Business process improvement

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31 July 2009

Singlepoint the star of the show as Syncronology achieves ISO9001:2008

On July 28th 2009, we successfully passed audit and have since been awarded the ISO9001:2008 Quality Management standard. We’re really pleased to achieve this but more pleasing was the plaudits heaped on Singlepoint by the auditor.

We have been carefully implementing Singlepoint over the past few months for no fewer than 10 key business processes.

Firstly, and the most obvious one, is document control. All our QMS, health and safety, HR, technical and operational documents have been registered into the system and are available to be viewed by all staff (access level permitting) across both offices. We weren’t surprised that the auditor was impressed with the level of traceability we could show around revision history, approvals etc and the fact that only the current version was viewable by end users.

Next we got into product and service realisation, and for us this includes both core product development as well as individual customer deployments. We employ, in a modified way, the core operators of the “Unified Process” product development process to provide us with a measureable and auditable method of ensuring we are providing our customers with the solutions they have purchased. We use Singlepoint Program Manager to manage this process and the auditor liked the fact that all tasks were assembled for all to see, progress against such tasks and/or outstanding tasks were instantly visible, risk reporting was readily available and that all project documents were on hand in one unified location.

Specifically appropriate to core product development is the release of new versions of Singlepoint. As part of our validation and QA process, we have created a Release Manager module within Singlepoint that ensures that all testing checklists have been completed and that the secondary random testing is also complete and successful.

Integrated into Program Manager are our sales forecasting and invoicing processes. Our Sales Manager creates a revenue opportunity for each up-coming potential customer order. When we receive the customer’s order, he records that in Singlepoint and, if appropriate, this kicks off a new program in Program Manager which in turn alerts our Customer Program Manager that a new project is underway. At the same time, our accounts staff receive notification to raise the invoice and despatch to the customer.

We all need to deal with issues and non-conforming product / services. Here, Singlepoint touches our business in a number of ways. Firstly, were we to encounter a serious quality issue we would use Singlepoint Issue Manager and the pre-configured 8D process to manage and report on such issues. Program Manager has a built-in mini process that deals with “blockers”; small operational issues that can be managed through simple workflow and task management. Then we use the  Singlepoint Ticket System to track our HelpDesk calls and this features escalation and collaboration to the product development team.

Staff process their monthly expenses through Singlepoint and we plan to also use it for managing holiday and leave requests.

All in all, the auditor was extremely impressed and was highly complimentary about how we’ve set up Singlepoint to manage our business. We were given a handful of opportunities for improvement which we will be reviewing and implementing, including adding auditing to Singlepoint.

We will be happy to share our set-up and experiences with any of our customers that would find that useful. Finally, a big thank you to the various customers that have advised and helped us along the way.