Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

December 2010    |    Volume: 42    |    Number: 12

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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Dynamic changes

Improving audit standards can drive your company's continuous improvement

By Tariq Aldowaisan and Elaf Ashkanani

The Kuwait National Petroleum Co. (KNPC), the only refinery company in Kuwait, has used the audit as a tool to improve its relationship with its local suppliers, whether they are contractors, manufacturers or consultants. The audit in traditional management systems relies on a relatively invariant checklist of items, or audit protocol. The checklist is developed based on some standard, such as ISO 9001 or 14001 management system standards, that is customized to account for context particulars such as type of operations and number of sites. The output of the audit process is an audit report that details incidents of noncompliance. These incidents reference the violated clauses or requirements, which generally remain unchanged from audit to audit.

The approach that KNPC adopted is rather unique in that audit requirements, stipulated by parent company Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (KPC), are considered for change from audit to audit, making the audit dynamic. The proposed dynamic audit could help overcome many of the shortcomings experienced in the current practice of ISO 9001 and other management system standards.


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