Corrective Actions provide Opportunities for Improvement!
One of the most overlooked areas of the QMS for increasing profitability is to implement a process to control corrective actions. Some business leaders see this process as unnecessarily complicated and time consuming, but this is often because it is excessively used on small problems that do not need a full root cause analysis and complex correction procedure. It is worth a second look at how you can make a corrective actions system work to help you find improvements.
If you could take your biggest operational issues, identify the root cause of those problems, and then find a way to make sure the problem does not happen again – think about the cost savings you could realize. By making sure that a corrective actions process is focused on finding real solutions to the problems that cost you money, and effectively addressing those problems so that they do not happen again, you can find the cost savings and profitability you want from your QMS.
Corrective actions are reactive – something has gone wrong and these are the actions taken to deal with the problem. Non-conformances are resolved through corrective actions. This will include the immediate corrective actions you take to keep your customer happy, e.g. you sent the wrong part and will immediately replace it with the correct part. However, ‘dealing with it’ for ISO 9001 means that you eliminate the problem and make sure it will not happen again. So the corrective actions you take will also include the longer term actions you take to make sure the problem will not occur again.
The problem might be identified in processes, materials, suppliers, the product, the service, the workplace, or the management system itself.
You might find opportunities for corrective actions through:
- audits (internal and external)
- consulting with staff
- customer feedback
- hazard reporting
- inspections – workplace opportunities
- investigating complaints
- resolving non-conforming products or services
- reviewing system failures
- reviewing regulatory requirements
- testing, inspecting, and monitoring of plant and equipment
CVG Strategy Experts
Our Exemplar Global Lead Auditor Consultants can help you with implementing a quality management system, which will include a risks and opportunities procedure. CVG Strategy has prepared, trained and implemented quality management systems for manufacturing companies in the past 10 years.
CVG Strategy is a consultancy offering coaching, mentoring, training and program development focused on areas including Business Process Improvement, ITAR and Export Compliance, Cyber Security and Product Test and Evaluation.