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Streamlining the audit process

Published: 6 Oct 2022

Pedro Medel Reyes, Quality and Compliance Manager at Perforadora México of Grupo México, has streamlined the audit process for his company to improve efficiency. Here, he explains the work which led to him becoming a finalist in the Emerging Talent Award at this year’s CQI International Quality Awards.

Top management and stakeholders need accurate information on findings and non-compliances from the audit process, while internal audits on ESG issues are increasingly being requested. For these reasons, it was necessary to optimise the internal audit process at Perforadora México, to achieve the organisation’s objectives.  

Perforadora México is one of the major players in Mexico’s oil and gas sector. Its main services are drilling, completion and maintenance of petroleum exploration and development wells, and the cementing of oil wells. 

Currently, I am a Quality and Compliance Manager and, for some years, have been leading a four-member team to identify areas of opportunity, propose improvements to processes and ensure compliance with the quality, healthy, safety and environment management system (QHSEMS). I also act as lead auditor to ensure compliance with QHSEMS requirements, current regulations, and supplier contract audit.  

“The increase in my company's operations meant I had to look at ways to streamline the internal audit.”

Pedro Medel Reyes, Quality and Compliance Manager at Perforadora México of Grupo México

I have a Master’s in Business Administration from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM), a Green Belt certification in Six Sigma from Arizona State University and am now an IRCA QMS Lead Auditor. I started working in the quality profession as a junior consultant on a process improvement project in engineering and construction at Pemex Exploración y Producción (PEMEX PEP). I carried out internal audits based on ISO 9001 in engineering and construction companies.  

I went on to work as an administrative specialist in the implementation of the quality management system that I developed, with procedures and work instructions to monitor offshore works, as well as process indicators and process mapping for PEMEX PEP. 

Journey to auditing 

I studied a lot about offshore engineering and construction processes, procedures, and indicators, even supporting the supervision of offshore works.  I took an ISO 9001 internal auditor course and, for a few months, I was a trainee, participating in several reviews. Once qualified, I carried out audits at engineering and construction companies that were in contractual relationship with PEMEX.  

When I began working at Perforadora México, I studied the drilling, completion and maintenance of petroleum exploration and development wells, and the cementing of oil wells. I took the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 internal auditor courses, so that I could carry out internal audits based on those standards. During that time, I learned that it is key to thoroughly study business processes and regulations. 

At Perforadora México, I achieved the implementation and certification of an integrated management system for nine sites, which included seven rigs, a cementing plant and an administrative office. The system also improved customer satisfaction levels and methods of regulatory compliance.  

Streamlining the process

The increase in my company's operations meant I had to look at ways to streamline internal audit processes. Other influencing factors were the implementation of information systems, more demanding objectives and goals, business risks, internal audits on ESG issues, and the needs and expectations of interested parties outside of the company. It was necessary to optimise the continuous review cycles, based on a list of specific priority activities and daily meetings.  

A big challenge was the use of technological tools, such as Power BI, Power Automate and SharePoint, and generation of dashboards. A dashboard is created from a piece of software that administrates internal audits and the application of technological tools, as well as enterprise resource planning (ERP) system database downloads, information that is classified, and data processed in business intelligence software. Such a dashboard helps identify variations and generate key risk indicators (KRIs). 

There was a significant gap in the use of technological tools in the team; therefore, they were given training in their use. Using the dashboard, it was possible to identify variations among those being used and then determine KRIs. 

The use of software for the administration of internal audits allows us to keep better control of the required documented information and reduces the risk of data loss. The use of technological tools facilitates the review and analysis of information, while control of the training programmes and the competence of the auditors are key factors in the execution of successful audits. 

The main benefits of the streamlining measures I developed are: 

  • a reduction in the time of review and delivery of reports; 
  • an increase in the number of internal audits completed; 
  • enabling an internal audit to quickly respond to changes in business needs; 
  • avoiding the delivery of reports that do not mention relevant problems. 

Key learnings

To optimise a streamlining process in your own company, you should consider the objectives and risks to the organisation, and the needs and expectations of interested parties.  

Continuous review cycles should be carried out, based on a list of specific priorities. Daily meetings should be held to find out what activities have been undertaken so as to identify any difficulties or impediments and then actions applied to avoid them.  

Internal auditors should consider buying specialised software for the administration of internal audits or to be used as an alternative in information systems. They should also be trained to use technological tools and business intelligence software to process information and generate dashboards that allow the visualisation of variations and KRIs.

Meet the International Quality Awards emerging talent winner and finalists.

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