Understanding, experience and technology for success
Previously, we discussed best practices for implementing a well-designed audit program. In this issue, let us discuss how one can most effectively raise the audit scores of your organization by building effective document control processes. Document control and document lifecycle management have become increasingly important foundation for building and implementing a good compliance and quality system. With the growth of online manuals, standard operating procedures (SOP’s), supplier contracts, electronic material safety datasheets (MSDS), OSHA safety datasheets, plant and operator instruction manuals, most large and mid-size manufacturers are finding it difficult to enforce compliance with corporate procedures and quality standards. In many cases where such digital document repositories do exist, we find that these document repositories are not integrated with the underlying processes and quality standards of the organization. To make matters worse, as organizations look at managing large offshore supply chains, effective document control becomes even more challenging in establishing the quality baseline between all parties involved. A well implemented document control system, besides providing a document repository for global use, must enable seamless document and data control, closed-loop collaboration and process flexibility to turn organizational documents into living and breathing standards for global compliance and quality.
To put the problem in context, let us look at a specific use case scenario at a large manufacturer.
So where is the problem here? Why does the organization continue to have a challenge adhering to the quality standards, even though there exists a nice collaborative environment to document and follow the critical standards and procedures?
The simple but important realization which many large and medium size manufacturers have had over the last few years is that global quality management initiatives must take ownership of the global document management initiatives to ensure that quality processes and associated documentations on standard operating procedures are tightly coupled. Moving forward, document changes must lead to process changes and vice versa.
Here are some tips to raise quality audit scores, which we have seen work in many customer scenarios.
Requirements for an effective Document control process
We believe that document control processes designed to improve your audit scores must achieve the following.
By carefully integrating document control with Compliance and Quality processes large and mid-size manufacturers can significantly enhance their audit scores. Many organizations who viewed document control and quality control as separate initiatives in the past are now increasingly taking an integrated approach to compliance and quality building a robust quality infrastructure on a strong foundation of document controls.