Quality Management and Repositioning of a professional Services Provider

A construction company systemizes its operations to penetrate a new market.

Background:

The construction industry is one of the very cyclical and volatile industries. It’s governed by a rigid paradigm that makes it hard for companies to innovate and create new ways of working. And given the economic conditions, the expenditures on capital projects is declining—and as a result, the competition is becoming fiercer in markets, particularly, where the barriers to entry are low such as the commercial and residential one. Having realized the aforementioned, the Chief Executive Officer of the company decided to reposition it such that to target markets that require specialization as the healthcare and the oil and gas. However, a key prerequisite to enter these markets is to have a proper quality management system in place. There is almost a consensus amongst clientele in these industries that ISO 9001 is a minimum pre-qualification element.

The Challenge:

The company has its operations defined however, less documented. There was a real struggle of the company to manage its different processes in a structured manner. The CEO advised that he did a calculation once for the time loss of obtaining an already created document—it was such an enormous amount, especially when it’s described within a monetary wording. Also, as the company is trying to enter a new market, it’s looking for partners in this arena. All potential ones are demanding a thorough and deep-dive audit for the company’s operations, quality, technical and financial stability. The challenge was well-articulated by the CEO in one statement “ whilst I can take care of the” last two, “I have no clue how to manage the former two.”

Our Support and Solution:

We were very clear from the beginning that we are not that much of the support of certification unless:

  • The current operations meet the certification requirements, not the other way round i.e. creating a new system or altering an existent one to meets the certification requirements.
  • It’s mandated either by regulatory bodies, clients, professional associations, etc.

We started with a gap audit, we contemplated the future state of the company as a leading provider in the healthcare construction industry. we did the audit while the ISO 9001:2015 requirements are considered. We looked at different aspects of the operations and processes in the company as documentation, process design, process actors, strategic alignment as possible, governance, etc. And we came up with the current state report. Findings were many—several areas can be fixed and improved: Duplicate activities, complex workflows, and lack of automation formed the key categories.

We designed the closure plan for the identified gaps with its associated factors as timing, costing, roles, metrics, etc. and supported the deployment process.We worked with the company until we put the system in action providing all needed training and skills development. When the company was ready for the certification we helped on selecting the proper certification body by drafting the Request for Proposal (RfP), reviewing, and meeting potential vendors, and providing an impartial recommendation report.  And once the audit is completed we partnered with the company’s team to close the underlined non-conformances and observations and obtain the certification.

Results and Impacts

In the short term, the company had its quality management system developed, implemented, and measured; we set several metrics and indicators before implementing the system and afterward as a tool to evaluate its effectiveness. Operational metrics all showed improvements—key processes cycle time, compliance measures, and people’s indicators were the ones we focused on them the most at the outset. Also, the company passed two second-party audits to be qualified as part of regulated vendors’ lists. Furthermore, a culture of continuous improvement was introduced, quality circles became a common and regular event.    

 

“We know that many observations are surrounding the ISO9001:2015 as a whole standard. And we might even take a radical stance compared to many critics, particularly towards the certification process. But, we should not deny the fact that this standard is a good carrier of building a structured and process-driven culture. If we can make companies believe that it’s the start line to a new way of operation rather than the finish line, then we courageously describe our mission as a successful one. All indicators show that we made it this time!”

CEO, Mohammed AlWaqfi