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Last week we discussed Precoat Metal’s change initiatives. This week we will talk about the Colliers Turley Martin Tucker (CTMT) Data Center Facilities Team that takes their mission very seriously.
CTMT is one of the nation’s most successful real estate and facility management companies, but their responsibilities at a data center facility for a prominent finance company in St. Louis exceeded the usual management company’s duties. For this important client, CTMT had to meet very strict requirements in order to prevent power outages and mechanical failures, as well as reduce human error.
Power loss at any data center is a critical risk. A loss of processing ability and a loss of information are simply unacceptable. As facility managers of the data center, the task of ensuring that the data center did not lose power or mechanical systems fell to the CTMT Data Facilities Team led by Senior Manager John Scheer and Data Center Manager Chris Wanger. How could they improve on a system that was already very effective? They didn’t want to wait for a system failure to learn where they were vulnerable.
Designing an Internal Control System to Meet Their Needs
The facility managers at the site determined that one of the best options for maintaining control of such a critical area is to institute a Quality Management System like that specified by ISO 9000. Instituting a Quality Management System would help them assure that they were assessing risks and addressing the critical areas needed to reach their goals and satisfy their customer.
CTMT Data Center Manager
CTMT called on Bizmanualz to help them evaluate their current internal control systems and to plot a course for implementing a Quality Management System. They needed a system that fit their particular needs and that would lead them toward ISO 9000 Certification. CTMT began their journey in early June 2006, and by early that December they had become only the second data center facility in the U. S. to achieve ISO 9000 Certification.
“While they were meeting their goals, putting an ISO 9000 Quality Management System in place raised their level of confidence significantly” said Steve Mundwiller, the Lead Project Consultant from Bizmanualz. “They are more in control and more prepared, and therefore more capable of fulfilling their responsibility.”
ISO Certification is More Than a Piece of Paper
Some important benefits of being ISO 9000 Certified for CTMT related to their system of standardized procedures and document control. Frequency and consistency of preventative maintenance activities, for example, were more controlled and documented. Plus, documents that described the corrective actions taken to address equipment problems became a valuable resource for ongoing repair and maintenance activities. The required routine testing and checking of the power system and its back-ups were now well-documented as well, so critical activities were not just left to the initiative of individual employees. A well-documented training program ensured that team members were aware of, and used, procedures and forms.
Another important facet of implementing a Quality Management System was the control CTMT gained over their materials. Incoming inspection and testing procedures, along with proper storage mechanisms, played an important role in separating known-good or conforming material from non-conforming or untested materials. Now replacement parts could be installed quickly and efficiently without any concern about their effectiveness.
Company owners and managers that see ISO 9000 Certification as just a piece of paper to frame and hang on the wall are missing an opportunity to improve their business. A quality management system can be more than a system of checks and controls, it can be a system of continual improvement that institutionalizes learning and propagates innovation. CTMT used ISO 9000 Certification to not only feel more confident about being able to satisfy their customer now, they used it to ensure that they would only get better in the future.
“Our new system is centered on continual improvement,” said Chris Wanger. “Our old system provided operating procedures and training manuals, but the ISO system is structured in a way that grows with the business and continually improves.” Chris explains that CTMT had the right idea by documenting procedures, but without the level of control built into the ISO system they were outdated and ineffective in a matter of months. Following the ISO system ensures that does not happen.
Now, with the continuing assistance of Bizmanualz, CTMT is proceeding with ISO 9000 Certification at its sister Data Center facility in Tempe, Arizona. Do you feel in control of your internal processes? Do you have systems in place to make the most of your resources? Do you want your business to be in that same place in five years that it is now? If the answer to any or all of the above questions is “no”, then answer the most important question of all. What are you going to do to be better?
To learn more about using process improvement programs for your organization, attend the next Implementing Lean Thinking or How to Align a System of People and Processes for Results class. If you are eager to learn more about creating more order out of the chaos you are feeling at work, then the How to Create Well-Defined Processes class is right for you.