Challenges in Setting Management System Objectives

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Every organization faces challenges to a varying degree depending upon its culture, maturity and complexity   while establishing quality, environmental or OHS objectives that are appropriate for the business, measureable and act as the business drivers and are consistent with the respective policy. Too many organizations set objectives that do not paint the bigger picture for your business, are short sighted, task or project-oriented and fail to address overall aspects of business. These kind of objectives deprive the organizations from reaping the full benefits from management systems in terms of market share, cost effectiveness, due-diligence, efficiency, environmental protection and personnel well-being.   Examples of these type of short sighted  and non-value adding objectives include the following:

  • establish and implement QMS, EMS or OHSMS- This is a task or project and a tool for achieving objectives but not the objective itself
  • Install and implement a tail gas scrubbing unit to reduce SO2 air emissions- This is another example of task or project aimed at certain section of the facility and does not address the overall business driver-EMS objective
  • Install and implement a muffler on the exhaust of diesel engine to reduce noise levels- task oriented and not measurable-OHS objective
  • Expand the plant capacity by adding two more processing units-project oriented and not measurable-QMS objective

The objectives must address the bigger picture of the business and cover all facets of business. Some examples of meaningful, value-adding and business driving objectives include:

  • Lower the product defect rate from 5 % to 3% between planning and delivery stages during 2013 compared to 2012-QMS product-related objective that covers the bigger picture across the organization
  • Improve the organization’s revenues by 10% in 2013 compared to 2012-QMS/fiscal objective
  • Improve the product yield from 55 % to 65% in 2013 compared to 2012-QMS process-related objective
  • Reduce the energy consumption within the organization by 5 %-EMS objective
  • Increase reporting of near-misses from 20 ( 2012) to 35 (2013) in the whole organization-OHS objective
  • Reduce the corporate GHG emissions from 2 tons per year to 1.5 tons per year during 2013
  • Reduce the reportable incidents across the organization from 50 to 40
  • Ensure 10 % of employees can perform at least two roles during 2013
  • Reduce the WCB premiums from $3.50/$100 payroll to $2.75/$100 payroll by 2014.
  • Improve customer satisfaction index from 3.3 to 4.0 in 2013

In addition, to achieve and track the established objectives in a disciplined and streamlined manner, KPIs can be established to support the overall objectives.  For example, to lower a product defect rate from 5 to 3 %, the respective product defect rates or defect KPIs amongst various divisions/departments such as fabrication, welding, testing and inspection, purchasing, shipping/receiving, material handling can be tracked to determine the overall achievement/status of the established objective.

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