A New Year Business Approach

November 8th, 2018

With the New Year approaching, many of us are thinking of what is the best way to shape our company’s economic future and growth into the most profitable form possible.

The answer is to deliver more than your share of customer value! Keep in mind your competition won’t be standing idle while you innovate and grow. To stay ahead of your competition, you should keep a strategic focus on what sets your company apart within your industry.

You could have a number of marketable differences from your competition. Spending more on R&D, or sales efforts? Acquiring capital equipment beyond your current capacities? Is what you’re doing focused on internal needs, or are you implementing your customer’s ideas?

1. Conduct face-to-face interviews.

Of all the ways to learn about customer needs-telephone, e-mail survey, Internet, nothing comes close in effectiveness to face-to-face customer interviews. Many of us use customer surveys to determine satisfaction levels. We use a Likert Scale method (1-5) based on questions we have determined are important. The reality, though, is that most questions asked are actually customer-reactive, not market-customer proactive interviews. Should we be asking our customers “Please rate the quality of our products?”, or “How can we provide a better quality product to you?” Get out and visit your customers and find out what’s important to them!

2. Develop a Voice of the Customer mentality.

Voice of the Customer studies typically consist of both qualitative and quantitative steps. They are generally conducted at the start or finish of a new product, process, or service design in order to better understand the customer’s wants and needs. That e-mail survey with the 3-5% average return, is it handing you a report of “what the customer wants?” This is a flawed model. Train your people to be VOC experts!

Best of all, you’ll develop a reputation among customers as “that supplier who really does listen to us.”

3. Become a quantitative organization.

After you conduct good qualitative customer interviews, you can target specific customer ideas you could work on. Which ideas do you target in your product design? Which ideas do you target in your product realization processes? At this point get quantitative. Being quantitative helps you to understand which customer outcomes are most important and least satisfied.

The key to taking advantage of the future is in changing the way your company approaches your current and future customers. Start now, with a new approach and you’ll shape a sustainable organization for Year 2019 and beyond!

Service Management System Life Cycle

October 5th, 2018

According to a Forbes report, IT service management is highly important to most executives and a lack of a service management approach hurts competitiveness due to too much time and money spent on ongoing maintenance and management rather than new initiatives.

A service management system (SMS) supports the management of the service cycle, from planning to delivery and improvement, offering better value for customers as well as those delivering the service. It gives ongoing visibility, allowing for continual improvement in effectiveness and efficiency.

ISO has updated two standards in its service management series, with new features, topics and tips from the top.

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018, Information technology – Service management – Part 1: Service management system requirements, specifies the requirements for an organization to establish, implement, maintain and continually improve an SMS,

ISO/IEC 20000-10:2018, Information technology – Service management – Part 10: Concepts and vocabulary, describes the core concepts and terminology for the whole ISO/IEC 20000 series.

The ISO/IEC 20000 series can be of benefit to anyone that provides services to customers, whether it be a whole company or an individual department, not only improving their service but ensuring that service management activities meet business needs and objectives.

The revised versions take into account changes in market trends, including the services and the management of multiple suppliers by an internal or external service integrator. It also incorporates new features such as requirements about knowledge and service planning, as well as updated terminology and definitions.

You can purchase these service management system standards at the ANSI Webstore.

FDA To Use ISO 13485 for Medical Devices Regulation

August 29th, 2018

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the government department that regulates the medical devices sector, announced its intention to use ISO 13485 as the basis for its quality system legislation.

ISO 13485, Medical devices — Quality management systems — Requirements for regulatory purposes, is the International Standard for quality management systems for the medical devices sector. Published in 2016, it is designed to work with other management systems in a way that is efficient and transparent. The standard, which is now in its third edition, received strong support from the FDA, in line with its drive for global convergence of medical device regulatory processes.

The announcement by the FDA that it will use ISO 13485 in replacing its current quality system regulation, is an important next step in the recognition this standard has already gained globally.  The committee Chair, Peter Linders, added that “this bold step by the FDA seems logical, considering the role of ISO 13485 as the foundation for the Medical Devices Single Audit Program (MDSAP), currently operated by Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan and the USA”.

Auditing Management Systems Standard Updated

July 16th, 2018

Management system standards are growing in popularity as organizations see how they can be applied to manage interrelated processes to achieve their objectives. From quality or energy management to food or traffic safety, the list of standards aimed at helping organizations put in place effective management systems is getting long.  In order to get the best out of a management system and ensure continuous improvement, regular auditing needs to take place.

 

ISO 19011:2018, Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems offers a uniform, harmonized approach, enabling effective auditing across multiple systems at the same time.  Key changes in the 2018 version include the addition of a risk-based approach to the principles of auditing to reflect the enhanced focus on risk in both management standards and the business application.  In addition, guidance has been expanded in a number of areas such as managing an audit program, and conducting an audit.  We highly recommend purchasing this document. You can purchase ISO 19011:2018, Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems from the Techstreet Store .

 

New AIAG Regulatory Updates Page

May 22nd, 2018

In partnership with Compliance & Risks, AIAG now offers a New Free Regulatory Updates webpage that automatically populates with relevant content as regulations are updated and customer requirements change.

This RSS feed driven page is geared toward individuals involved with corporate responsibility and sustainability (CR/S), and those performing quality functions that require reporting into IMDS, and all others dealing with global substances of concern and waste regulation. The page’s simple and straightforward format allows users to quickly skim through content if desired, but also makes it easy to find more information. Clicking on any particular update’s title takes the user to the source page, where more detail is available.

Resources like this help support proactive and reactive measures within automotive industry organizations in response to changes in global regulations. Since the page populates with fresh content as regulations are updated and customer requirements change, the process of staying informed is made stress-free – checking back often will help individuals stay up to date on the latest need-to-know regulations and requirements, and better prepared for compliance challenges. Additionally, although new content appearing at the top of the page will displace older updates, the latter will still be readily available simply by scrolling down.

To view the Regulatory Updates page, simply visit this link, or navigate to the Corporate Responsibility tab at www.aiag.org to explore related topics.