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"We've come a long way": 2 years into Rawson's EQMS project

Multi-site manufacturer W.E. Rawson adopted EQMS in 2016.

We sat down with Quality Assurance Manager Lee Clack to find out:

  • How EQMS had impacted Rawson after 2 years of use
  • Whether investing in an electronic quality system had paid off
  • The main challenge for British manufacturers - and how Lee overcame it
Watch the video or read the transcript below.

 

 

 

Qualsys: You've been onboard with us for over 2 years now. What has the impact of EQMS been for Rawson in that time?

Lee: We've come a long way in the 2.5 years we've had EQMS.

One of our main goals was environmental. We've got a 5-year plan to go completely paperless. We're about 70% there now.

The system has made the site easier to handle.

It's a big site here, just over 12 acres, quite diverse with 3 very different businesses. The one system has helped manage all 3.

We're a lot more efficient in handling issues now. EQMS defines actions and areas of responsibility. We didn't have that before.

Things weren't getting dealt with in a timely manner. They are now.

Previous to EQMS and me joining Rawson, we'd done 4 audits that year. We're pushing for over 40 this year - and we've still got 2 months to go.

Whereas before an audit could take up to a week in terms of preparation, monitoring, raising and following up on non-conformances, we can do several in that time frame now with Audit Manager.

 

S3810006The Rawson quality team use iEQMS Auditor for mobile auditing

 

Things weren't getting dealt with in a timely manner. They are now.

Previous to EQMS and me joining Rawson, we'd done 4 audits that year. We're pushing for over 40 this year - and we've still got 2 months to go.

 

Qualsys: What do you think the main challenge is going to be for British manufacturers over the next few years?

Lee: One of the difficulties we've seen recently, and one of our main risks, is recruiting. 

I've spoken to several people in the manufacturing sector and they're struggling to recruit.

I think with the impact of Brexit and not knowing the outcome of that, certain industries that rely heavily on Eastern European workers are finding that the majority of them are leaving the UK and going back home.

In the transport industry, businesses have been heavily affected. We've spoken to several transport companies we work with and there's been something like a 60,000 shortage of drivers in the UK alone.

I think the easiest way to look ahead is taking manual resource out and automating processes.

 

Qualsys: Where do quality professionals fit into that? What should they focus on for the future?

Lee: Cultural change, particularly in older established businesses, is very important - particularly with new technology coming in.

It's quite difficult to tell someone they need to change when they've been doing their job for 30 years. That's always a difficult area, particularly in a quality role.

But new software and new technologies should make that change easier to implement.

 

I've spoken to several people in the manufacturing sector and they're struggling to recruit. 

I think the easiest way to look ahead is taking manual resource out and automating processes.

 

 

S3810003

Since they started managing audits electronically, Lee and his team have increased annual internal audit completion by 900%

 

Qualsys: Do you think EQMS has helped you build a culture of quality?

Lee: Without a doubt. I know for a fact. 

I've got people here - one guy's been here for 28 years and one of his dislikes is computers. But he's really engaged with EQMS and said at a recent quality review meeting that it's the best system he's ever worked on.

So it's been a really, really good tool for me to help implement that culture change within Rawson. 

 

S3810007Lee with Quality Engineer Steve Waring

 

Qualsys: Has anything surprised you about working with us?

Lee: Only positive.

I have recommended Qualsys to a number of people based on their interaction with their customers. I haven't come across a supplier that interacts so well with their customers.

Qualsys as a company, for me, are so customer-focused and the product is really superb.

 

One guy's been here for 28 years and one of his dislikes is computers.

But he's really engaged with EQMS and said at a recent quality review meeting that it's the best system he's ever worked on.

 

Qualsys: Has investing in EQMS been worth it for you?
Lee: Certainly in manufacturing, with any major product you always look for a payback. Ideally that payback needs to be within 12 months.

In terms of:

  • Administration
  • Going paperless
  • Customer satisfaction in terms of our improved response times
  • The repeat business that's come from that
  • What I know the system can do and how it's improved things at Rawson

I would say the system paid for itself within 3 months. 

If I was to employ four more quality engineers, that would cost me the best part of £100,000. So you can quantify the cost yourself.

That more or less hits the nail on the head that the system's paid for itself in 3 months.

 rawson

W.E. Rawson's Wakefield site

 

Qualsys: What should quality professionals do if they're looking to implement an electronic quality system for their business?

Lee: The key to putting any quality management system in or incorporating any new software is getting engagement.

I think we went about it the right way. We got everyone involved, and everyone who might be involved in future, and got them round the table to demonstrate the system to them.

They all agreed it would be beneficial to buy it.

I think the other key is if you're thinking of buying or implementing EQMS, arrange to go and see it and how it works with a customer that's using it.

The system's so diverse and there are so many different things you can do with it to incorporate it into your everyday working hours.

They would be my 2 recommendations: engagement from the whole team and going to visit someone that's using the system to see how it can benefit you. Short-term and long-term. 

 

More resources

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Tags: Implementing EQMS, Case Studies, Continuous Improvement, Success Stories, Culture of Excellence, GRC, Customer Success