What’s got us talking

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Award winning clients investing in a quality future
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RPD International Fast-track to ISO 13485 for medical device product development
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Guildmore Construction Raising standards and supporting growth with UKAS accredited ISO certification

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To find out more about how Qfactorial can help your business, please get in touch using the enquiry form below or, if you prefer, call us on +44 (0)1256 814111 or email kevin@qfactorial.co.uk to speak to our principal consultant.

Advisory

Guiding your quality decisions and actions

We've seen quality through  different lenses and in a variety of scenarios. We've learned through experience which tools and approaches to use in different situations. QFactorial can be your short-cut to that knowledge. 

Key steps

1. Conversation

2. Observation

3. Documentation

4. Data

5. Analysis:

— a) viable options

— b) pros & cons

— c) recommendation

6. Report

7. Presentation

Focus areas

• Strategy

• Governance

• Assurance

• Improvement

• Leadership

• Communication

• Documentation

• Tools

Goal

Recommended solution, approach, decisions, actions, changes and priorities.

Q!Engagement

Benefits

In theory, you can apply quality thinking to any part of your business. The trick is to identify the critical aspects to spend time and money on.  A good quality strategy focuses on areas where significant gains are possible by improving performance, conformance, reputation and risk mitigation. 

What we do

We immerse ourselves in conversation, observation, documentation and data until we have a full understanding of your quality needs and aspirations. Then we put it all together in a comprehensive proposal, backed with cost, time and resource calculations. 

What you get

A strategy document and/or presentation with the option to engage us to lead or support its implementation. 

Benefits

A picture paints a thousand words. And it’s usually better to look at. When a client comes to us with a blank sheet of paper headed “Quality?” we try to envisage the answer in a single diagram that captures all the required elements of quality management. 

What we do

We look closely at the way your organization actually works. We also look at the compliance commitments and standards you need to satisfy. We use our knowledge of management systems and quality strategy to devise a one-page model for quality that is uniquely suited to your operation. 

What you get

We fill in the blank sheet with a diagram or infographic that communicates your quality mission visually: a picture of the model you are aiming to adopt. 

Benefits

There’s more to auditing than ticking the box for ISO compliance. And auditing is not the only form of assurance. A strong corporate A&A programme will tell you about the robustness, resilience, integrity, connectivity and consistency of the structures and processes across the business. 

What we do

We establish a programme of audits and other assurance reviews based on the criticality and risk of processes, controls, facilities, suppliers, skills and resources. We plan and execute each event, providing succinct and actionable reports. Then we follow-up to expedite and verify actions. 

What you get

A scheduled audit and assurance programme delivered in a constructive and meaningful way, with clear, concise, value-adding reports and actions. We can supplement the basic programme with periodic analysis of trends and themes. 

Benefits

There’s more to competence than attending a training session. In fact, many a good training session has zero impact on competence as the maxim “use it or lose it” is too often ignored. A rounded competence programme ensures matches competence to role requirements and uses training to fill competence gaps and future needs. 

What we do

We establish or review the competence requirements for each role and compare with actual competence of job holders. Then we look at ways to bridge the competence gaps, with training programmes, mentoring, self-learning, e-learning, etc. A structured training needs analysis (TNA) is carried out if appropriate. 

What you get

A competence matrix with people on one axis and competencies on the other. A simple competence rating scale. A report with a numerical analysis of the gaps leading to training needs and proposals for training design and delivery. For subjects within our expertise, we can also carry out the training design and delivery. 

Benefits

Classroom training certainly has its place, but one-to-one coaching of key individuals on their specific roles and responsibilities for quality, and how to apply the basic concepts in their business context, can be more impactful and long-lasting. 

What we do

We work alongside nominated individuals, providing guidance and advice as they grow into their quality roles and responsibilities. This can be a combination of on-site and remote support, on a scheduled or ad hoc basis. 

What you get

Access to quality management expertise for personal guidance and advice tailored to your specific needs and business context. 

