Implementing a quality management system is no small feat, but it is a process that Venturi has completed over the course of the past year. In short, a quality management system (QMS) provides the structure to ensure our client’s needs are met, and that our processes are continually improving.
ISO 9001 specifies requirements aimed primarily at giving confidence in the products and services provided by an organization and thereby enhancing customer satisfaction. Its proper implementation can also be expected to bring other organizational benefits, such as improved internal communication, better understanding and control of the organization’s processes.International Standards Organization
By building a system in compliance with the ubiquitous ISO 9001:2015 standard, we not only meet the requirements of our client’s QMS systems, but we’ve also introduced several improvements and controls to our approach to engineering solutions. We believe that this investment in our processes will in the long term improve our ability to meet our customer’s needs on time and on budget, as well as the overall profitability of Venturi.
What are the Key Elements of a QMS?
Seven core principles are infused throughout the ISO 9001 standard and our QMS:
|Customer Focus||Customer focus means exceeding customer expectations and providing satisfaction and value with every customer interaction. It requires an organization to link every business objective to customer needs and to recognize that customers are those that have both direct and indirect relationships with an organization.|
|Leadership||Leadership must commit to ensuring the availability of all resources for Quality projects and to providing positive role models through active participation, proactive communication of vision and strategy, and an organization-wide engagement with a Culture of Quality.|
|Engagement of People||Organizations must engage and empower competent and motivated workers while encouraging everyone to contribute and collaborate.|
|Process Approach||A process approach recognizes that processes must be part of a unified and consistent system that produces predictable results, illuminates elements that require improvement, and addresses all risks that have an impact on process outcomes.|
|Improvement||An ongoing dedication to improvement reacts to changes in external and internal conditions to create new opportunities by focusing on root-cause determination and preventative and corrective actions.|
|Evidence-Based Decision Making||Making decisions based on statistical evidence provides greater objectivity, effectiveness, and effciency to an organization and makes it easier to review results for ongoing improvement.|
|Relationship Management||Organizations must account for and manage relationships with all vendors, partners, and suppliers to understand the constraints, opportunities, and risks for each.|
More specifically, several additions to our processes have been made to guide our development. The addition of standardized modeling practices, technical review checklist, and overall project controls have brought improved consistency and reduced errors in analysis work. Processes regarding non-conformance, corrective action, and employee training have improved how we react to, and prevent future quality leaks in our work. Lastly, a commitment to quality by Venturi leadership has brought a structured effort to continual improvement, via management review of the quality system, annual review of processes, and increased collection and analysis of customer feedback.
What Affect Has QMS Implementation Had?
The addition of a ISO 9001:2015 is not a magic bullet to improving client deliverables. However, we believe that our implementation has spurred increased focus towards continual improvement throughout our team.
One example of an improvement made as a response to previous internal non-conformances is the development of improved simulation monitoring alarms in our hydraulic modeling. Modeling of hydraulic transients is often highly detailed and can often require an iterative approach to conservatively reflect reality. The failure to note model inconsistencies or unrealistic behavior can have significant impacts on a project’s budget, not to mention safety concerns if not caught by reviewers. Taking this into consideration, Venturi implemented (via the corrective action approach specified by ISO 9001:2015) a new alarm-based system and simulation monitoring process to assist engineers as they perform transient simulations. This has led to immediate time savings in several projects and has spurred several other advancements in our hydraulic work, and has been very positively received by our clients.
Our clients have always demanded and received efficient, accurate engineering analysis and that much has not changed. The implementation of a Quality Management System has been shown to provide long-term benefits to organizations and engineering consultants of all sizes, and we hope our implementation is an added incentive to choose Venturi.
For more information on QMS, or how we can support you, please contact us today.