This is the first part of a series of blog posts about audits. We will share with you the necessary base knowledge: what is an audit, what forms of audits exist, why are audits important and how can we help you to properly setup and carry out your audit. You can see it as a checklist of what you already know, or what you do not yet know.
What exactly is an audit?
An audit is a periodic, systematic check. There are internal and external audits. An internal audit is initiated and carried out by the organization itself. External audits are carried out on behalf of external organizations and are therefore of a lesser or non-committal nature.
Why carry out audits, what is the use?
Audits were originally intended to signify risks. A somewhat negative approach that you do not have to stick to. When you digitize your audits, you can get more out of them. Think for example of immediately passing on improvement opportunities and, when you share these results, engaged employees. An audit could therefore mean more than just a check. You can make use of an audit as a valuable management tool for improving quality.
What audits can tell you
The word audit comes from Latin, where it means to listen. This is not surprising, when you realize that audits can present you with a bunch of valuable information.
- Where are the bottlenecks and problems?
- Are there any potential risks?
- Have structural mistakes been made in the process?
- Where are improvements needed?
- What are the effects of implemented measures?
- What are the effects of newly implemented activities?
- Is it necessary to initiate different improvement opportunities?
You could see it as a quick overview of what an audit can provide you with. On to the next point that you must certainly know about audits!
Audits at three levels
Audits (internal or external) can be carried out at three (organizational) levels:
- System audit: Is the system functioning effectively as a whole?
- Process audit: Do all to be taken steps correspond with the process descriptions?
- Product audit: Does the product or service meet the demands (of the customer)?
What is it that you would like to check? Whether a toy meets the safety standards? Or perhaps whether the ambulance staff reaches their destination in time? Or whether your quality management system functions optimally? These things matter when deciding how to setup and carry out an audit.
What forms of audits exist?
When control stems from outside, there are three options.
An institution certified to do so, will carry out a certification audit in an organization to assess whether everything meets the set norms, for example ISO or NEN.
A procedure whereby a third party provides a written guarantee that a product, process, service or person meets specific demands.
The quality of products, services and processes is often influenced by suppliers. When a customer finds deviations, they may demand measures to be taken. This is the supplier audit.
What is all needed to carry out an audit?
An audit is not possible without questionnaires, forms and checklists. Do not forget the papers and clipboards with notes, either. In part two of this blog series you will read what you will gain when you digitize all documents and automate the process around it. To summarize, carrying out an audit comes down to a number of steps:
Step 1: Setting up your audits, forms or checklists
Step 2: Adding value to (variables within) your scan
Step 3: Planning your scan
After carrying out the audit, the results are analyzed. These results will provide insights and improvement opportunities.
How can CYS help?
CYS develops software with which you can digitize your audits and checklists, as well as the collection, analyzing and reporting of data, allowing you to save time and focus on realizing improvements, which is what it's all about! Follow-up actions and points of improvement can immediately be taken. Moreover, analyzing the results becomes much easier. You will always have real-time insight into measurements and checks.
Hungry for more?
By reading this blog, you have now learned what audits are about, how to carry them out and what CYS can do for you. Part two of this blog series will go into detail about the benefits of digitized audits. If you can't wait to continue reading, go ahead and download the e-book ‘Super smart measurement and improvement of quality'.
Download 'Super smart measurement and improvement of quality'
How to perform continuous and automated quality measurements? How to make sure that you have insight into the improvement points at a glance? And how to help employees to realize improvements? Download this free e-book to find out.