Tags Posts tagged with "performance"


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ISO Implementation Process

Preparing for an ISO implementation process of any ISO standard can be overwhelming and frightening for many. How an organization prepares for implementation will depend on factors such as size and complexity of its processes, the current knowledge and culture related to the standard (quality, environmental, safety, etc), the maturity of any other existing systems related to the standard wishing to implement, and many others. Despite the differences there may be between organizations, there are a few tips that will facilitate the implementation process of any management system, these are:

Know the standard.

It is essential that some personnel knows the management system’s requirements. Everyone does not need to be an expert on the requirements of the specific standard that will be implemented, but key workers need to fully know and understand all of the requirements of the standard.

Inform everyone what is going on.

The implementation process is not a task of just a few chosen ones. Everyone needs to be involved in this process. Every worker needs to know what is being implemented, why is it being implemented, which are the benefits for the organization and for themselves, and how they will be involved in the process. When people are informed, they will be more open and willing to collaborate in the implementation.

Analyze the organization’s current situation.

Before starting to implement any ISO management system, an organization needs to know its level of compliance with the standard. This will allow the organization to understand beforehand its strengths and weaknesses regarding the ISO management system wishing to implement and estimate the time needed for implementation.

Map your processes.

Establish and record current processes in order to know the relationships between departments and how the processes flow within the organization. This will allow organizations to plan their implementation by processes and not just by areas and departments.

Review existing procedures and work instructions.

Many processes need written and documented information that will guarantee that activities are carried out in the correct manner. Organizations need to review which processes are documented and how many work instructions there are. It is not the same to develop a few documents and just review work instructions than to develop them from scratch. Organizations need to have an idea of how much time they will have to invest in developing and reviewing documents.

Review current training programs.

Evaluate existing training and awareness programs. Training and awareness are an important part in the implementation process and if an organization has not considered training its workers, it would be best to redefine these programs to make sure that a large percentage of workers are trained and informed about policies, procedures, regulations, etc that will be a part of their daily activities.

These are some recommendations that will help organizations prepare for the implementation process of any ISO management system. The most important aspect to keep in mind is to make sure that the whole organization is working for the same objectives and pulling in the same direction.

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ISO 20000

In order to meet and improve customer satisfaction it’s essential to monitor and measure performance by using different indicators. Performance indicators are tools used for determining how and to what degree an organization is meeting guidelines, policies, objectives, requirements and targets set in their ISO 9001 QMS.

These performance indicators are set by the organization and they vary from one organization to another. Each organization must decide which performance indicators are more suitable to the nature of their industry sector and their objectives.

What should be considered is that these indicators must be measurable and achievable. They must refer to the system’s critical processes, they must accurately represent the target to be measured, and they should be quantifiable, cost-effective, reliable and allow management to know the information in real time.

Below, the critical areas to be measured and some examples of indicators are mentioned.

Cost Indicators

These are performance indicators that evaluate the activities that consume economic resources in different processes.

  • Percentage costs spent on energy consumption.
  • Percentage return on investment.
  • Percentage cost of carrying out reworking or correcting errors.

Time Indicators

These performance indicators measure the time consumed in an activity or process and considers the time from the beginning to the end of the selected process or activity. For example:

  • Percentage number of products or services delivered on time.
  • Percentage number of products or services delivered late.

Productivity Indicators

These performance indicators measure the efficiency of resources in the operation. Some of these could be:

  • Percentage machine/equipment utilization.
  • Percentage of downtime.

Quality Indicators

These performance indicators calculate the effectiveness in the development of activities or processes, delivering results based on the number of errors, number of perfect and flawless deliveries. An example is:

  • Percentage number of products or services needing rework.
  • Percentage of customers ‘very satisfied’.

While these indicators may vary, the important thing to keep in mind is that they should serve as a tool for improving the quality of decisions regarding the processes and the ISO 9001 QMS itself.

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Environmental Performance Indicators provide organizations with a tool for measuring, evaluating and controlling their performance. These quantifiable metrics reflect the performance of an organization in the context of achieving its environmental goals and objectives.

