A few weeks ago I asked a simple question of a Linked In discussion group. The constituents were all standards management professionals and members of the Chartered Quality Institute.
The question was: "how much time do you spend on audits each year?"
After much discussion the consensus was that each year a typical company conducts the following audits; the types varying in length between 2 and 5 days:
- 14 product
- 1 regulatory
- 3 Certifying Body
- 4 customer
So with a sharp pencil and spreadsheet this translated into the following numbers.
- Each company's annual audit workload amounts to 160 days
- Taking a typical QA salary that translates into a cost of £125k per annum
Since we already knew from talking to our own clients that over 80% of that time is spent shifting paper and answering questions we were already well down the road to addressing that with our new Isoma Auditor product.
But these figures reinforce the requirement for a new solution even more.
The simple fact is that on average each company wastes approximately £100k per annum on ineffective auditing effort - and that is just for quality. Multiply that by the various other types of standards (H&S, environmental, etc.) and then again by the number of companies in a group or large public body and the figures become very significant indeed.
Everyone I speak to complains about the amount of time they spend on audits: whether preparing for them, conducting internal audits or hosting external audits. But how much time is really spent in this activity?