http://www.risk-technologies.comhttp://www.risk-technologies.comhttp://www.eu-vri.euhttp://www.steinbeis.de
 
 
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Introduction 

This chapter details the context of the QMS and how the R-Tech group & EU-VRi’s business strategy supports this. The ‘context of the organization’ is the clause that underpins the application of the ISO 9001:2015 standard in R-Tech group and EU-VRi. It gives an organization the opportunity to identify and understand the factors and parties in their environment that support the quality management system.

The chapter defines external and internal issues that are relevant to its purpose, i.e. what are the relevant issues, both inside and out, that have an impact on what the organization does, or that would affect its ability to achieve the intended outcome(s) of the quality management system. The term “issue” covers not only problems but also important topics for the management system to address, such as any market assurance and governance goals of the R-Tech group and EU-VRi.

The chapter identifies the “interested parties” that are relevant to the QMS. These groups include shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, and even pressure group

 
 
4.1 Understanding the organization and its context; what is understood as “context”?
 
 
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Main objective of the Steinbeis R-Tech and EU-VRi Group is:

"To be among the leaders and global players in the area of Risk & Resilience Management"

The above goal practically means that the works of the Group are duly referenced in the area and the Group involved in the major international and, in particular, European initiatives, projects and project partners in the area of Risk & Resilience (see the list of projects at R-Tech and EU-VRi respective pages).

The main external issues relevant for the R-Tech group and EU-VRi are:

  1. General rules and regulation in dealing with partners and customers (e.g. the new GDPR regulation in EU)
  2. Requirements coming from the customers and partners (e.g. the regulation applied to the Hungarian police participating in some of the R-Tech group and EU-VRi projects
  3. Newly developed technical requirements applicable to projects and products of the R-Tech group and EU-VRi (e.g. new standards such as EN16991 for RBI)

The most important internal issues would be achieving and maintaining the satisfaction of “viability criteria” for:

  1. Financial operation (e.g. the EU “SOLVENCY financial viability” checks)
  2. HR management (e.g. ensuring formal and functional qualifications of all employees as required by the projects)
  3. Organizational (e.g. for having the possibility to participate in projects targeting SMEs, inter-regional or other specific targets

In this context, it is important to:

  1. Analyze and be aware of the R-Tech group and EU-VRi strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats (SWOT) that arise from the context; and 
  2. Ensure monitoring and review

The SWOT table is monitored and reviewed as needed and is provided in Chapter 4.5.

 
   
 
 
4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties
 
 
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R-Tech Group and EU-VRi operate in a complex environment which give rise to a variety of "interested parties"; the entities which were identified to potentially have any major effect on the companies' ability to provide their services/products are summarized in the table below:

Needs and expectations of Interested parties

Customers

· expect excellent quality and customer care/ service

· expect long-term relationships

· Customers often need product development and technical customization

 

Suppliers

· Timely payment

· Relationship Management

Employees

· Good working conditions

· Salaries and benefits

· training

· Promotion / Career Development

Legislator

· Compliance with legal regulations

· protection of the rights of employees

· Safe work environment in terms of health and safety

Banks / Investors

· Paying for repayments and interest in time

· advice on important financial decisions (e.g. investments)

Franchises

· Technical support

· presale support

· Training (technical and commercial)

competitors

· Information about technology

· Information on pricing

· Information about management

European Commission / National funding bodies

· Reporting as part of the project

· High quality research

· Use of their specific procedures and templates (e.g. EC portal)

· Dissemination of results and activities

 

Steinbeis Headquarters

· Expect monthly/annual reporting

· use of their procedures and templates

· Promoting the Steinbeis Network

· Payment of Network fees

 

 

 
   
 
 
4.3 Determining the scope of the quality management system
 
 
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The R-Tech Group has created and documented the QMS according to the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 and applies it in all single units in all business activities. The processes required for QM and their application within the R-Tech Group were identified as well as their required interactions, criteria and methods for controlling these processes. They are described as part of the Quality Manual and referred to in the instructions and procedures.

Apart from general management procedures, a number of written procedures are provided for:
- Product Development (including software development)
- Product Realization (IT, industrial, international, European, national)
- Project Management
- Sales (procurement and sales)
- Service and support
- Training internal/external

The R-Tech Group management is responsible for ensuring that the quality control and assurance is an integral part of all procedures. Compliance with the QMS, the implementation of measures to achieve planned results and continuous improvement is part of the management responsibility.

 

Exceptions:

Article 7.1.5 in not applicable for the R-Tech/EU-VRi operations as these do not require and therefore do not have calibration tools and the procedures for their maintenance and control. 

 
   
 
 
4.4 Quality management system and its processes
 
 
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The R-Tech/EU-VRi group maintains a full quality manual for all of its operations in chapter 15, complemented by section III of the QMS: Instructions and Procedures. 

 

4.4.1: "establish, implement, maintain and continually improve a quality management system, including the processes needed and their interactions"

  •  as well as the QMS section: "III. Instructions and procedures"

4.4.2: maintain and retain documented information to support the operation

  • as well as the QMS section: "VI. QMS records"
 
   
 
 
4.5 SWOT analysis for EU-VRi/R-Tech
 
 
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Strengths

  • ever increasing international importance of EU-VRi/R-Tech (EU and international level) - involvement into the standardization work in the area: ISO PC262 and TC292 (ISO 31000 standard), European Norm (EN) for RBI Risk-Based Inspection
  • balanced portfolio of projects (industry and EU: 40% of industry project in EU-VRi and over 65% of industry projects in R-Tech)
  • audited and stress-proven Quality Management, Project Management, Financial Management and HR/Customer Relationship Management

Weaknesses

  • constraints pertinent to the legal form of the company (EEIG) leading to many constraints in therms of risk preparedness and mitigation (somtimes complicated decision - ways)
  • strong need to consider single founding member's interest in the day-to-day operation of EU-VRi/R-Tech (limiting the freedom in more challenging businesses)
  • low level of fixed assets in the portfolio and the respective dependance on the project financing which is often volatile and unstable
 
 

Opportunities

  • to increase EU-VRi/R-Tech broker's role in international project (as in EuropeAid)
  • to increase activities as Operating Agent of interest groups active in Horizon 2020 of the EU
  • to strengthen the position as European "knowledge manager" in the area of risks, especially emerging risks related to new technologies

 

Threats

  • changes in EU financing (e.g. lower investment into risk related topics in the Horizon 2020) or difficulties related to the current regulation (e.g. the built-in cash-flow problem related to the end of FP-7 and H2020 projects)
  • disagreement and lack of consensus among the founding members (related to operation)
  • increased competition n the area of risk management in general