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The quality mentor

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Published: 24 Apr 2019

Alicia Dimas talks to Angela Fumpson, Director and Founder at White Tiger Quality Management & Business Improvement and Chair of the CQI Avon Branch Committee, about her career, auditing and improvement

Alicia Dimas (AD): What is the highlight of your career?

Angela Fumpson (AF): I have to say that the highlight of my career is being able to run my own company and share my knowledge with others. I am also about to publish my very first book.

I am very passionate about business mentoring, especially within the engineering and manufacturing world. By mentoring the leadership team, you can also steer the way they think about quality. I would love to mentor more quality professionals, as well as the business owners.

I have particularly enjoyed being a mentor on the new Productivity Through People pilot project, established by the Productivity Council, and currently in its second year at Bath University.

AD: Are the companies you work with aware of the importance of quality for their success?

AF: Yes, definitely. As quality professionals, it is our role to share knowledge. I only work with companies seeking to make a difference – we cannot force change. People actually don’t dislike change, but they dislike ‘being changed.’ Therefore, education and communication are key to driving that change.

AD: Do companies you work with still view auditing as a ‘scary monster’?

AF: Auditing can be seen as an additional chore when it comes to certification. It is important to find some quick wins to demonstrate the benefits and improvement opportunities that can be achieved through auditing. Taking a business owner on an audit of their company’s process can quickly show this.

AD: What is your favourite tip for companies seeking improvement?

AF: My favourite thing is process mapping, with extra details added. I walk the customer through the journey, mapping exactly what happens, colour coding the role, recording the information required, showing where it is stored, and more. This gives a visual representation of the whole business as it stands, and clearly identifies opportunities to improve.

Most importantly, you can see the interaction and impact with other processes within the company and ensure you take this into consideration when you plan. In carrying out this exercise, I speak to everyone within the company to get an insight into the culture and leadership that currently exist and support the process and will impact the change programme.

AD: What do you think the next 100 years will bring to the quality profession?

AF: With the ever-increasing pace of industry and leaps being made in technology, I feel that this will be a major part in how we assure the quality of our organisations in the future. We need to be ready for the artificial intelligence drive and big data playing a much greater role in keeping society safe and secure.

As we drift more and more away from manual jobs there will be the need to broaden the skills of the quality professional even more, this time into the technology and cybersecurity world.

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