All posts in Quality Control


Business Process Optimization: How to Improve Workflows Like a Pro (Free Templates!)

Business Process Optimization

In the fast-paced, full-throttle world of modern business, there’s an incentive to keep going, keep doing, keep pressing forward.

(Business. More like busyness, amirite? 😏)

But what if I told you that striving forward without robust, solid processes is a massive mistake?

While Łukasz Tartanus found from his sample that 69% of businesses have documented processes, only 4% manage and measure them. This means countless businesses are zealously pressing forward with depreciated, outdated processes for their recurring tasks. If only their processes were optimized, these businesses would be able to grow and achieve internal targets far quicker.

This is why business process optimization is important. And it’s why you’re about to read my post on it.

I’ll define business process optimization, its benefits, explain how to go about it, and show you how Process Street makes process optimization super easy.

Just read through the following sections to get clued up:

It’s time to learn about optimization! 🚀

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How to Use The Deming Cycle for Continuous Quality Improvement

deming cycle headerUnderstanding quality and seeking to improve it is arguably the core purpose behind undertaking process improvements.

But where did this philosophy of process improvement come from?

One key person is William Edwards Deming – sometimes referred to as Edward W. Deming. He’s principally a statistician, but one could even call him a philosopher of science.

Deming’s goal was to reapply the scientific method to business processes, and has left us with two main variants of his thinking: PDSA and PDCA.

In this article we’ll outline:

Deming’s approach is not just about improving processes, but about improving a whole business.

In a recent meta-study from the British Medical Journal, researchers found only 2 out of 73 studies had applied PDSA in a way which fully met criteria. Commenting:

To progress the development of the science of improvement, a greater understanding of the use of improvement methods, including PDSA, is essential to draw reliable conclusions about their effectiveness.

And that’s why we’re writing this article!

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The Pareto Chart: How to Solve Problems & Make Informed Decisions

Pareto-chart

I’ve just finished watching this Netflix docuseries and I can’t stop thinking about it.

The Last Dance.

It’s ten juicy episodes, full of massive egos, incredible basketball, and a banging 90’s hip-hop soundtrack. It’s a fantastically brutal account of how the Chicago Bulls came to dominate the basketball scene throughout the 1990s.

The team was led to countless victories by three key players: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman.

This, coincidentally, demonstrates the concept behind the Pareto chart, and this Process Street post perfectly.

I’ll explain what I mean by this later. First, let me go through what we’ll cover in this post:

I’m excited to get started. So, my cagers, let’s take it to the hole!

I admit. I may have googled “basketball terms” for that sentence… what I’m basically saying is; C’mon you lot! Let’s go!

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Quality Control: How to Get It Right With 19 Free Templates

Quality control

As I stood, staring at my big toe which had somehow poked its way through a layer of polyester, it occurred to me that:

    1. These 2-month-old running shoes definitely needed to be disposed of.
    2. I will not be buying from this poor quality brand again.

In this scenario, I had fallen victim to poor quality control measures.

Purchasing a pair of running shoes not robust enough to meet my needs meant I, as a consumer, was not satisfied and did not repeat my custom with the given brand.

This reaction is to be expected.

A study by Psomas et al, detailed on Emerald Insights, concluded that effective quality control measures, in the form of Quality Management Systems (QMS systems), directly improve employee benefits, business performance, and customer satisfaction.

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives” – William A Foster, Forbes Quotes

In this Process Street article, we take a look at what quality control is, and how you can implement effective quality control processes in your business today.

You will be presented with 19 free templates, ready and waiting to be used right away. These templates will help you build and audit your QMS systems, to meet the needs of key stakeholders in your business.

  1. ISO 9001:2015 Internal Audit Checklist for Quality Management Systems
  2. Financial Audit Checklist
  3. Environmental Accounting Internal Audit
  4. Environmental Management Self Audit Checklist
  5. Management Systems Audit Checklist
  6. ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 Integrated Management System (IMS) Checklist
  7. PPC Audit Checklist
  8. Google Analytics Audit
  9. Technical SEO Audit
  10. UX Audit
  11. ISO 27001 Information Security Management System (ISO27K ISMS) Audit Checklist
  12. SQL Server Audit Checklist
  13. Firewall Audit Checklist
  14. Network Security Audit Checklist
  15. ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Audit Checklist
  16. Diversity Management Monthly Audit
  17. Hotel Sustainability Audit
  18. Laboratory Safety Procedure Audit
  19. Retail Store Audit Checklist

Sound good?

Click on the relevant subheader below to jump to that section, alternatively, scroll down to read all I have to say.

Let’s begin!
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Total Quality Management (TQM): Improve Processes & Keep Customers Happy

TQM-total-quality-management

What caused the global financial crash in 2008?

Failures of AIG, Lehman, Merrill, and other major financial firms? Disproportionate risk-taking by banks and lenders? Deregulation within the financial industry? Development of new ways to finance mortgage products? Excessive lending and borrowing in the housing market?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

However, these causes only tell half the story behind the financial meltdown that morphed into the biggest global recession since the Great Depression (Covid-19 aside).

What was the root cause? The real reason behind the enormous cost to the economies of many countries and the lost fortunes of millions of families?

A lack of total quality management (TQM).

Paul Moore, former head of group regulatory risk at HBOS (part of the Lloyds Banking Group since 2009), dubbed this crisis as ‘the biggest quality failure of all time.’

Total quality management stems from the belief that mistakes can be avoided if everyone is behind the continual process of detecting, reducing, and eliminating errors.

If organizations from within the financial sector believed in putting quality first, and positioned culture and people above profit margins and structure, the events leading up to the crisis could have been avoided.

Just imagine how different things might have been had the financial sector been managing their quality in a similar way to ISO 9001!

