ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System Implementation
Every day, billions of people use Bühler technologies and solutions to satisfy their basic needs for food, mobility, or communication. The company holds globally leading market positions in technologies and methods for processing grain into flour and feed, as well as for the production of pasta and chocolate, in die casting, wet grinding and surface coating. The company’s core technologies are in the areas of mechanical and thermal process engineering. Bühler Group operates in over 140 countries. In 2018, around 13,000 employees from all regions generated a turnover of CHF 3.3 billion. (source: https://www.buhlergroup.com/northamerica/en/about-buehler.htm)
Our first contact with Bühler was in the beginning of 2017. Bühler Brazil was planning to achieve ISO 9001:2015 certification by the end of the year and hired our consultancy services from Interaction Plexus (International Plexus Partner operating in Brazil) to assist in the implementation of their quality management system. Bühler Brazil successfully met the objective and the ISO 9001:2015 certification was achieved on target at the end of 2017.
After this proven success, Bühler USA hired Plexus International – U.S. in May 2019 to support ISO 9001:2015 implementation with a challenging goal of certification achievement by November 2019. To respond to such an aggressive timeline, it was necessary to use an engaging and pragmatic approach of consulting, which we called the “Auditing Consulting Model”. We found that the Auditing Consulting Model has a strong fit with Bühler USA’s organizational culture of teamwork and transparency.
After more than 3 decades working with all types and sizes of organizations around the world, Plexus International consultants recognize that culture fit between consultancy approach and customer’s shared values and beliefs is the number one factor for successful QMS development and implementation.
Plexus International’s “Auditing Consulting Model” is comprised of three pillars and three assumptions. The pillars represent the pragmatic approach for developing and implementing the QMS, while the assumptions represent the engaging approach for developing and implementing the QMS.
Three Pilars – Pragmatic Approach
- Just Own it: The very first step to speed up QMS implementation is to clearly define and make key managers accountable for QMS processes. If there is no process owner, there is no process.
- Just Do It: Define your processes. Execute your processes as defined. Start with the 50% that is already defined and move to the next 50%.
- Just Monitor it: Process Owners are responsible to perform weekly process reviews to connect the dots between actions to address performance gaps and QMS gaps. Management workshops at the beginning and at the end of each consultancy visit ensures the managerial team is on board, updated, and plays a critical role in solving open issues by teamworking. This is the intention of the process approach; to go beyond functional silos to support organizational performance improvement.
Three Assumptions – Engaging Approach
- Excellence and Simplicity in QMS documented information: A Quality Manual outlining key activities and processes as well as QMS Processes descriptions that clearly address ISO 9001 requirements is essential to get all organizational levels and functions on board.
- Performance, performance, performance: If a given task or activity is being performed to comply with ISO 9001 but does not improve customer satisfaction, increase efficiency, or decrease business risks, this is waste—eliminate it.
- Audit, Audit, Audit: Plexus Consultants are responsible for transforming each single interaction into an audit scenario. Conversations with clients are conducted around the motto: “don’t tell me, show me.” Auditing as a consultancy model helps the client understand why some objective evidence is critical for ensuring QMS effectiveness and reducing the resistance to needed changes by developing awareness on why we are doing what we are doing or changing what we are doing.