Driving Progress through a Paradigm Shift: The Importance of a Strong Safety and Quality Culture to the Oil and Gas Sector

In the business world, the word progress is commonly associated with technological advancements, as well as developments in processes and procedures. There are additional drivers to progress and their significance can also have powerful results.

In the oil and gas sector, studies have shown that for companies to be successful in the long run, it’s critical for them to incorporate a strong culture of safety and quality.

How about we take a step back to understand the full picture?

The Traditional View of How Oil and Gas Companies Should Operate


While traditionalists will claim that an industry strongly based on scientific processes and technology don’t need to focus on employee-centered processes or procedures, their thinking has since been proven to be antiquated and potentially dangerous.

How so, you ask? Well, empirical research has proven that high-reliability organizations (HROs), which by nature, have a labor-heavy component to their operations, have shown … Read more...

Using an Integrated Management System in Your Organization

Many of today’s organizations use management systems to establish policies and procedures for achieving their objectives. Most frequently, organizations have management systems to support quality, health and safety, environment and sustainability, and data privacy. Management systems are not, by definition, technology solutions. Instead, they are conceptual models of the organizational processes and responsibilities that help coordinate everything in the direction of a common goal. However, while a management system can theoretically use paper-based manual processes, the increasing complexity of the global marketplace and the attendant compliance requirements mean that most organizations will need a reliable cloud-based technology solution to support their management systems. 

Management systems are often segregated from one another in the organization. For example, the quality management system might be separate from the safety management system. This creates the risk of isolated responses to incidents that impact each individual management system. It also means considerable duplication of effort, which wastes both human and financial resources. To … Read more...

How Quality 4.0 Can Support Successful Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is a way of using cutting-edge technology to solve traditional problems and create new models for knowledge organization, revenue generation, and innovation. Since 2010, the topic of digital transformation has been the focus of considerable attention in every industry. It holds the promise of digital platforms that provide a single-source-of-truth for collecting, analyzing, and sharing data and information across the organization to allow immediate, data-driven decision making that can help to confront any operational challenge.

However, many organizations fall into the trap of believing that a successful digital transformation project is simply a matter of purchasing the correct technology, and that the technology itself will dictate the behaviour and processes that lead to organizational excellence. As a result, many digital transformation projects collapse and fail before creating any meaningful change in the organization.

Quality 4.0 can help prevent this. It’s a digital transformation strategy that emphasizes quality and … Read more...

Use Software to Meet Your ISO 9001:2015 Requirements

ISO 9001 is the most popular certification standard in the world. It outlines a framework for improving quality and a vocabulary of understanding for any organization looking to provide products and services that consistently meet the requirements and expectations of customers and other relevant parties in the most efficient manner possible. First published in 1987, the latest iteration, ISO 9001:2015, incorporates risk-based thinking, increased responsibilities for leadership, and a high-level structure that allows for easier certification of integrated management systems that include other standards like ISO 45001:2018 and ISO 14001:2015. 

ISO 9001:2015 can help organizations in many industries improve their processes, enhance customer satisfaction, and improve business results. In some industries, such as automotive, health sciences, and construction, certification is considered essential, if not mandatory, to compete effectively in the marketplace and to meet applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. In other areas, such as education, organizations have taken innovative approaches to using the guidance of ISO … Read more...

Canadian Honey Producers Stung by Sophisticated Food Fraud

Food fraud is big business. Criminal organizations around the world earn millions of dollars annually by cutting high-quality food products with cheaper substitutes to increase profits. The practice is so ubiquitous throughout the food industry that food protection agencies refer to it as economically motivated adulteration (EMA) The consequences of this practice can include reputational damage to respected food brands, public health crises resulting from adulteration using hazardous elements designed to avoid standard integrity testing, and financial damage to legitimate producers who can’t compete with cheaper adulterated products.  

According to a recent news story, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has been conducting targeted surveillance on international producers of adulterated honey entering the Canadian market since 2018. By analyzing 240 samples of imported honey, CFIA determined that one-fifth of the samples advertised as pure honey are adulterated with corn syrup, rice syrup, and cane sugar syrup. As a result of the inspection, … Read more...

