“The number-one mistake that companies make as they ready themselves for registration is that they over document their processes. When you write more procedures than you need, you can be stuck with a burdensome system forever.”
With a combined 60 years of experience in quality and process management systems, MSG presents practical solutions to companies that are struggling to obtain their first certification or working to be certified or improve in new areas of business.
Clients rely on MSG to help with international standards that are a prerequisite to selling products and services to large multinational companies or entering foreign markets directly. MSG clients value the firm’s simple yet thorough approaches to building quality and project management processes that do more than satisfy auditors; MSG programs can help companies achieve first-time quality and reduce waste.
Brandon Kerkstra has worked with hundreds of companies in a wide range of industries during the past 14 years as president of MSG. In addition to building the successful business, Brandon has facilitated the implementation of ISO 17025, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 13485, APQP, CMMI, & SPICE (ISO 15504). Brandon has also trained on Project Management, Time Management and Lean Concepts, and more recently implemented and trained on AS 9100 and AS 9115 as well as DO178B requirements.
Before launching MSG, Brandon Kerkstra was responsible for business development at the North American division of the British Standards Institution Inc., the world's largest registrar of quality management systems, and for technical business development at Entela, Inc., the world’s leading automotive and manufacturing registrar. Kerkstra also held positions as a lead trainer for both organizations.
MSG conducts ongoing internal audits for companies nationwide that want to supplement the work of their regular staffs and raise the bar on their auditing procedures.
Many of these companies have noted dramatic improvement in the value of their internal audits, reduction of internal costs due to interruptions, and improvement in the results of registrar surveillance audits.
Because it serves as an impartial auditor, MSG often sidesteps the initial problems that occur when an employee of one department bristles at the criticism leveled by the employee of another department who has been designated as an internal auditor. While companies must develop a sustainable system of internal audits by employees, MSG can lead the way in facilitating the fine art of constructive criticism.
My management does not really seem to value our internal audits, so how do I get more buy in from management
First, ask yourself some tough questions
1) Are Internal Audits conducted to verify conformance or to improve performance? Conformance to a Procedure or Work Instruction is not the only focus of the Internal Audit Program. Conformance without performance is just not enough to excite Top Management.
2) What is the most "Value Added" issue that has been identified through Internal Audits? Does the Internal Audit Program use Company Measureables to focus the audit? Has the Internal Audit finding and the subsequent Corrective Action improved a Measurable? How much? Has it prevented a Customer Concern? What is the "Return on Investment" for Management's commitment to the Internal Audit Program?
With the current economic challenges facing most companies, Internal audit staff and their training and qualifications are, in many cases below expectations.
A good analogy to a typical internal audit program is playing the piano. If you take a 2-3 day lesson and are then required to give a recital once or twice a year with no practice, how will you perform? You would most naturally select a very simple song, play it very slowly, and perform mediocre at best.
Internal audits are very similar. With inexperienced auditors, the small nonconformances are found while overlooking the larger or more complex issues that have the real potential to improve quality and the management system. They also tend to overlook the many opportunities for improvement or make solid recommendations.
As a general rule of thumb, a full internal audit conducted by internal staff without extensive auditing experience should be about twice the mandays as a recertification audit by a registrar. This can vary greatly based on experience and audit tools, but it does give an indication of the internal resources required.
Management Solutions Group offers public internal auditor training courses along with cost effective onsite training that includes completing part or all of an internal audit at the same time as the training, improving the cost effectiveness.
MSG reviews a company’s needs, then responds with menu options that meet the company’s budget and schedule. During this assessment phase, MSG helps the client to:
- Clarify goals and objectives
- Determine which certifications or standards will be most applicable
- Determine what individuals from the company will be involved to tailor training to the appropriate level
- Determine an appropriate time schedule
- Determine the amount of resources necessary to ensure successful program launch
After the assessment phase, MSG may suggest options that range from on-site training classes conveniently offered during any company shifts to full-blown project management programs when MSG staff assist in expediting the Advanced Product Quality Planning documentation for a product launch.
Below is a diagram of a Typical Implementation Project Flow
Sherryl Acey has over 22 years in quality including laboratory management (17025) for A2LA accredited labs in the US, Canada, and China. Sherryl is currently providing consulting, training, and auditing services to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 17025.
Sherryl has successfully lead & conducted hundreds of Internal & External audits, prior experience writing numerous quality documents including compliance manuals and internal operating procedures as required, management reviews at the Corporate level focusing on continuous improvement and business development goals.