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Gearing up for growth

Derek Daly

Having good processes enables companies to respond to change.

As the engineering industry rejuvenates, how can quality , health, safety and environment (QHSE) processes keep pace in an increasingly stringent and changing marketplace?

Organisations need to place strong emphasis on developing management systems to help shape their value offering to clients by strengthening their own procedures. The objective must be clear to all aspects of the organisation, and as a general principle, systems must be straightforward and they must be agile. This can then become the catalyst for a well-defined roadmap of system development, which will enable organisations to align closely with their own values.

To achieve success, it is important to set clear key performance indicators and associated targets to drive compliance with the processes. This can in turn be supported by key enablers such as the development of scorecard/dashboards for the reporting function, which record business and QHSE challenges including corrective and preventative actions.

Coupled with this, companies must manage their own data in a secure and easily accessible repository. While many firms simply introduce an “out of the box” document management system it is vital to engage with key business stakeholders to understand the precise user requirements including auditing and compliance functions. In my experience, these changes in approach can drive accountability in the business and help drive competition in performance and results across offices. It will also lead to real engagement in the audit process and a step change in the way we look at QHSE systems, for driving value and strong commitment to our clients.

I believe that in order to unlock the greatest business value from our processes, firms must invest in the right people who are talented, passionate and understand the close link between quality systems and engineering delivery. It is also vitally important that within our industry we keep focused on training to a high level of technical competency in QHSE leading systems and processes. This in turn will drive business benefits, and most importantly ensure that employees satisfy their legislative responsibilities in design.

Having first-hand experience of investment in QHSE processes, the rewards are clearly visible. With strong processes, employees and systems can work together more efficiently and effectively. This allows greater agility and responsiveness and helps to maintain a competitive advantage.

  • Derek Daly is QHSE and tender manager at Byrne Looby

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