Friday, September 18, 2020

How Using an SMS and QA Integrator Saves Money!

How Using an SMS/QA Integrator Saves $Money$

Most small companies have accountants, lawyers and human resource people. Usually these small companies can not afford to have these required functions on a full time basis. Their accountant works from an accounting firm and monitors the books and gives advise. The lawyers usually work for a law firm outside the company and are called upon when needed to assist in legal business situations. A lot of companies contract out their Human Resource functions to payroll and other personnel management companies. Let's face it, it is a lot cheaper to hire a payroll or accounting company then to pay a full time accountant with benefits and all the costs that go along with a full time employee sitting at a desk. We have to have these departments because regulations and laws require it. As long as the functions meet all the legal and regulatory requirements, why not "Think outside the box" for ways to streamline and thus reduce the costs of the required functions while still getting the desired results. 

"Why can't we do the same with Safety Management Systems, SMS and Quality Assurance, QA?"

SMS Flow is a complex Process

Safety Management Systems and Quality Assurance are daily and continuous processes. So the questions is;  do we need to have a person sitting in the company to make the SMS and QA work?  We have learned valuable lessons from the great Quality Assurance gurus like Dr. W. Edwards Deming and Dr. Joseph Juran. It is the "Processes" themselves that create, control and produce the desired results for successful outcomes. It is not a single person who is responsible for the Safety or Quality functions that a company strives for, but rather it is the collection of  stakeholders working together within a "system" that produce the desired outcomes. 

So here's the Paradigm!  "We must have a person that is sitting in the company somewhere that is responsible for the SMS and QA function!"

Not so! All the activities of a successful Safety Management System and Quality Assurance System can be easily "Facilitated" remotely. Let me explain "facilitated." 

Everyday Safety reports are generated. The actual reporter and/or designated administrative person enters the report into a "Database" (such as SMS Pro, Vortex...etc.) The SMS Integrator, (who for all intents and purpose acts as the SMS Manager), now takes those reports and facilitates Risk Assessment, Root Cause Analysis and the development of Corrective Action Plans. The SMS Integrator manages the reports in the company's system by convening Safety groups through email, distance conferencing, (i.e. Zoom, MS Teams...etc.) and other Robust communication methods. The SMS Integrator monitors the "Corrective Action Plans" and reports on a continuous bases and reports to the company's management on "Corrective Actions" and "Continuous Improvement" initiatives. 

Daily Monitoring of The SMS remotely

"The key to a successful SMS Integration is based on several important decisions that must be made by the company."

1st. Are the company employees committed to the SMS and QA programs and willing to participate in Safety committees and Quality Circle Groups. 

2nd. Is the upper management of the company committed to supporting the SMS and QA system. 

3rd. You must contract an SMS Integrator that has the knowledge, skills and ability to manage a successful SMS and QA Program. The Integrator company must have "Profound" knowledge of SMS and QA Regulations and be able to conduct effective training to company personnel. The SMS Integrator must have knowledge of the operation, procedures and responsibilities of the company's local regulator personnel. The SMS Integrator must have communication skills to interface management initiative with the SMS and QA program. When management seeks change, the SMS Integrator must be able to conduct "Management of Change" processes to facilitate any changes with company personnel and processes. They need to produce "Safety Cases" and brief the company's management and personnel on the risks induced by the proposed changes and come up with mitigating measures. 

The Integrator is THE SMS Manager

The SMS Integrator can also monitor and maintain the company's Hazard Register to help management come up with Goals and Objectives from the Safety Risk Profile that are Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. The SMS Integrator also monitors the Hazard Register for Trending and reports appropriate data to management and then facilitates the corrective actions needed. 

The SMS Integrator would be responsible for the company's robust Audit program. The SMS Integrator would conduct SMS and QA Audit training to certify company personnel to perform Audits. In addition, all SMS and QA training would be conducted by the Integrator thus saving money in hiring "outside" training organizations. 


Since the company does not have to have a full time SMS and/or QA manager, a company can save on salary and benefits associated with these positions. In most cases anywhere from 50 to 150 thousand dollars. Because the SMS Integrator has daily communication and contact with the company, the company would have to designate an "Administrative" person to be the hands and feet of the Integrator at the physical building as needed. An Integrator liaison would be only a portion of the administrative person's responsibilities and therefore the cost factor is significantly lower as compared to hiring a full time SMS or QA Manager. In most cases, the cost of contracting with an SMS Integrator is about 10-20% of the cost of hiring managers for these positions. 

The SMS Integrator will also be responsible to the company's regulators when it comes to regulatory Assessment, Process Validations and Process Inspections. Since the SMS Integrator is responsible, any Corrective Actions required by the regulator is the responsibility of the SMS Integrator to facilitate in the company. The company would not have to hire a consultant to help develop CAPs and other Actions. This is tremendous saving of thousands of dollars. 

You do NOT have to purchase new or expensive SMS Software. The SMS Integrator will use your existing SMS Database no matter which one it is.  The company will simple add the SMS Integrator to the user list in order to see reports and data. This is also a significant savings. Even if you do not have or want to stop paying for SMS Software, the SMS Integrator will be able to work a system of reporting and monitoring that would replace SMS Software at very little or in most cases no additional cost. 

The Cost Savings are Significant!!

What about the Regulations?

There is no regulation stating the requirements for the position only the requirement for the SMS System. The fact is that several enterprises are already using an SMS Integrator with the regulator's blessing.  If needed, the actual SMS Integrator will physically come to the company in the circumstance of a regulatory audit if the company so desires. 

The SMS Integrator takes the place of the SMS Manager!


October 20 12pm

By Dennis Taboada, M.eng.,CQE,CQM


No comments:

Post a Comment

When SMS Becomes Inactive

When SMS Becomes Inactive  By Catalina9 A Safety Management System (SMS) that is inactive will leave a void for an uncontrollable system to...