Thursday, 13 November 2003 ( #133 )
Integrated Quality Services - Promoting Better Performance Through better Quality Integrated Quality Services, Wexford Enterprise Centre, Rosslare Road, Wexford, Ireland. Tel / Fax : 053 40478 E-mail : Website : Integrated Quality Services are European representatives for the Chinese company, 'Season Components'. Season Components are certified to ISO9001:2000 and have 4 main product lines : * wiring harnesses * plastic moulded parts * steel moulds * electronic assemblies. Season supplies companies such as Dell, Sega, Toshiba, Hitachi, Fujifilm, Chubb, Sony, etc. You can check out their websites at and Season has been in existence since 1975 and employs 1400 people in China, Malaysia, and Canada. Season's products may also be of help or of interest to your suppliers. Integrated Quality Services is more than willing to make a presentation of Season Components, to your company, and can send you their brochure on request. Fin Rooney, manager of Integrated Quality Services says, : "Having visited Season's factory in China, I am more than happy to represent them. Season Components is dedicated to excellent customer service and top quality products. It is a company that has plenty of capacity for expansion, both in terms of machine utilisation and physical space. Season Components has a very strong training ethos and provides excellent facilities for its employees". "Manufacturing organisations are coming under more cost pressures all the time, and it is my intention that my association with Season will enable organisations to remain competitive by being able to sell their products at an attractive rate in the marketplace. We are all well aware of companies moving products with high labour content, to other countries in Eastern Europe or Asia. The strategy for companies with high labour costs should be to utilise this cheaper source rather than fight it, and use their own technical and service skills to provide a better overall service to their customers. Some companies, instead of just selling one product, might now look at selling modules (where products are assembled together), or they can focus on service areas where they still maintain an advantage; examples include offering design services to customers, operating a more frequent delivery schedule for customers, or providing training for their products. Even on the manufacturing side, companies can see if there are areas where the advantage of low cost labour does not have such a large effect : companies could look at having more automation, or look at manufacturing the larger, more bulky, or heavier items - these items can cost a lot to transport from far away, and this transport cost can offset the benefits of the lower labour cost." Lead times are another area where organisations that are closer to their customers will have an advantage. Another way for organisations to reduce their costs is to assess their indirect costs. In relation to quality, an organisation may feel it does not need a full time quality person, but does need to be able to call on the services and expertise of such a person on a periodic basis. Integrated Quality Services provides just such a service; organisations can use IQS for areas such as setting up their quality system, helping resolve customer complaints, conducting internal audits, helping organisations prepare for management review meetings, carrying our periodic reviews of the quality system, etc. This allows the organisation to focus on its core products and services, and free up its own personnel. Integrated Quality Services was set up by Fin Rooney, who was previously the Quality and Commercial Manger at Wexford Electronix in Ireland. He has over 15 years' experience in the area of Quality Assurance and Quality Management Systems, and has excellent experience of dealing with multinational organisations such as JCB, Renault, and Mitsubishi. His primary degree is in Mechanical Engineering, and he later followed that with a Masters degree in Business Administration. When setting up Integrated Quality Services, Fin was aware of several services that he could offer to organisations, and of some problems with how organisations adopted the ISO Quality standard; for example, Quality was seen as something that was separate from the business, and viewed as a paperwork exercise. The result was that Quality came to have a rather poor image in some companies. The structure of the previous ISO standard only reinforced this impression. However, this has now changed since the introduction of ISO9001:2000. Following an analysis of the requirements of organisations, other services were developed by IQS and these are outlined below. "I set up Integrated Quality Services to provide professional services to both the manufacturing and services sectors of business, and to service organisations - after all, Quality is involved in all aspects of organisations, none more so than in customer service. Organisations can spend a lot of money on putting in Quality systems, but for the customer, often all that they see is the product they buy or the level of service from the person they deal with. Organisations should ask themselves : who is the first person with whom a customer or potential customer makes contact?" says Fin. "When people hear of the word 'Quality' they tend to think of manufactured products. There