Management Consultant Mentor Spotlight: Phil Brown

A Q & A with our New Mentor Phil Brown

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We are excited to introduce a new quality mentor on, Phil Brown.

Phil works as a quality and environmental management consultant and is a qualified IRCA registered external auditor. Read on to find out more about Phil and his work in quality and environmental management systems or visit his profile and contact him here.


How did you get involved in Quality and Environmental Management Consultancy?

I worked in technical management roles for manufacturing companies for over 30 years, and in 1985 took over as quality and environmental manager for a large subsidiary of a FT250 company. I ran the quality department for the company; initially focusing on BS5750 which subsequently became ISO 9001 and then worked towards ISO14001 certification.

In 2003 I set up my own business as an independent consultant, and I am a qualified external auditor.


What are your specialisms as a Management Consultant?

Industry-wise I would say manufacturing and engineering, and I am a qualified metallurgist with a degree in engineering.

I specialised in ISO standards 9001 and 14001, but some of my business associates cover other standards too.

When I work with a new company, I will normally look at the systems and processes they already have in place, and either diagnose issues and fix them or put in new systems altogether. I will let them work with the new systems/processes for between 6 to 8 weeks, and then I audit the company’s. actual processes against the requirements of the Standard and produce a set of audit reports for the company.

For me to work with a company, I need to be convinced that they want to continuously improve. These standards are not about ticking boxes but are more focused on continual business improvement. I work in a 2-way process – I will listen to my client’s business needs and then facilitate them to achieve their goals.


What is your favourite thing about Quality Management?

I most enjoy the challenge of working with new customers, learning about them and the work they do, then the satisfaction when they are certified and feel the benefit it has brought to their business.


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

Pre-covid I would arrive at a client’s site at 9am, with an audit plan which I had already agreed and sent to the customer in advance. From then I would deal with each area of standard in turn, type up audit reports, and solve any issues which arose as non-conformances or observations.

Then comes the management review, which would also be on site with the client, where we discuss the processes that are to be put in place. I produce the agenda for this meeting, and we work through any non-conformances, solve issues, and agree a plan for the external audit. If it is a new client, I will put them in touch with a UKAS approved auditing company and I offer to support the client through the process and point them in the right direction if they don’t understand the questions.

Since Covid 19 struck, I try to work in a similar way but remotely. I devise a checklist with all the information I need from them and send it a week in advance. Once I have the details, I need for the audits I will then spend my time going through the information, typing up audit reports, and chasing up any missing information. The management review happens remotely, and by the end of it my client will be ready for their external audit. I provide virtual support for clients as part of their virtual external audit.

I have enjoyed working remotely with clients during the lockdowns, and I think in the future I will continue to mix both on-site and remote working.


What interests you about becoming a mentor for Jomo247?

Having done mentoring before, I feel at ease with it. I believe it is a very good thing to share my knowledge and experience with those who will benefit from it, and I am looking forward to being able to help more businesses see what benefits they can achieve from working to the quality and environmental standards.


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

It is difficult now to know where it is going to go, but currently the standard has become much more than just a quality management standard as the emphasis has focused on evidence of business growth.

ISO 14001 is probably going to change more than ISO 9001, with a bigger focus on corporate sustainability, whereas now it is more about taking steps to minimise effects on climate change.




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