Improvement of a quality management system


Improvement of a quality management system

Established in 1964, Sogara is the only oil refinery operating in Gabon. Partner of the TOTAL group, the company is certified ISO 9001 since 1999. Although the quality management system (QMS) works correctly at macro-processes’ level, unit managers regularly face up implementation and system use difficulties, particularly for solving malfunctions at the operational level.

Virginie Cauet and Laurent Guihaire, Euro-Symbiose consultants, lent their skills to sustainably solve the problem.

First, a review has been conducted to understand how works the SMQ and to identify areas for improvement. This analysis revealed several opportunities, particularly in terms of action plans management, communication and alert system.

From this analysis, a specific training program has been developed to bring tools and methods to the process pilots in order to address their problems. The pedagogical approach was to make them aware of existing deficiencies, to bring the tool and/or the appropriate method, and to make each driver work on its own process during the training sessions. "After the training, the participants came out with the willingness to use the methods and tools presented in their own services." explains Virginie Cauet. "This training has shown all the interest of the process approach for each service, and has thus enhanced concrete actions to do in the processes.” adds Laurent Guihaire.

Finally, one part of the group has been trained on internal quality audit, to ensure that this practice is now used as a genuine continuous improvement tool. "The training helped them to better understand what we expect from auditors, and how to proceed to achieve useful audits for the company. They had to implement a full audit during the training session." confirms Laurent Guihaire.

A very positive post-training assessment

Laurent Guihaire: “Sogara still has progress to do, but it is on the right track. The training allowed all the drivers to get involved and share about their daily practices and challenges, which had a very positive effect: the group appeared to us as re-energized, motivated and united.

Virginie Cauet: "The training created an impulse of motivation. Sogara must take advantage of this in order to continue its overall approach of ongoing improvement.