Quality Consultant Mentor Spotlight: David Collins

A Q & A with our New Mentor David Collins (OptiSHEQ)

We are excited to introduce a new quality mentor on support.jomo247.com, David Collins. David is a Quality Consultant, experienced in ISO standards and lean management principles. Read on to find out more about David and his work in quality management, or visit his profile and contact him in his capacity as our newest quality mentor here.


How did you get to be a Quality Consultant?

I have worked in Quality Assurance for 29 years, and in health and safety for 16 years.

It all started by accident, as when computers came out in 80s I really enjoyed using them, and was quick to learn how to fix them. One morning I fixed the Managing Director’s computer, and he turned around and said “I want you to be my quality manager!”.

They put me through training, and from then I have mostly worked for businesses but also dabbled in freelance through LinkedIn, and have built a great network of people in the quality industry on there.

What are your specialisms?

I would consider my specialism as really delving into the problem solving side of quality, and investigating why problems happen in a business, how to fix them in the short and long term, as well as how to prevent them in the future.

Problem solving is probably my favourite activity, as it’s not specific to one industry. I have worked as a quality consultant in many different ones, including defence, automotive, aerospace, plastics, food and timber.

I also have a great record for fixing problems that are previously assumed to just be part of the process. Identifying and resolving these is important to me, and I enjoy seeing the benefit my client gets when a process issue resolved for something that they didn’t even know they needed improving!

What is your favourite thing about Quality Management?

Knowing there’s an issue, no matter how small, and that you’ve found the resolution is such a satisfying feeling. Working through the knots, and the confusion, and smoothing them out until the path ahead is clear is something I have always enjoyed.

Similarly, knowing that you’ve implemented something and it’s worked is amazing, and feedback from my clients is massively appreciated and really makes me feel like my job is worthwhile.

As well as this, solving someone’s long term problem makes it feel like all the time I’ve spent on it has been well worth it.

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

Normally, I will check my emails first thing to make sure there are no big urgent issues for the day that I need to prioritise over anything else.

Once the priorities are sorted for the day, I will begin discussing these with the client either via telephone or video call, to work out the way forward and gather information which will guide me in finding solutions or answers to questions.

Problem solving, making and testing process changes takes up around 80% of my day. Brexit will cause a lot of changes in particular to EU regulations. My clients have become accustomed to working within EU regulations, so it will now become critical to closely follow how these will change and what effects these will have on the UK’s manufacturing processes and ensuring that my clients are made aware of any changes making sure policies and processes are up to date and following the these.

What interests you about becoming a mentor?

I see this new mentor platform as a way of giving back and helping businesses in society, especially at the moment with the still ever-present uncertainty due to Covid-19. There are a lot of people struggling, and I would love to give back and help other people get through some of the things I have been through. I’m also excited about the idea of professional discussion and development, and the positive impact that could have on my work.

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

I have now experienced 2 audits remotely and seen that it’s entirely possible to successfully conduct an audit remotely. I believe the certification companies will soon develop and release guidelines on how to make it smoother. The financial benefits have now been recognised, and a lot of people won’t want to spend what they used to on travel anymore.

The hard part of it now though, is the lack of personal interaction, so I don’t believe all parts of all consulting activities or audits will happen remotely, and there will be times where you have to physically be on a site or meet up for a coffee.


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