Benefits

Recently introduced into ISO 9001, knowledge management is becoming increasingly part of quality management and provides a way of connecting various elements of various ISO standards. 

What we do

From the threads of knowledge management in relevant ISO standards, your existing business processes and your future requirements, we develop a knowledge management strategy. We consider how corporate knowledge is accumulated, shared, stored, protected, promulgated and embedded in best practice. 

What you get

A documented knowledge management strategy, implementation plan and hands on support for its integration into your management system. 

Benefits

All change, whether planned or unplanned, instigated or imposed, has a double edge of risk and opportunity. If the big changes are not carefully managed, the fallout can be costly in terms of compliance, reputation, market share, business continuity, staff morale, IT resilience, etc. A risk-based approach to change management not only mitigates the downside, but also provides a framework to maximise the upside. 

What we do

For a specific change situation – e.g. legislative, organizational, technological, cultural, contractual, political, market-driven, improvement-driven – we develop a change management strategy based on an analysis of risks and opportunities linked to current strengths and weaknesses. We can also develop a change management process to be invoked whenever significant changes arise in the future. 

What you get

A documented change management strategy, implementation plan and hands on support for its integration into your management system. 

Benefits

Quality planning is at the heart of most successful quality initiatives. Whether it is for a product, service or project, a quality plan sets out all the essential controls and check points to ensure compliance with the specification, drawings, service level, contract, legislation or other requirements. 

What we do

We work closely with your product, service or project experts to establish a list of all the key parts, elements or activities and their essential attributes. We determine what needs to be checked, by whom, to what standard, using which tools. We establish data gathering and assurance reporting processes, feeding into analysis and improvement action loops. 

What you get

A detailed quality plan for every stage of product, service or project development and realisation. We can focus on specific stages (e.g. design, manufacture, installation, after sales) but an end-to-end lifecycle approach ensure that all weak links are removed. 

Benefits

Design assurance – that’s just checking the drawings, isn’t it? Well, no. Design is a complex, fluid, iterative process requiring different assurance approaches at each level. A design assurance framework ensures that design verification, design review and design validation are understood and applied in the right way at the right stages in the design process. 

What we do

We spend some time with your design people so we understanding your particular approach to design, and the constraints you are operating within. Then we work collaboratively to establish a practical framework of design controls and checks using the principles of BS EN 61160. 

What you get

A documented design assurance framework consistent with best practice but tailored and scaled to suit your situation. Where necessary, different assurance levels can be established for designs of different criticality of risk level. 

Benefits

“We’ve known our suppliers for years and they’re all great guys, so we don’t bother them with quality assurance.” This sort of courageous thinking is surprisingly common, even in high risk sectors. A good supply chain assurance programme distinguishes between the high criticality/risk suppliers who do need to be controlled and monitored, and the low criticality/risk suppliers who can be left to manage themselves. 

What we do

We spend some time with your supply chain and logistics people so we understanding your particular approach to procurement and subcontracting, and the constraints you are operating within. Then we work collaboratively to establish a practical framework of supply chain controls and checks incorporating relevant sector standards and best practices as appropriate. 

What you get

A documented supply chain assurance framework consistent with best practice but tailored and scaled to suit your situation. Where necessary, different assurance levels can be established for different categories or commodities. 

Benefits

You’ve heard the one about “in business, what gets measured gets done, everything else gets ignored.” There’s a lot of truth in it. But it’s also true that, without something to aim for, many people will work aimlessly. With the right mix of specific objectives, meaningful metrics and freedom to pursue improvement initiatives, a true quality culture can emerge. 

What we do

We identify those characteristics of your product, service, project, process or system that are true indicators of quality in the eyes of stakeholders. We define objectives and metrics for these characteristics, then we establish data gathering, analysis and reporting methods. 

What you get

A set of performance objectives with associated metrics, presented in an easily maintained spreadsheet or other agreed format (e.g. client preferred software or bespoke quality dashboard). 

However much you are an expert in your business, that's how much we know about quality - most of it from personal and hands-on experience.

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