We’ll continue to explore this concept later but, before we do, let’s look at what else we’ll cover in this Process Street post:

Let’s get going!

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ISO 22000: The Farm to Fork Standards for Proper Food Safety Management

ISO 22000

I didn’t expect to get ill the last time I ordered food via UberEats.

Was it because of the rib eye steak? How the cook prepared it? Or how the steak was transported to the restaurant from the producer?

I don’t know.

What I do know, though, is that the CDC estimates 48 million people each year get sick from foodborne illness.

No matter your role in the food supply chain – whether you’re a primary producer, a storage operator, or a subcontractor to a food outlet – a food safety management system is necessary. Otherwise, you’re exposing people to illnesses that could potentially be life-threatening. Even if the illness is fleeting, the long-term result of a consumer’s sickness will result in your brand being tarnished.

Luckily, ISO 22000 can help you create and sustain a solid food safety management system.

In this post, I’ll discuss what ISO 22000 is in more detail, its requirements, its benefits, and why food safety management systems are just so important. Plus, I’ll explain how Process Street can help you gain ISO 22000 certification!

Read through the following sections to get clued up:

Hungry to learn more?

It’s time to dig in! 🍽

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What is an SOP? 16 Essential Steps to Writing Standard Operating Procedures (With Templates)

The_16_Steps_to_Writing_Standard_Operating_ProceduresWhether you’re starting a business or trying to improve an existing one, you have to understand how things are going to get done.

What tasks do you need to do? Who needs to do them? What are the best ways to approach these tasks?

Working out how these questions can be answered is the first step toward systemizing your business. The creation of processes and workflows will define the way in which your day to day activities function.

One popular approach to this is the creation of standard operating procedures. The simple definition provided by IBM for standard operating procedures is:

…a set of instructions that describes all the relevant steps and activities of a process or procedure.

Simple.

But how do we create these SOPs? What we need are standard operating procedures for creating standard operating procedures. And that’s what we’re going to give you.

We’ll look at:

  • How to create a set of standard operating procedures
  • Some advanced techniques for improving your SOPs
  • Why Process Street is a useful tool for both mapping and following your standard operating procedures

Read through these sections to get clued up:

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AS9100: The Quality Management System that Changed Aerospace

AS9100

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped.” – Eric Moody, British Airways Captain, Business Insider

The words no one wants to hear when they’re tightly strapped into an aluminum tube, flying at 900kph, 35,000 feet up in the air.

One in three Americans either feels anxious or scared to fly and 73% are fearful of mechanical problems during flight.

On a flight from Kiev to Toronto, several screws fell out of the ceiling onto my lap…When air started sucking out of a loose seam around my window, I really started to panic.” – Nate Drescher, The Travel

But air travel in the United States is the safest in the world. The odds of dying in a car accident are about one in 5,000. The odds of dying in a plane crash are about one in 11,000,000.

So, putting our fears aside for a second, why is flying the safest way to travel?

Well, partly because of the advances in aircraft design, technology, and engineering, but mostly because of Aerospace Standard (AS) 9100. The International Quality Management System standard for the Aviation, Space, and Defense industry.

A person would have to fly on average once a day every day for 22,000 years before they would die in a U.S. commercial airplane accident” – Dr. Arnold Barnett, FlyFright

Whether you’re an avid flyer, an aviation expert, or an aerospace supplier, join me as we fly through the following AS9100 topics:

Fix your seat in an upright position, fasten your seatbelt, and prepare for take-off…

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Maintenance Management: 6 Steps for Scaled Production and Growth

Maintenance Management 6 Steps for Scaled Production and Growth

This is a guest post by Bryan Christiansen from Limble CMMS – a modern and easy to use mobile maintenance software. Over the years Bryan evolved from a simple software engineer with a spark of entrepreneurial spirit into a confident leader that manages a whole team of people, moving the maintenance industry forward.

When production is expanding, it’s great news for the business. However, this rapid expansion brings many challenges. Properly preparing for each challenge will be important so that production processes run smoothly.

The maintenance department is no exception. As your operation grows, there will always be some difficulties adjusting to the increased maintenance load. This is where maintenance management as a discipline comes in.

Despite its importance for efficient expansion, a HubSpot survey found only 6% of respondents considered their maintenance department well-established.

Maintenance management looks at the steps you can take to prepare and scale your maintenance capacity.

In this Process Street article, we will present to you our 6 top strategies you can implement for efficient maintenance management.

Click on the relevant subheaders below to jump to that section. Alternatively, scroll down to read all we have to say regarding the topic of maintenance management.

Let’s begin!
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The Secret to IT Service Management: The ITIL Service Lifecycle

ITIL Service Lifecycle

What do Sony Ericsson, the UK Passport Agency, MT Gox, and Knights Capital all have in common?

They’ve all suffered massive financial and reputational losses following the mismanagement, or non-existent management, of their new and existing IT services.

  • Major mobile phone operator, Sony Ericsson failed to renew one of their certificates and left 32-million people unable to use their mobile phones for a WHOLE DAY.
  • The UK Passport Agency failed to test its new computer system and left half a million British people without a passport in the UK.
  • Japanese bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, failed to spot several weaknesses in their software systems which enabled hackers to STEAL over 850,000 bitcoins.
  • Knight Capital Group, one of America’s largest traders, failed to spot a major bug in their trading software which cost them $440 million.

What could they have done to avoid these embarrassing, not to mention financially crippling, technical disasters?

Implemented an IT service management system, like the ITIL Service Lifecycle.

Which, coincidentally, is what this post is all about.

By the time you’ve finished reading this Process Street article, you will have answers to the following questions:

Ready? Let’s make a start…

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