What to Do With Gathered QHSE Data
We often mention that gathering QHSE data is very important within QHSE management. You can make data-driven decisions with the right data. But what else can you do with all the gathered QHSE data? We have taken the opportunity to write down the best activities to get the most of all the data you have gathered.
Setting Up KPIs
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are an extremely important part of a (well-managed) integrated management system. They can help you see how well or badly the management system is working.
We believe that when KPIs align with company goals, the management system will be more effective. To make sure that everyone within the organization is involved, you have to set up these KPIs together.
As a quality manager, you have to communicate these KPIs well within the organization and ensure that everyone involved in the process understands what you’re trying to accomplish and why.
Ratios Over Just Figures
When we talk about KPIs, we’re talking about ratios as well as numbers. Because companies get bigger, one-dimensional metrics don’t work anymore. If you have more orders, there is a good chance that more things could go wrong and more people could get sick, so it’s best to use ratios.
For example, if you’re looking for ways to improve the quality of your products, you could look at recall per X units manufactured (or issues per Y units purchased) from supplier B. Ratios allow for scaling without losing any insight.
As mentioned, it is important to communicate the KPIs well and do whatever it takes for them to improve. Set goals for the business based on its performance last year or quarter. Talk with operational managers and discuss what needs to be done to reach these goals, and which processes need to be improved to achieve them. Make sure that the line manager is involved in the process of setting goals. Then, celebrate reaching these goals together with them and give them credit for it.
Data consistency may not be related to quality management. However, because quality control is getting more and more driven by data, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to use data to drive their processes. Data consistency makes it easier to analyze and improve. In the new quality management era, data consistency is just as important as anything else you do.
Make Required & Selection Fields
One way to improve data quality is to ensure certain questions are required. Employees must answer the specified questions before they can move on. This approach guarantees information, but not necessarily useful information. You need to find a balance between the number of required fields and the number of optional fields.
Pre-defined selections ensure consistency across the data. Employees must choose one of the options as an answer. Make sure that the different options for each option field are clear and self-explanatory. Moreover, avoid options like “other, general, etc.” These options are basically garbage cans for undefined situations. If 20–30% of your answers are one of these choices, the data won’t be useful because there isn’t enough context for it to make sense.
Integrating your IT systems is the best way to ensure consistency. When data is consistent across the different solutions, you’ll be able to identify trends within the company—and not just for quality management. If you connect the supplier issues directly to your ERP system, you can immediately grade the suppliers. This connection also allows you to benchmark locations or product lines. To do this, the data needs to be clear.
Gathered QHSE Data Cleaning
Despite all the good intentions, things can still go wrong. If this happens, it is essential that there are options for cleaning the data. Your solution should be capable of allowing for either manual or automatic data cleaning. This option lets you keep the consistency in the dataset and keep on improving processes by using accurate data.
Trend analysis is used for identifying, evaluating, and eliminating any issues that are negatively affecting product quality. HSE trend analysis is a particularly useful monitoring mechanism for any change to a process, especially those related to production. A corrective action plan (CAPA) is a means of determining when a preventive action should be taken in response to audit findings, equipment service/maintenance reports, nonconformances, etc.
A purpose-built digital QHSE solution can help organizations identify when certain quality risks occur, and then they can take appropriate action. Risk thresholds that are established and decisions made based on them must always be documented for auditing purposes.
What Methods Are Used for QHSE trend analysis?
There are two main methods for conducting QHSE trend analysis:
- Performance trending.
- Process trending.
Trending methods are most commonly expressed using different types of charts.
The charts used for trend analysis in QHSE management usually show data points such as:
- Threshold limits.
- Alert limits.
- Action limits.
- Attributes charts: Anything that can be quantified or rated with a pass/fail grade can be expressed in an attributes chart.
- Variables charts: Any quality aspect that is measurable (i.e., length, temperature, weight, etc.) can be expressed in a variables chart.
Choose metrics that target trends in data movement when analyzing quality trends.
These metrics and the thresholds you set should all be geared towards meeting three key criteria:
- Regulatory requirements.
- Best practices for industry.
- Your organization’s risk tolerance levels.
Sharing data with the organization will help improve their understanding and awareness of QHSE. Awareness comes with openness and willingness to learn and improve together. It is important that when somebody does something that could be harmful to the QHSE of the service/product, his/her colleague feels confident enough to point this out.
Openness and willingness to improve are the foundation of the QHSE culture. To create this, we need to make sure that no one is punished for making honest errors. This will keep people open to improvements. If this fundamental value isn’t present in an organization, it could be a big problem. We’ve seen this happen at Boeing, as clearly demonstrated in the Netflix documentary.
Once all the data has been collected, it can be analyzed so that you know whether the company really works efficiently. To achieve operational excellence, companies must set internal goals to see where they can improve their efficiency. Trend analysis is important for tracking improvements over time.
Dashboards should be created to show the results to the company, so they can see how their business is doing. The modern online platforms usually come with a built-in dashboard manager to display the data in the way you want. Displaying this data so that everyone understands is important for creating awareness and support among employees, which will lead them to perform better.