Integrating Business Process via with Electrical Audit Excellence

Posted on: May 26th, 2013 by admin No Comments

By Dr. Shree Nanguneri and Mr. Rao, G*

As originally published on January 25, 2013

Electrical Audit Excellence

Part III

24-Integrating-Business-ProcessIn this final “Part III” of our series, we close by integrating the electrical audit process with the principles of business process excellence. As project managers, the approach using the principles of business process excellence (BPEx) helps organizations gain credibility with their customers as well as increase their top line (credibility, sales and demand) while reducing their bottom line (internal costs).

Known methodologies such as Lean Enterprise, Six Sigma, Theory of Constraints, and Change Management are all relevant here and can be easily integrated into this process and have the organization certified in a much shorter cycle time, with less invested funds as well and yield a predictable outcome for the organization. Each of the clauses in the electrical audit compliance standards would be correlated with the appropriate tool/technique in the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) methodology to help organizations comprehend the simplicity of our approach.

In part III of our series, we will take a few examples of electrical installation compliance and illustrate how they can be integrated by using the tools, and techniques of business process excellence. when broken down to root causes (not symptomatic) one realizes that the tools and techniques needed to prevent such non-compliance that could lead to hazardous incidents are much simpler than imagined. Thus we would be relying on the simplest and most easily understood tools on BPEx regardless of the background of our project managers.

From Part I, we saw that there are several codes in different areas of electrical systems installation and let us therefore narrow these down to a few select ones for illustration purposes.

Shown below is one among them as an example: we have picked the area of installation of wiring systems as it has been found that close to 45% of all fires are direct causes of faulty wiring; Oldas the main culprit in causing electrical fires. In electrical fires, heat from undersized wiring or an arc from a short circuit, or an overloaded system can provide the strike that leads to a fire. But there are often a sign before a fire even starts.

We chose this clause under “wiring installation” listed as “Section 3: Selection And Installation Of Wiring SystemsIn this case below we have addressed the tools and techniques for some of them as shown here against the line items bold and italicized.

  • Ensure that:
    • Cables are protected against external influencesElectrical equipment are protected against external influences,
      • Business Process Excellence (BPEx) Approach – Controlled Mistake-Proofing Techniques for:
        • Ambient TemperatureThermally Controlled Environment
        • Relative HumidityPreset Humidifiers
        • Altitude of OperationPressurized Environments
        • Levels of:
          1. Moisture - Moisture Controlled Environment
          2. Foreign Solid BodiesClean Room Technology
          3. Corrosive or Polluting SubstancesCorrosion Resistant Materials
          4. Mechanical StressAdequate Material Design and Maintenance
          5. VibrationsAdequately Padded Materials
          6. Flora, Fauna, and Mold GrowthWeed and Pest Controlled Environment
          7. Electromagnetic, Electrostatic, or Ionizing SourcesShielded Environment
          8. Solar RadiationRadiation Resistant Solar Shields
          9. Seismic EffectsInfrastructure Designed for Seismic Tremors
          10. WindWind Shields
          11. LightingOptical Shield (Dark Room)
          12. AirLow Oxygen Controlled Environment
        • Presence of Inflammable and Explosive Materials
    • Switchboards are protected against external influences and
    • Cables are protected against external influence, by using:
      • Explosion proof equipments and switchboard,
      • Sealing arrangements in the conduits, and
      • Following relevant guidelines in NFPA/NEC codes.

By looking at areas 1-12 we realize that reliable proactive measures (with validated measurement systems) and control technology is the ticket to a high compliance with respect to electrical safety in wiring installations.

Action Items of Interest could be:

  • Effective and Efficient Calibration Procedures performed at the right frequency by authorized professionals
  • Records of all tests,procedures,incidents, to be kept religiously
  • Operational robustness of such measurement and control systems for high reliability
  • Preventive and routine maintenance as a follow through to increase confidence in our measurement and control systems infrastructure

In this one isolated example, where the strategy of linking measurement and control systems is done to mistake proof errors in the wiring environment we can expect the NCRs (Non Conformance Ratings) in this area to decrease over months to years. The probability of:

  1. An unchecked and preventable error –> Mistake –> Defect –> Risk –> Incident –> Accident –> Injury –> Fatality or
  2. An unchecked and preventable error –> Mistake –> Defect –> Risk –> Incident –> Accident –> Damage to Property or Infrastructural Asset

these items (1) and (2) occurring decreases exponentially thus very close to eliminating the presence of NCRs and therefore increasing the chances for a 100 % pass on major components of an “electrical installation audit” process.

Increasing Sales, Reducing Cost and Increasing Customer Delight – BPEx Strategy:

The famous 5Ds are those that plague corporations and cause a loss that is most often hidden usually called the hidden factory.  In electrical installation situations, the occurrence of incidences (1) and (2) directly cause Defects, Delays, and Deviations which when removed or prevented result in Dollars and increase Customer Delight.

So to increase customer sales, reduce internal cost (reworking, fixing, correcting, inventorying) and create a high level of consistency in the processes, we have to adapt and adopt to enroll the organization into a “Prevention” mode culture. That will help us reduce and/or eliminate the 3Ds to a large extent with speed leading to the 4th and 5th Ds.

BPEx and EAEx Integration Roadmap – A “Bi-Directional” Street:

  1. Management is enrolled as they understand what the stockholders or owners are looking for – credibility, sustainable growth, and profitability
  2. Operational level culture is a place for change and effectiveness in day-to-day activities to roll up benefits, to move the business needle
  3. Each middle manager link their KPIs, to clauses associated with EAEx codes and find relevant BPEx tools, to prevent the error
  4. Charting the NCRs against calendar time, should give us a measure of the effectiveness of this integrated strategy
  5. NCRs from previous audits, should never recur as it indicates management’s commitment to sustain improvements

Final Thoughts:

EAEx is critical to the role of project managers in their daily responsibilities and when they are equipped with an integrated knowledge of the BPEx approach, they have choices to add significant value to their customers, stakeholders and employers. Keeping this approach simple is breaking down the clauses and codes into tangible measures and metrics to aid the tools and techniques of BPEx.

EAEx can be achieved in a short time than usual, across the organization where project managers can associate their KPIs to the deliverables of EAEx (directly or indirectly) and there should be no logical reason for organizations to heap up NCRs year after year and expect that something is going to change without making a breakthrough effort in our mission toward EAEx.

We recommend project managers stay open to such ideas and seek guidance in the principles of BPEx so that the value they create and add for their customers. Stakeholders and employers which can be sustained for a very long time.

As a Project Manger in the 2nd decade of this millennium, it is vital that your role be blessed with the freedom you need to navigate such simple concepts and enable a cross-functional role to make a difference toward the growth and profitability of the organization that you are engaged with. Good luck in 2013 and beyond.

The authors of this three-part series are thankful and appreciative to the readers in this forum, for their comments which can provide us better direction, to help us help them by a “follow through” in this topic whenever the need arises.


About the Authors:

Mr. Rao, G

I am an Electrical Installation Audit Consultant. I am engaged in activities such as: Electrical System Installation Audit, Compliance of installation with standards, Electricity Rules, Safety Assessment, Corrections to be made for electrical safety, Up gradation of facility, Analysis of failures due to power quality, Suggesting measures to improve, Assist in improving/upgrading electrical systems installation.

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