The Tide spoke to Megan Archer about progress made on Trade Ocean’s quality improvements, why it matters and how it benefits you as an individual.

What is Quality Management Systems (QMS) all about?

It’s a competitive market, especially when dealing with offshore clients as we do. In a nutshell, the aim of QMS is to provide quality services that meet or even exceed the expectations of our clients.

It’s also about achieving ISO certification. ISO provides world-class specifications for products, services and systems to promote quality, safety and efficiency.

What’s in it for the Trade Ocean team?

Firstly, the prestige that goes with being part of a company that strives for a leadership position in excellence. Secondly, as we pursue and implement quality improvements, we’ll all be better equipped to perform our functions and reach our full potential.

So it’s not just about clients?

No, although their satisfaction is the end-result. It’s about quality at all levels – client satisfaction, staff satisfaction and improving supplier relations as well.  It’s also about living Trade Ocean’s brand – our strap line is Taking Ownership. That’s a big promise – it cannot happen by chance or in pockets across Trade Ocean.

A lot has happened in a short time?

Since October 2015, Trade Ocean’s quality policy and objectives have been set and awareness sessions have been held with all staff. The process is being documented and tools are being developed, so QMS is now becoming tangible. The QMS SharePoint system has been introduced, providing new efficiencies across Trade Ocean. We’ve completed a process review and areas for improvement have been identified. Importantly, a non-conformance system is now fully functional, providing an opportunity to identify areas for improvement.

Some way to go still?

Yes, but it will be about continuous improvement rather than a big-bang approach. We’ll be looking at a complete process review, process improvement and procedure development. Effective on-the-job training is going to prove crucial, ensuring that employees are empowered to deliver to key performance indicators.  Having invested in QMS, we must make sure that we make it happen so internal audits and management reviews will keep QMS top-of-mind in Trade Ocean.