is no doubt that the quality of a product we buy is very important and it is usually easy to determine if it is of good quality or not. But determining the quality of a service may not be as easy. And manufacturing organisations also tend to forget that they are also a service organisation. For example, their sales personnel, their accounts personnel, and their engineering personnel all provide a service to customers. The effectiveness of these services can matter as much to the customer as the product itself." "Organisations need to ask themselves some basic questions, for example : 'what does quality mean for our organisation?', 'who in our organisation is responsible for quality?', 'why is quality important for us?', and 'what aspects of our performance should we measure?' These questions can seem too obvious for organisations, yet it is in answering these questions that an organisation can determine where quality fits into the organisation and why they are doing or should be doing certain things." Services offered by Integrated Quality Services : Quality Consultancy Integrated Quality Services can help organisations in the following ways : * Develop an effective and efficient Quality Management System, one that is incorporated into the business plans and policies. This helps ensure that Quality is not seen as an 'add-on' or as something that belongs with the Quality department of an organisation. In fact, it is the people and areas outside the quality department, that have even more responsibility for Quality. * Assist organisations that want to achieve the ISO9001:2000 standard. * Introduce Quality tools to help improve performance, e.g. Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, Statistical Process Control, Capability studies, 8D customer complaint resolution reporting, etc. * Co-ordinate the alignment of an organisation's Quality system to fit both the requirements of the ISO9001:2000 standard and actual organisational practices. * Conduct audits of an organisation or of an organisation's suppliers. * Help develop an organisation's Quality and Procedures manual. * Introduce organisations to the new automotive standard, TS16949:2002. Quality Training Integrated Quality Services has developed a thorough training course in Quality, based around the ISO9001:2000 standard, but it is one that is suitable for all employees. Often, it is the people in the Quality department that go on such courses but this one is designed to take people through the basics of Quality, before going on to deal with the ISO standard in detail. As such, it suits shop floor, office, managerial, and administration staff. Training can be conducted in-house if required. "Lean Manufacturing" (not only for manufacturing organisations) Integrated Quality Services will be introducing a service in lean manufacturing practices in early 2004. Lean manufacturing involves the prevention of waste in all its forms, whether it be scrap product, excess packaging, or excess time spent on a product or service that does not add value to it. Its basic goals are to : * Improve Quality * Eliminate waste * Reduce lead times * Reduce total costs Many of these techniques are applicable to service organisations too. Sub-Contract Quality Management In these times of cost consciousness, it can be expensive for an organisation to employ a full time Quality manager or Quality co-ordinator. If this sounds familiar then Integrated Quality Services has a cost-effective solution for you - why not use IQS as a sub contract Quality department that you can call on periodically? For example, some organisations might use IQS to come in to set up their system, but then once that has been done, they will ask IQS to come in once per month (or whatever frequency is required) to ensure that their Quality system is monitored, and that it remains effective, and to help out in any areas where specific Quality expertise is required. The result is reduced costs for the organisation, yet still having an experienced Quality professional available to oversee their Quality system, and handle such items as : internal audits, customer complaints, supplier audits, developing key performance indicators, prepare for management review meetings, etc. How Integrated Quality Services can help your organisation : * Integrated Quality Services will hold a one day meeting with top management to introduce them to the standard and its requirements. * It will then assess your current Quality Management System and Quality Manual. * In conjunction with senior managers, it will help you develop your Quality policy, Quality objectives, and key performance indicators. * Because the ISO9001:2000 standard is process-based, IQS will assist in developing the process flow charts for your organisation. * IQS will not only help develop all of the above, but is also available to help implement them. * Integrated Quality Services can then conduct a periodic review of your Quality system. Personal commitment and premium service are key aspects of the package that is provided by Integrated Quality Services. IQS will guarantee a visit to any organisation that uses Season's products, at least every six months. Integrated Quality Services - Promoting better performance through better Quality Wexford Enterprise Centre, Rosslare Road, Wexford. Tel / Fax : 053 40478 E-mail : Website : Season Components : and