent information, no further action, or sent information, leading to - --- a further action thus:

Alternatively, there may be a further action - a survey, or a sale.

Let's assume for the moment, a survey.

The enquiry need to track to the survey, and vice versa. It also needs a unique identifier, and it needs to be recorded so as to audit end to end. So describe your survey process, in flowchart form. Again, from this point, there are two possible outcomes - sale, or no further action. However, you may spend some time in this loop, if the customer varies your initial survey in any way and you end up doing more than one quote on essentially the same job.

Then you document your sales process, including acceptance by customer of quote, deposit taking, stock ordering, completion (including test result recording, hand over, etc), invoicing, and so on.

Finally, customer records reflecting the correct customer, correct job, and in such a way you can audit it now, or in five years.


Once you've flow-charted the business, then go through it again, and note (preferably assigning a unique ID) each bit of paperwork you use at that process.

Then you document the way in which you perform each process.

And finally, you end up with a system that describes your business, and how it operates.

The thing about QMS consultants, as I say, is that they often want to rebuild the processes of your business to fit their pre-determined templates. Not clever, really, as the idea is to make the system fit the way your business works. Every business is run a different way, which is why templated systems are often rigid, and enforce extra processes on businesses, when they really don't need them.

I'm not sure where in the UK you are, but let me know what fails you got, I may be able to help a bit more.
 
OP
J

judgeelectrical

Bill,

Thanks for your great and prompt reply. What problem i have is that i did not fully understand what was required of me when i agreed to the visit day. I am an nic member and they seem to encourage me to go for it without explaining waht a QMS is and the processes i would have to go through so costing me a re visit day . Basically i did not have a QMS in place at all, either from my own ignorannce or their lack of explination. Luckily my brother is a systems engineer and he is going to help me with it, but it would still be great to fire questions at you and recieve any advice. It is also reassuring that the MCS qualification process is so difficult as it will cut out the cowboy element ( hopefully ) , i can also now see that a QMS will allow me to improve myself and company processes , so is a good thing. I just have a lot to learn !

Anyway, again many thanks, and what a pleasure it is to talk to a quality professional

Chris
 
OP
A

accordfire

Bill,

Thanks for your great and prompt reply. What problem i have is that i did not fully understand what was required of me when i agreed to the visit day. I am an nic member and they seem to encourage me to go for it without explaining waht a QMS is and the processes i would have to go through so costing me a re visit day . Basically i did not have a QMS in place at all, either from my own ignorannce or their lack of explination. Luckily my brother is a systems engineer and he is going to help me with it, but it would still be great to fire questions at you and recieve any advice. It is also reassuring that the MCS qualification process is so difficult as it will cut out the cowboy element ( hopefully ) , i can also now see that a QMS will allow me to improve myself and company processes , so is a good thing. I just have a lot to learn !

Anyway, again many thanks, and what a pleasure it is to talk to a quality professional

Chris

Hey Chris - no problem, always happy to help if I can.

As I said, there is so much of a "black art" element to QMS - sometimes a bit like eve3n applying to an approvals body at all in the first place. Much used to be made of ISO9001/2 etc and before that BS5750, which was intended to be a UK implementation of ISO9000 series.

The single best thing you can remember as regards QMS management and design, like many things, is keep it simple. Don't invent processes for the sake of it, and if you do have to add processes to the way you work, just implement the minimum easiest you can to get the job done - too many system fail through being over complicated, resulting in systems that are either too complex, or too costly to run.

Other than that, don't let it daunt you. Take a little time just to figure out exactly what it is you do in your business, and how you do it - and document those steps as a first take.

One of the single best things a good QMS can do is force you to analyse your business processes, and it should make clear any areas where you're not doing things efficiently, or indeed, correctly.

As for the MCS - yes, anything cutting out the cowboy element is good, but not always at the expense of good tradesmen having to pay over thousands of pounds on "proving" they can run a business as well as do the job.

IMHO, most approvals schemes should be happy with a relatively basic quality system, which allows proper auditing, and process analysis - along with consistency and promotion of good practice. The truth is, often that can all be achieved in a few spreadsheets, and some Word docs.....

I wish you good luck in your adventure, and as I say - any questions, I'll do my best to answer.
 
OP
G

goodwilld

try a company called ECTA / QMSA 0800342777 they will help at a cost!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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