A few weeks back, I wrote an entry about Mobile Audits and the key trends to look for in a mobile auditing solution. Well, I seem to be on a mission to out do myself, and expand my thinking here. When we look at the Compliance paradigm, whether Quality Management, EHS Management, Food Safety Management, Supplier Management, or general corporate governance, I think of a few key areas that are needed in technology:
A few weeks back, I purchased a printer for my parents. Now, my parents are not the most "tech-savvy" folks in the world, so I wanted to make sure that they got the right printer for their needs (which were fairly simple). It needed to have wireless printing, print in color, and produce high-quality images. So I did my research - I went and read reviews, I looked up the specs and compared them and then looked at pricing. I went for the low-cost option. Well, after i purchased the printer, it turned out that the low-cost did not do all the things I wanted it to. In fact, the quality was bad, the wireless connectivity was spotty, and it just didn't meet my needs. So, I returned it and went with another option. It was more costly, but once I got it installed at my parents, it works like a dream, and they couldn't be any happier with it.
Been a busy couple of weeks at EtQ! Product rollouts, office expansion and other things have kept me from hopping on the old blog for a rant. Busy is good, and I manage to keep up with my trusty iPhone and iPad. Some say it's a distraction (ask my wife and her Words with Friends obsession), but I think that mobile is a prime business tool. I can spend my mornings culling through emails before I even get in the office. I feel more productive once I've pushed the emails around. It got me thinking about the state of mobility in businesses today. Even just 18 months ago, the mobile landscape was completely different; now we are seeing more and more companies issuing iPads to their workforce. In fact, a Pew Research study was just released stating that over half of all Americans own a smartphone.
The ability to collect adverse events and make decisions to foster improvement is the cornerstone of any Quality Management, Environmental Health & Safety or Compliance Management system. Whether you are recording complaints, safety incidents, audit data, or nonconformances, the process of collecting data, investigating the root cause, and taking steps to correct it is consistent.
I've been a bit behind on the blog posts lately, and wanted to get back into the swing of things with a few ideas on one of the most central and critical components of any Compliance System, whether Quality Management, Environmental Management or Health and Safety Management. I'm talking about Corrective Action - CAR, C/A, CAPA - whatever you like to call it. Psychology states that the more names we have for something, the more important it is in our society. While society at large is not espousing the benefits of CAPA/CAR/CA/Corrective Actions, it certainly is a core piece in our business world.
But let’s back up a second – why are we striving for real-time? What happened to the good old days, when it was good enough just to know how we’re performing within a day? When did it become necessary to keep tabs on things so closely? The reality is that the world is simply moving faster in terms of information. Our operations are streamlined, our supply chains are bigger, our products diversified, our competition is ruthless. We move faster because if we don’t, then someone else will jump in and push us out of business. The pace of business is what keeps us moving fast, and that requires we respond to data faster. We need the data as it happens because we can’t afford not to have it.
Attention citizens of Gotham! Our caped crusader, the Batman, is at it again – fighting injustice, keeping the peace, and racking up safety violations throughout the fair city. Sure, the Dark Knight has been a shining beacon of hope to those who seek a better tomorrow, but he sure does cause quite a bit of Safety incidents along the way.
There's a lot of talk around compliance these days. Compliance is a broad term in itself; it covers many operational areas - Quality Management System, Environmental Health and Safety Management, Governance, Supply Chain - the list goes on. Compliance encompasses a lot, and it's really at its definition an adherence to any policy, standard or regulation set forth by an organization or regulatory entity.
Sometimes we don't always have the full picture when we see things from our individual perspective. We tend to only process information that we can see in front of us, or that only pertains to us. There is so much information being thrown at us in any given day, that the ability to step back and look at our lives from a larger perspective seems difficult, if not impossible. However, sometimes a little perspective and larger vision is what is most important and can help us make better decisions. I am talking specifically with respect to business systems, such as Quality Management System, Environmental Health and Safety Systems, Supply-Chain Management, Customer Service Management and many others. We become so focused on our tactical needs for these systems, we end up implementing siloed systems to serve those tactical needs. This is good in the short term, but in the long-term it gets all mucky and collaboration suffers.
Normally, I don't let emotions get in the way of my posting - Ok, that might not be true. Like many here in the Tri-State Area (NY/NJ/CT), I was affected by Hurricane Sandy. I was flooded, lost some portions of my home, and my family lost even more. Fortunately, we came out with everyone safe - and we thought that was the end of it. However, in the cold approach of winter, we were without power for two weeks, and were forced to seek warm refuge while the power companies (in my case, the Long Island Power Authority - LIPA) struggled to maintain control over the recovery. There was a clear lack of emergency response and communication, and I wanted to discuss the fundamentals of using an Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) System to manage Crisis Management and Emergency Preparedness.