Innovative Seed Breeder prioritises Quality Management with Icologiq Elements.
International vegetable seed company HM.Clause has dedicated itself to developing vegetable seeds in a sustainable and innovative way. Quality is of great value for this company. To achieve the highest quality, HM.Clause has made the transition from a department-based company structure to a process-based one. HM.Clause works with Icologiq Elements, an all-in-one software platform that bundles all technical, functional and operational processes in the field of quality, compliance and operational excellence in one solution.
Erik Postma, Global Head of Quality Management at HM.Clause, explains how the company is organised. “When we started with quality management, we had divided our company according to a classic departmental structure. This means that we worked with four operational departments and seven support departments. All these departments worked together and the company could not function without one of these departments.”
The risk when working according to a department-based structure, is that the top management has little insight into the processes, especially those between the different departments. “If, for example, the transfer from the breeding department to the production department is not properly arranged, you quickly end up with a double amount of work, where both departments use their own process design,” Erik explains. “This not only takes a lot of time, but it is also often at the expense of quality.”
ISO 9001 (2015), which is used as a standard for quality management within the company, describes the following approach to processes: Understanding and managing interrelated processes as a system contributes to the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation in achieving its intended results. This approach allows the organisation to control the relationships and interdependencies between the processes of the system, so that the overall performance of the organisation can be improved.
With the strong worldwide growth of the company’s workforce over the past few years, it was discovered that the classic departmental structure was not optimal for HM.Clause, because this division not only led to an increase in problems related to product quality, but also slowed down the efficiency of the innovation process. “A company that works according to a departmental structure is actually divided into silos,” Erik says. “However, since we work with processes, we had to structure our company at a process level instead of a department level. Research has shown that companies that work according to this new ISO method can save as much as 5-10% in operational costs. Moreover, it leads to a better reputation: a company that delivers fewer flawed products will receive fewer complaints. This in turn leads to lower costs and more satisfied customers, which increases the market share.”
The advantages of a process-based approach
In order to optimise this entire process and achieve harmonisation between departments, a clearer division of roles and functions is necessary. This starts with the uniform definition of the various functions and authorities in a process. “The problem is that positions in different countries not only have different titles, but sometimes they also involve different tasks. This leads to a lack of clarity about who is responsible for which task. In addition, the world around us is changing rapidly and functions change with it. Our goal was to standardise this entire system, so that, for example, we can also automatically create job descriptions based on the processes and procedures described in the company. This can replace the classic way of job description that requires constant interaction between human resources and managers. By automating job descriptions, a manager can instantly see who is responsible for which task. When there are disagreements between departments about who should perform a certain task, simply refer to the quality structure validated by the management in the ICOLOGIQ Elements platform, which is translated into a job description. This saves a lot of discussions.”
To ensure a smooth transition to a process structure, HM.Clause uses the all-in-one software platform Icologiq Elements. Elements aims to help companies facilitate a process-oriented working method.
HM.Clause is specialised in the breeding, production and sales of vegetable seeds. The company works closely with its customers to provide successful solutions for today’s agricultural challenges and to produce the highest quality seeds for the future. The global team of experts and modern research facilities enable HM.Clause to work side by side with growers to provide the most regionally relevant and reliable vegetable seeds available.
HM.Clause is a business unit of Limagrain, an international cooperative agricultural group specialised in field seeds, vegetable seeds and grain products. With a team of 2,800 professionals in more than 20 countries, the company is committed to the sustainable solutions for the country, successful products for its customers and intensive research and innovations for the future.
Contact our team for questions about our software.