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Brenda Percy

Quality Insider

Five Capabilities of Effective Quality Management System Software

These allow you to focus on nurturing your business

Published: Friday, February 13, 2015 - 17:59

When it comes to choosing quality management system (QMS) software for your organization, there is much to consider. Every QMS has nuances that may cause you to wonder what software will provide the most value and prove to be truly effective. Keep in mind there are basic quality management processes that effective software should automate. Look for QMS software processes that will communicate with each other to enhance the overall awareness and collaboration within your organization.

Keep these five capabilities in mind

1. Risk management. The goal is to define the risk and apply safeguards to prevent risky situations from occurring, or mitigating the damage if they do. Using a risk management tool, you can create risk templates, apply risk parameters, and filter and assess risk levels within adverse events. This is important because if you can see where the systemic issues reside, you can make the needed adjustments to mitigate those events, see where the trends are to reduce risk. Risk management tools help you to prioritize operations by risk. Another benefit of a risk management tool is that it can integrate with your corrective and preventive action (CAPA) system.

2. Corrective action. When an adverse event occurs, the risk management tool basically tells the CAPA system which circumstances are the most critical to the business and therefore which ones need to have a corrective action started. This capability is important because without some method to differentiate, events could be addressed in the order in which they occurred rather than by their level of severity. It will allow you to weed out the critical circumstances from the noncritical. You’ll be less likely to expend resources on corrective actions that have little effect on preventing risky situations from occurring or are of no value to the company.

3. Document control. Although it’s important to have a tracking system and a central storage hub for documents, it’s also important to have the ability to easily make changes to all documents. Look for software that includes a change-request workflow to ensure that all document changes follow a standard procedure. Effective software includes a comprehensive reporting engine, automatic routing, and email notification so that you can create alerts and keep employees apprised of any changes to existing processes and procedures—nothing is left to chance.

4. Training. Your training system can be integrated with document control. Look for a training system that links documents to training requirements and allows you to configure training requirements as needed. It will track all training events within your organization and enable you to conduct online testing with configurable pass/fail rules.

5. Audits. For continuous improvement within your organization, an audit tool is invaluable. Internal audits help to ensure your internal processes are working the way they should. Look for a configurable internal auditing tool that can adjust to your business processes and enable you to create audit plans with integrated and configurable checklists and scoring methods, and to schedule audits and create a comprehensive report for all audits.

Good quality management system software has built-in processes to simplify common business practices. Automating document management, auditing, and risk assessment allows you to focus less on the software and more on nurturing your growing business.

Brenda Percy is the product marketing analyst at VERSE Solutions, a Quality Digest content partner.

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About The Author

Brenda Percy’s picture

Brenda Percy

Brenda Percy is the product marketing analyst at VERSE Solutions, based in Farmingdale, New York. She is responsible for communicating overall technology trends and compliance initiatives to the market, and has an extensive background in quality and compliance technologies.