Ensuring Food Safety with Quality Management Software

Food safety characteristics have a very close connection to food quality characteristics, and while all food safety characteristics relate to quality, not all food quality characteristics relate to safety. Food quality, according to Alli (2016), relates to ensuring that products meet the established requirements for food characteristics. Garvin (1987) describes eight dimensions for measuring the characteristics of food quality: performance, features, reliability, conformance, durability, serviceability, aesthetics, and perceptions. Food safety, which relates to the characteristics that have the potential to be harmful to human health by causing illness, falls under the performance and reliability dimensions of food quality. Food safety characteristics are therefore specific kinds of food quality characteristics.

By recognizing that food safety and food quality have an integrated relationship, organizations can bring quality methods and tools to bear on the difficulties of navigating food safety regulations in their FSMS (Food Safety Management System). With food supply chains now … Read more...

The Benefits of FMEA & QMS Software in your Organization

FMEA studies can require a huge effort. For complex processes or product designs with a multitude of systems and subsystems, you can easily end up with hundreds or thousands of failure modes.

Enhancing your Quality Management System (QMS) software with an FMEA application will enable you to store and manage risk-related information, and easily relate risk reduction to quality events for maximum benefits. In addition, you can:

  • Streamline data collection, risk assessment and reporting across sites and facilities
  • Eliminate duplicate data, improve sharing and communication, and significantly reduce study time
  • Deploy active notifications based on built-in risk reduction policies and threshold limits
  • Reducing costs through improved risk management processes, including more effectively identifying and addressing failure modes
  • Provide real-time access to corporate quality performance metrics
  • Create control plans and control plan templates to follow through

In Intelex’s latest video, “Effectively Mitigate Risk with Intelex’s FMEA Software!” we show you … Read more...

Demonstrate Risk-Based Thinking to Auditors

The auditor is coming, or will be coming, to evaluate your organization. While continuous improvement and compliance helps, there are things that you can do to make the auditing process go much more smoothly (this applies to internal audits as well). Preparation doesn’t start the week before, it starts the minute you implement a quality management system or prepare for ISO 9001 certification. You need a systematic approach to audit reporting that begins with core management principles, training, traceability, and credibility.

Because risk-based thinking is more prominent in ISO 9001:2015 than in previous versions of the standard, many organizations are wondering how to demonstrate how they do it to auditors. Fortunately, most activities in the domain of quality management, if successful, serve to reduce risks. The key is to keep track of how your efforts relate to risk.

Here are five actionable recommendations to demonstrate risk-based thinking to auditors :… Read more...

Did You Know That Customer Complaints Can Be a Good Thing for Your Business?

Surely, it’s a bad thing when a business receives customer complaints. If the customer isn’t happy, then there must have been a poor interaction and we need to do everything we can to make the customer happy as quickly as possible, right?

Well, not so fast. While it’s true that no one likes to hear about customers being unhappy, it’s also true that customer complaints are very valuable learning opportunities. When customers tell you why they’re unhappy and what you need to do to make things right, they’re giving you important information about how to fix your processes and design your products to improve and enhance the overall experience for all your customers. With the broad availability of technology making consumers increasingly knowledgeable about what they want, enhanced customer experience and satisfaction is set to become the best way in which businesses can differentiate themselves from their competition.

However, collecting, … Read more...

Drive Engagement in Quality and Safety Management with the Help of Technology

“If only I could get my organization to a state where our quality culture is embedded as a norm in every leader, contributor and partner. This would alleviate our constant trouble-shooting and reactive-stance dilemma. We’ve invested, stopped to ‘sharpen the saw’ multiple times, and while we have seen initial improvements, it’s very challenging to sustain.”

“We’ve made all the right ‘traditional’ moves by putting in place a mentoring program, defining accountability, consulting stakeholders, holding events, providing support and putting training programs in place. It seems though, that we experience diminishing returns and even I can’t remember the last time I took notice of the multitude of posters (some of which I sourced) dotted around the workplace.”

Sound familiar? If you’ve said it, thought it or heard it, maybe it’s time to think differently about quality culture and, more specifically, engagement in the context of quality and/or safety management. Engagement is … Read more...