Process improvement tips from Sharon Chovhan, Obex. Issue #5.

The Process Improvement Tips from the Trenches blog series shares process improvement tips, tricks and recommendations from process management professionals around the world.

As Purchasing and Quality Specialist for Obex Medical, Sharon works with the Business Services Manager to coordinate all aspects of ISO quality and external Ministry of Health audits, ensuring that Obex adheres to all related standards.

OBEX Medical: OBEX Medical supplies medical professionals with implantable devices that are used on patients in operating procedures and surgeries in hospitals and medical practices across New Zealand. 

As Purchasing and Quality Specialist for Obex Medical, Sharon works with the Business Services Manager to coordinate all aspects of ISO quality and external Ministry of Health audits, ensuring that Obex adheres to all related standards.

OBEX Medical supplies medical professionals with implantable devices that are used on patients in operating procedures and surgeries in hospitals and medical practises across New Zealand.

Why is process important to your organization?

Process is critical for Obex because it allows all of our staff to work from one source.  It’s very important for us, and our suppliers, that information is processed correctly and that approved procedures are followed. And it also helps with our internal and external Audits.

What’s your biggest process management challenge?

A challenge for us is not having enough staff trained in writing processes correctly.  We’re planning to run in-house writing process training sessions to improve and standardize our process writing and to use online training videos.

What works well at your company?

We issue a monthly report to all Business Unit leaders to show where processes have not been viewed by users.  This has been very successful as it has to be reported to our board.

Brainstorming sessions also work particularly well for us - especially when there are new processes to map.  And the results of our audits go into an action plan which is monitored and displayed on the noticeboard, therefore we always ensure that any process updates will have a date by which the task needs to be completed and we know who the champion is for any required process updates. That works well too.

What’s the most unusual approach to process improvement you’ve tried?

Incentives!  We handed out incentives for people to clear their process management dashboards. 

Another unusual approach we ‘ve tried was when we had 19 new processes as a result of Health and Safety requirements.  The Management Team set aside a room with a computer so staff could spend time viewing all of the processes and policies around H&S. Everyone was on board as it was driven from the top.

What’s your top Tip from the Trenches, a process improvement recommendation for other organizations?

Focus on keeping staff engaged ALL the time or things will get out of date. We have regular communications talking about Quality and how its aligned with our Process Management efforts. We send out regular tips, reminders for webinars and reminders to clear individual dashboards monthly. We speak process and we use process champions to actively participate in keeping their processes current in their area of the business.

 

Want to learn more about how OBEX have streamlined their process and risk management?  Check out this Case Study. 

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