Operational Support: A Cost-Effective Alternative
The COVID-19 pandemic has put small businesses in a difficult position with respect to resource capacity, uncertainty, and finding the right skillsets for the job. These challenges can result in being short-handed to perform essential functions such as operations, quality, and supply chain management. Employees may be serving in functions that are not aligned with their respective core competencies or are stretched too thin. These circumstances are difficult and can lead to a vicious cycle of critical errors, low employee morale, and higher employee turnover. Unfortunately, businesses may not be in a financial position to address these challenges and hire employees right now. Doing so will increase overhead and tie the business to longer range commitments that do not coincide with the current business environment.
Supply Chain Risk: Simplifying the Chaos
Does your organization effectively make optimal decisions about your supply chain? Are you proactively identifying and addressing risks before they become major issues? Are you collecting the right data and making the most of it? Do you know who your suppliers are? What about your sub-tier suppliers? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you are not alone. Managing supply chains is a complex activity for any organization – large or small. When issues arise, they often expose hidden risks or even those that we knew were lurking all along. These risks can include supplier selection, procurement, improper allocation of resources, poor inventory planning, and lack of visibility across the supply chain. By taking a more proactive approach to supply chain risk management, the occurrence and severity of risks can be mitigated before they cause devastating consequences for years to come.
Quality Audits: Adding Value to Your Organization
Quality audits are typically performed to assure compliance to quality systems, programs, standards, or regulations such as ISO9001, ASME NQA-1, or 10CFR50 App B. Audits are performed by qualified members of your own organization (first-party audits), external parties such as consultants or customers (second-party audits), or by an independent organization such as a registrar or licensing agency (third-party audits). These different types of audits serve an intended purpose, are important, and have merit. However, quality audits are too often performed as a "box-checking" activity and do not provide real value to the organization; this is especially true for internal audits and supplier audits.