Quality Consultant and Auditor: Anthony Acquah

A Q & A with our New Mentor Anthony Acquah

We are excited to introduce a new quality mentor on support.jomo247.com: Quality Consultant and Auditor, Anthony Acquah.

Anthony has audited thousands of companies over his career, and specialises in working with companies to write systems and manuals tailored to each client’s specific business needs. Read on to find out more about Anthony and his work in quality management systems or visit his profile and contact him here.

 

How did you become a quality consultant?

I used to work in the city as a technical assistant, looking at engineering product specifications. During 16 years of working for them I worked my way up to client manager and then internal auditor.

My progression to working in quality came quite naturally to me through my background in engineering.

 

What are your specialisms?

As well as quality, I also work in environment and health and safety management. I will go into a company, look at their current systems and how they work, and put in a new bespoke system which fits their requirements and goals.

I have done audits across Asia as well as the UK, and worked in a variety of industries. The most common ones I work with are manufacturing and service, but I have dealt with healthcare services, automotive, aerospace, engineering, and printing companies to name a few.

In terms of certification, I offer ISO 9001, ISO 45001, ISO 18001, QS9000, CHAS ACHILLES ⅘, Product Standards, ATEX, CE marking and IATF.

The way I work is that I like to look at the culture of the company. The hardest thing to change in work is the culture of what’s already being done, but as a quality consultant I need to guide the business into embracing a culture of change to bring improvement.

Off the shelf manuals are not something I believe in – if you’re hiring me as your consultant, I will sit down and write one from scratch based on what you want and need to help foster continual improvement.

 

What is your favourite thing about being a quality management consultant?

It has been 30 years since I became an independent consultant, and during that time I have put systems in hundreds of companies and carried out thousands of audits. I thoroughly enjoy my job, for a variety of reasons.

It is human nature to want to improve – everyday we wake up and want to do something productive before we go to bed that night.

Quality is seen as different by different people, and it’s all about what you perceive it to be. There’s an interesting relationship between quality and price too. If you go to Primark and buy a plain T-Shirt, there’s an assumption that this will be of lower quality than the exact same top from John Lewis.

Quality is a brand – if you can prove that your company is quality, then your products will sell for more. Through putting money into a quality system in your business, you are selling yourself to purchasers.

You can also drive costs down using a quality management system, whilst keeping the quality of the product as high as it was.

This balance between quality and price is why companies use me – they know that I understand what quality really is.

 

What does a typical day of work look like for you?

At the moment, I am mostly working from home. I would usually get up and go onto a company’s site, and have an opening meeting to plan the day. I always plan any tasks in, and project manage anything I do.

I try to be quite flexible for my clients. If their timescale is short, I can try and fit more in on a day to day basis, or if they’re stretched for time or money we can spread out the plan over a longer term basis.

 

What interests you about becoming a mentor?

I have mentored many people in the kind of work that I do, and I think it’s important to be able to impart knowledge you have. Giving knowledge to somebody that they didn’t have before is satisfying, and they might give me knowledge in return too.

 

What do you think the next big thing will be in Quality?

Defining the next big thing is difficult because everything in the workplace relates to standards and procedures. I think that at the moment there are still too many handwritten manuals.

Handwritten manuals and spreadsheets make quality hard to maintain for businesses, so I can see it becoming more automated with a greater focus on IT, social media and cyber security.

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