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Make an enquiry

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.

Investigation

Understanding the problem, framing the solution

It's not always easy to see where the problem originates, or indeed why. We can help you peel back the layers of cause and effect to expose the root of your quality issues.

Key steps

1. Conversation

2. Observation

3. Documentation

4. Data

5. Analysis:

— a) the gap

— b) the constraints

— c) the freedoms

6. Report

7. Presentation

Focus areas

• Defining scope and objectives

• Establishing terms of reference

• Team building and leading

• Planning and logistics

• Stakeholder management

• Presenting findings

Goal

Understanding of the issues, concerns, problems, risks, weaknesses, strengths and opportunities.

Q!Engagement

Benefits

If you are going to travel successfully, you need to know where you are going and where you are starting from. A gap assessment will help you to understand how far away you are from a benchmark or target, e.g. compliance with an ISO standard, legislation or internal business objectives. 

What we do

We talk to you and your people, look at work processes in action, review documents and analyse data. We compare all of that with the agreed benchmark or target and tell you where you stand versus where you need to be. 

What you get

A completed gap assessment spreadsheet with a narrative report and/or presentation slides if required. 

Benefits

Quality isn’t always black and white, especially when it comes to management systems and processes. There’s no right and wrong, but there are many shades of effectiveness. A maturity assessment will measure and compare how well developed are the key elements of your systems and processes against a defined maturity scale. 

What we do

We talk to you and your people, look at work processes in action, review documents and analyse data. We compare all of that with the agreed benchmark or target and tell you where you stand. 

What you get

A completed maturity assessment spreadsheet with a narrative report and/or presentation slides if required. 

Benefits

Whatever you think people think, they probably think something different. Stakeholder surveys enable you to gain a deep insight into the real thoughts, concerns, hopes and fears of your people about key aspects of your systems and processes.  

What we do

We hold structured, confidential conversations with individuals, face to face where possible, to obtain their personal views, suggestions, insights and recommendations for improvement. Sometimes we combine the conversations with simple questionnaires. We collate and make sense of the responses.  

What you get

A completed stakeholder survey spreadsheet with responses compiled and analysed to demonstrate lessons, risks, inconsistencies, conflicts, consensus, recommendations and other themes emerging from the survey. 

Benefits

In business, the word audit seems to have acquired status akin to words like tax and consultant. Used constructively, internal audits can have multiple benefits: confirming conformance with your management system, testing if those systems are being maintained, evaluating their effectiveness in meeting your business objectives, and helping your people to understand how the business works. 

What we do

We plan, execute, report and follow-up using best practice auditing techniques in accordance with ISO 19011 “Guidelines for auditing management systems”. We provide a value-adding audit service, focused on the critical issues and risks faced by your organization. 

What you get

A written audit report with an executive summary supported by positive findings, concerns and, where appropriate, nonconformities. If we are accompanied by your own in-house auditors, they will benefit from hands-on training. 

Benefits

Supplier audits form a key part of any supply chain assurance programme. They can be useful for pre-qualifying, selecting and monitoring critical suppliers. The process is similar to an internal audit but with more formality.

What we do

We plan, execute, report and follow-up using best practice auditing techniques in accordance with ISO 19011 “Guidelines for auditing management systems”. We focus on the supplier’s ability to meet your contractual requirements and any technical, management or client standards embedded in the contract. 

What you get

A written audit report with an executive summary supported by positive findings, concerns and, where appropriate, nonconformities. The audit will contribute to the compliance and risk profile of that supplier, enabling you to decide if additional oversight or intervention is required. 

Benefits

A due diligence review may be very broad in nature, especially if it supports a merger, acquisition, outsourcing or contract novation.  It is wise to include quality and management systems in the due diligence process to identify risks, interfaces and transfer of approvals at an early stage. 

What we do

We provide specialist input to the due diligence team, focusing on quality and management systems. We anticipate the change management issues and risks that may arise when people, systems and structures are re-aligned to new organizational arrangements.

What you get

A written report, or contribution to the overall team report, identifying issues, risks and alignment opportunities for the management systems and quality organizations of the concerned parties.

Benefits

A root cause investigation is necessary to establish why a problem, defect or failure exists and persists. It can be applied to products, services, processes, projects, systems and behaviours. The point about root causes is that there is rarely just the one. An investigation draws out all the contributing factors and their interactions.

What we do

We walk the process with your people to see and hear what happens in practice, observing the problems first-hand wherever possible, and identifying possible causes. We use simple methods like 5 whys, 3 C’s and fishbone diagrams to structure the investigation.

What you get

Workshops to explain the method and guide the participants through the investigation process. A report with diagrams to visualise and explain the results of the investigation.

Benefits

Quality and risk are becoming increasingly connected through modern approaches to management systems. The risk of quality failure often translates to other failure risks, e.g. safety, security, environment, business continuity. A quality risk assessment makes a sensible foundation for quality policy, objectives, systems, processes and change management initiatives. 

What we do

We identify, categorize and quantify non-financial risks that affect quality and management systems, typically: technical, commercial, organizational, legal and reputational. We assess the likelihood of such risks materializing, and the impact if they do.

What you get

Engagement and enlightenment through structured conversations and/or workshops to reveal the risks that your people may know about, but keep quiet about. A report with risk ranking visualized using simple tables and diagrams.

Without investigation there is only assumption and speculation, partners in crime when it comes to bad decisions.

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