in Vol. 13 - November Issue - Year 2012
Building Internal Support
A Nadcap audit - like any other major project - does not just happen. There are months of preparation involved; in fact, PRI advises that you take at least nine months to prepare for an audit. Getting internal support can make all the difference to audit performance because it helps you to work more effectively together to achieve accreditation. How can you do this?
Have a Plan
When you prepare for your audit, you will plan out your activities months in advance. This enables you to evaluate your activities and determine whether you’re on schedule.
This principle is the same for ensuring staff support. Staff support is invaluable and without a clear strategy to achieve it, you may struggle. In terms of planning, the top tips are:
• Think carefully about how to engage staff in pre-, during and post-audit activities and clearly communicate expectations to them ahead of time, as well as deadlines. Being organised reduces the stress of the situation for everyone involved and makes the audit not only a better experience but also more likely to conclude successfully for your company.
• Make sure to plan ahead on behalf of the those staff members who are involved. Celebrating the successful conclusion of an audit is a good way of showing appreciation for all their efforts. This could be especially valuable if, for example, a minimum number of NCR’s was logged. Recognizing hard work is a good way to motivate and reward staff.
Get Management Support
It is said that company culture and attitude comes from the top. Staff look to the top for guidance and if you do not have the backing of your Management, you may find that this will be reflected in staff attitudes. This will make your task harder, so the top tips to achieve Management support from the outset are:
• If you have access to the strategic vision and plan of your company, link Nadcap accreditation to the goals. For example, if a corporate objective is to increase the percentage of aerospace business, highlight how many major aerospace companies subscribe to Nadcap when you speak to Management.
• In addition, surveys conducted on the global Nadcap-accredited supplier base have shown that accreditation is linked to reduction in scrap and rework as well as increased sales and ability to attract new business, which are all compelling business reasons for pursuing Nadcap accreditation. These should help you get the support of the Management team, making it easier to get the support of the rest of the staff.
Learn From Others’ Experiences
Like any new system, Nadcap can be daunting at first, so the top tips to improve your understanding of the program are:
• If you have a colleague within the organization – at your site or at another - who has experience of Nadcap, then take advantage of that.
• The Nadcap Supplier Support Committee operates a mentoring program which connects Suppliers with Suppliers experienced in the Nadcap program who can help answer questions about Nadcap procedures and the Nadcap system.
• Nadcap meetings are a great place to learn more about the program. Taking place three times per year around the world, they offer educational and networking opportunities to all attendees.
• There are many useful documents, including common non-conformances and tutorials, on eAuditNet.
Being prepared for the audit itself is also a big part in building internal support. You will gain more support from Management, staff and your peers if you are confident about the audit process, content and expectations. Likewise, they will feel more confident if they are educated about Nadcap, so you may find it useful to share your knowledge with them. There are many useful tools to help you learn about Nadcap and prepare for the audit experience:
• eQuaLearn offers Nadcap Audit Preparation training courses that focus on a range of special processes such as chemical processing, heat treating, NDT and welding as well as other topics that may be useful such as Internal Auditing and Root Cause Corrective Action.
• There are also many guides, tutorials and other tools on eAuditNet that detail helpful information so you can understand the Nadcap program better.
These are just a few ideas which may help to build support for Nadcap internally, and make your job of implementing the accreditation easier. Key to success is to understand the program fully yourself in order to educate and instill confidence in others, including your colleagues, operators and management team. Don’t be afraid to ask for help - from a colleague, from a mentor, or from PRI staff - and use all the tools available to you. In this way, you will be well-prepared for the audit and understand the requirements to successfully achieve accreditation.