They are also useful in illustrating environmental improvements, identifying market opportunities, providing essential data for environmental reports and statements, providing feedback to motivate members of the organization and to support the implementation of the ISO 14001 standard.

However, not all performance indicators are useful to every organization. These must be identified and measured considering the nature and context of the organization and its specific targets and goals.

Even though there’s not a set of performance indicators that is right for every ISO 14001 management system, there are performance indicators that can be commonly seen in many environmental performance indicator reports. Some of these are:

Operational Performance Indicators

These measure environmental impact caused by an organization’s main activities.

Emissions to air

  • Greenhouse Gases
  • Acid Rain
  • Eutrophication and Smog Precursors
  • Dust and Particles
  • Ozone Depleting Substances
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Metal emissions to air Emissions to water
  • Nutrients and Organic Pollutants
  • Metal emissions to water

Emissions to land

  • Pesticides and Fertilisers
  • Metal emissions to land
  • Acids and Organic Pollutants
  • Waste (Landfill, Incinerated and Recycled)
  • Radioactive Waste

Resource use

  • Water Use and Abstraction
  • Energy use (Natural Gas, Oil, Coal, other)
  • Minerals
  • Aggregates
  • Forestry

Environmental Management Performance Indicators

These reflect organizational actions management is taking to minimize their environmental impact. These indicators serve as internal control measures and information, but do not provide valid information on the real environmental performance of an organization. These performance indicators should not be used exclusively for the evaluation of environmental performance, but as a support in evaluating the actions taken within the environmental management system. Some of these are:

  • Number of sites that have environmental management systems
  • Number of ISO14001 certification
  • Number of training sessions regarding environmental preservation and of people attended
  • Number of environmental audits by kinds (internal and external environmental audits)

Every organization is different and each one needs to carefully examine which environmental performance indicator suits it best. These indicators should summarize extensive environmental data to a limited number of significant key information points and ensure rapid assessment of the organization’s main improvements and weaknesses in environmental protection. This information should be comparable from year to year or period to period, allowing unfavorable trends to be quickly detected in order for timely actions to be taken to correct and improve the organisation’s environmental performance.

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Measuring Supplier Performance

Organizations that have contracted work, services or goods from a supplier must have a way of knowing if what they’re getting is what they paid for. Measuring supplier performance is a common good practice implemented by many organizations in order to identify in what extent are supplier’s meeting their obligations, facilitate performance improvement and improve relationships between both parties.

There are many tools and techniques for measuring supplier performance. This process requires time and resources, and organizations need to carefully consider which method adapts best to its circumstances and needs. Below, the main factors to take into account when carrying out this process are briefly described.

Determine what is good performance

The first step to measuring performance is to determine which activities are critical for the success of the contract and what are the characteristics of good supplier performance. From this understanding of the dimensions of a good performance, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be developed.

Develop KPIs

KPIs should meet the following criteria:

  • Completeness: all significant aspects of the goods/service should be included in the measurement of performance.
  • Clarity: both parties should have a clear understanding of the performance measures to be used.
  • Measurability: performance requirements should be expressed in measurable terms and should be based on data which it is possible to gather.
  • Focus: specifications should be focused on the agency’s procurement objectives (which translate to outputs and outcomes), not on processes.

Some of the aspects of the contract that are usually measured are:

  • On-time delivery.
  • Correct quantity.
  • Number of customer complaints.
  • Product/service cost.
  • Service/product quality (against agreed terms).

Determine which measurement approach to use

There are many approaches for measuring supplier performance. Some are more complex than others and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Here, some commonly used approaches will be mentioned:

  • Categorical system: this method is easy to use but it is subjective. The aspects being measured are weighted equally and it relies on a person’s perception about performance and not on quantitative data.
  • Weighted-point method: this method assigns a weight to each aspect being measured depending on its importance. This is considered a reliable and flexible method.
  • Cost-based system: with this method it is possible to quantify the additional costs incurred if a supplier fails to perform as expected. This is a very objective but complex method.

This process is usually time consuming for many organizations, especially for those that have a large number of suppliers along their supply chain. A well carried out process will ensure useful and objective results that will serve to improve performance and business relationships between an organization and its supplier(s).