The unrealized gains of the manufacturing world – internal audits. They’re widely understood as important, but their benefits are commonly unrealized by plant management. When executed correctly, internal audits can drive efficiencies and improve your bottom line. However, there are several mistakes plant management typically makes when conducting internal audits that hinder their effectiveness.
Here Are Internal Auditing Mistakes to Avoid
- Failing to establish clear objectives:
Before conducting an internal audit, it's essential to establish clear objectives. Without clear goals, it's difficult to determine whether the audit was successful or not. Plant management must enlist their supervisors to identify specific areas to audit, define the scope of the audit, and establish measurable goals.
- Lack of preparation:
Preparation is crucial to the success of an internal audit. In addition to mid-level management, Plant Managers should have a clear understanding of the audit process. This includes what documents and data are required and what procedures need to be followed. Proper preparation helps to ensure that the audit is conducted efficiently and effectively.
- Inadequate training:
Conducting internal audits requires a specific skill set. Plant Managers should ensure that auditors are adequately trained and have the necessary expertise to conduct the audit. This includes training on auditing techniques, communication skills, and report writing.
- Failure to communicate effectively:
Effective communication is critical during an internal audit. Plant management must emphasize that auditors communicate clearly with plant personnel and explain the audit process, the reason for the audit, and the scope of the audit.
- Not following up on findings:
An internal audit is only effective if the findings are acted upon. Plant management should establish a plan to follow up on audit findings, implement corrective actions, and monitor progress. Failure to follow up on findings can result in recurring issues and continued inefficiencies.
Internal audits are an essential tool for Plant Managers to identify areas of improvement and potential risks before they turn into larger problems that affect production. But a comprehensive view of the current state of your plant hinges on avoiding commonly made mistakes. By establishing clear objectives, proper preparation, adequate training, effective communication, and following up on findings, internal audits can reduce costs and increase plant capacity.