Rethink Non-conformance management
Do you know why it is important to have a tool for non-conformance management? It's a unique opportunity for your business to learn from mistakes and find ways to work smarter.
In this article, we will run seven ideas by you, on how you can rethink non-conformance management, and use them to help all parts of the business work better.
If you think a little more broadly about quality and non-conformance management, a lot can be achieved. Advanced structure for registration and handling of non-conformances provides a range of possibilities - much more than traditional ISO thinking and EHS work.
The advice in this article come from Linda Sunde, who has extensive experience in implementing quality routines in the accounting industry and goods production. She assists in the work with the quality module in Moment.
1. Structure the non-conformances and the feedback
The prerequisite for handling non-conformances in a good way and actually learning from them is to have a system that facilitates a good structure. When all employees contribute by registering non-conformances and feedback in a clear system, you have a unique opportunity to address areas for improvement and learn from them. This also makes it easy to assign employees to be responsible for follow-ups.
2. Think more broadly! Collect feedback from all stakeholders
Create a system where you record feedback from all stakeholders involved with your company. Not just employees, but also customers, suppliers, and the public sector. It can e.g. be rejected applications, quality defects in deliveries, or delays.
Having a system for this provides great value. Then you can see patterns, extract statistics, and take concrete measures.
You can identify measures such as:
- Do the employees need training in something?
- Do we need to give customers more detailed information on a specific point in the project?
- Are there things that often go wrong in the handover to the customer? What can we do to improve this?
- A task is often delivered late, should we invest more resources or change the staffing?
Find out how things can be done better and update the job description with that information. For example: "The customer expects us to inform them about ... in the transfer". Then it will be easier to do better next time.
3. Collect non-conformances from several systems
It is not enough to simply collect non-conformances from some of the work you do. You must collect non-conformances from all the systems you use. In Moment, we have an open API, which allows you to connect the program to external systems, and collect non-conformances. Contact us if you want to hear more about this, or read about our quality module here.
4. Use the non-conformance system to organize more effective customer meetings
The non-conformance system is a good help when preparing for customer meetings. Check the system to see if anything in the project hasn't worked as planned since the last meeting. Have any deadlines been missed or have there been non-conformances in quality? Being able to quickly get an overview of this saves a lot of time before the customer meeting, and you can go into the meeting with the feeling of having an overview and control.
A non-conformance system is also a good tool for creating an improvement plan. It is a common item on the agenda in follow-up meetings to talk about how the collaboration can be improved. Through the non-conformances that have been registered, you can see what has led to delays in delivery, or why the project has become more expensive than expected.
5. Non-conformance system for use in performance reviews
Systematized documentation of non-conformances can also be used in performance reviews.
By looking at documented non-conformances registered by the employee, you have the opportunity to identify points for improvement. Together with the employee, you can find out what measures can be taken to make things easier for them. Perhaps the employee needs training in something, or should be assigned other tasks?
6. An untapped tool for the sales department
Have you considered the possibility that the non-conformance system can be used in sales work as well? Most sales departments have the potential to have more structure in their work, and non-conformance registration is a tool that can be used by them. Non-conformances registration can be used, among other things, to log why the company has lost an offer. By documenting this, you can look at trends in why offers are lost, and look at what measures can be taken to win even more sales.
7. Templates for registration of non-conformances save time
Save time on non-conformance registration by using pre-defined templates. If you can pick up a template with pre-filled information when registering a non-conformity (which perhaps also contains a proposed solution?), there is a greater probability that you will actually bother to register the non-conformity. In Moment, we see that the companies that lower the threshold for non-conformity registration also get increased use of the non-conformity system.
Don't let your emotions get the better of you
For some, the word "non-conformance" can lead to feelings of guilt for not having done something well enough - but it doesn't really have to be an emotional word. A non-conformance management system is not a tool for hanging people out. It is a tool for documenting non-conformances and identifying where, when, and why they occur - and finding out how to make the work better for next time.
What opportunities are there for your business?
At Moment, we have experts on the possibilities that exist in the use of quality systems and non-conformance management, and we are happy to share our knowledge and show you how other businesses solve this in the best possible way. Contact us for a conversation about how you can work with quality in your business.
Read more about non-conformance control in this blog post.
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