Success through Transparency
The quality of processes and products together with their documentation are core components of a successful company. In addition to quality assurance, industrial environmental protection, occupational safety and energy efficiency are further components of modern corporate management. However, the cost of running separate management systems in parallel is huge. By harnessing synergies and bundling resources, lean and efficient management can be achieved by employing an integrated management system.
At the beginning of 2013 we introduced an integrated management system (F.I.M.S.) at Fels under the motto “one house, one system”. Previously the environmental, energy and quality management systems together with management systems for feed stuffs (GMP), potable water (HACCP) and a register of hazardous substances had existed side by side. F.I.M.S. now offers an integrated system that bundles all of the management tasks and provides a framework for the management of key documents. “With F.I.M.S. we want to simplify how we work with the systems and render the documentation more transparent”, says Hans-Peter Thomas, manager responsible for the project. During the course of a project that lasted several months, the existing systems were unified and consolidated into a 154-page management manual. Furthermore, a central instruction level was created for the factories and responsibility for management assigned via the manual, process and job descriptions.
Less complicated and clearer
The reasons for consolidating the systems are clear. Each system requires its own documentation along with the associated workload for maintenance and updating. Each system needs a manual, has its own work instructions, standard operating procedures and process descriptions which creates a complicated and confusing situation. The different management systems do however contain some overlapping areas: Responsibility and authority, training, auditing, documentation, control of documents and records together with management review procedures are applicable to all of the management systems.
But there are still further benefits: The standardized and stringent control of documents ensures that documents can be seamlessly traced. All management documents now also have a new layout for clear and secure document control. All processes and procedures are now clearly described. This will afford us success through transparency. There is furthermore a clear assignment of responsibilities and greater security has been gained for operational procedures. And as an incidental benefit, our management reviews have also become more conclusive.
First successful audits
The first TÜV audits became available just a short time after the introduction of F.I.M.S. The surveillance audits in Goslar and at our Czech site in Vitosov have already been successfully completed. In the meantime, our factories at Rübeland, Hornberg and Saal have successfully completed their external audits, while the Münchehof, Rüdersdorf and Niemegk plants have also undergone external auditing by TÜV – and achieved positive results. This fully concludes the consolidation of the quality, environmental and energy management systems. The new system has also immediately proven itself. It has for instance facilitated a significant reduction in the complexity of our management processes. This is due not least to the electronic documentation system roXtra, which ensures the compliant archiving of all documents. Our reporting quality standards now also fulfil the current requirements with ease.
The benefits of F.I.M.S.
- Responsibilities are clearly defined
- Information channels and communication with the relevant groups are automated
- Classification and hierarchical structure ensure that the most current version can be quickly found
- Documents have a standardized structure, are clearly presented and are uniquely and clearly identified
- Old revisions are removed automatically