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Star Team points to Quality at Compass
In much the same way a coach works to create an elite sport team, Compass Group - one of the world’s leading providers of food services and facilities management - has skilfully recruited to build a high performance group of people.
Compass Group specialises in providing catered food and auxiliary services to a variety of industries, spanning from providing food for the cafeteria in your local hospital to the provision of static and mobile guard services in the protection of industrial and residential properties. Their portfolio of services allows them to operate with expertise in each of their target markets such as: offshore and remote, defence, business and industry, healthcare, education, leisure and corporate hospitality, facility management and security services.
Compass Group’s Leadership Team has developed a shared service function to provide strategic support to the 12,000 strong service business. The Health, Safety, Environment and Quality team are ably supported by the National Business Enhancement Manager, Justin Whitely and National Compliance, Training and Audit Manager, Judy Hanson.
For Managing Director, Gerhard Poelzl, engineering a high performance culture where people are committed to delivering safe and high quality products and services is a passion. “We achieved our first certification nearly nine years ago when we gained ISO 9001 – Quality management. But really our journey to build an integrated and comprehensive management system started around three years ago.”
Today, Compass Group has been recognised as achieving three key national certifications; ISO 9001 Quality Management, ISO 14001 Environmental Management and AS/NZS 4801 Occupational Health and Safety for all (500+) sites around Australia, as well as HACCP Food Safety Management for selected sites across the nation.
“Putting a robust management system in place meant we had to have the right resources available to achieve the outcomes. No team can be effective without the necessary support structure. We have a partner in NCS International (NCSI) who got to know our business, which has enabled us to achieve our goals quickly and to a high standard.”
“NCSI’s flexible approach enabled us to build a highly effective improvement system that really works for our business.” According to Jim Gerrard, NCSI Client Manager and Lead Auditor, “Compass Group is a unique business and a standard approach to certification was not what they required. Working with them, we came up with a flexible approach which enabled them to achieve what their business needed. At the same time, we made sure they met the demands of the rigorous independent certification process.”
“They have developed a very strong team that is focussed on achieving real improvements across their business every audit cycle,” said Jim.
“Compass Group’s approach to independent certification not only recognises and rewards their employees, it empowers their people to want to achieve at a higher Standard.”
Compass Group has built a leading management system and it’s own independent internal audit structure. Each year, they deploy independent audit teams throughout the business who set about conducting more than 600 audits, one for each operating unit. According to Gerhard, “we also use our senior operations people to conduct cross functional audits and make sophisticated tools available to teams that enable them to gain management systems performance and continuous improvement metrics.”
All effective business improvement programs rely on metrics to feed the process and help establish benchmarks to drive the company forward. At Compass Group, the team has led the development of an audit tool called AudIT. Delivered by IT firm iComply, AudIT asks questions specific to each audit site and provides the information the audit teams need to carry out their role quick and efficiently while on site.
“The beauty of the audit tool is that it can be used on a hand held PDA, which makes it an extremely portable and flexible business tool. Put simply, it means an audit can be conducted in a remote village or townships or an offshore oil rig or defence site anywhere in the region, in a matter of hours. After the audit is completed, the auditor can connect to the web and generate a range of reports and statistically analysis that each site can use to drive their continuous improvement programs.”
“Planning for Improvement is at the heart of our management system It’s great to know where you have been, know where you are and, importantly, know where you are going as a business. We have always focussed on developing a culture from a training perspective not a basic compliance perspective. To train people effectively you need to be consistent and provide them with accurate information on their performance on a regular basis.”
For Gerhard, empowering employees with information is critical to the success and integrity of the management system. “We help people understand what we expect of them and in turn our clients know what to expect from us. We can deliver consistent service standards and where necessary develop processes to manage risk and drive continuous improvement.”
In much the same way an elite sporting team takes to the field each week knowing their success will be rewarded at the end of the season, Compass Group has developed an internal reward and recognition structure to acknowledge the efforts of their high performing business units. The Star Awards are presented annually and go to the site of the year. “Awards are presented to areas of the business which have met their compliance requirements and outperformed the 85 percentile benchmark across key audit metrics.”
“It has been a good journey with NCS International building our management system but ultimately it has been the dedication and commitment of our 12,000 strong workforce to deliver high quality and safe products and services that has meant we have the right offer for our clients - every time.”
Contact: George Mifsud
Human Resources Director
Compass Group (Australia) Pty Ltd
737-739 New South Head Road
Rose Bay NSW 2029
Telephone: + 61 2 9371 7766
Facsimile: + 61 2 9371 2386
For more information on how NCS International can assist you with your certification, call 1300 856 554 or Request a Quote Online.