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IBS America

Standards

Deploying a Successful Quality and Compliance Management System

A case study on efficient ways to achieve sustained adherence to regulations and standards companywide.

Published: Monday, August 17, 2009 - 05:30

Madico, the world’s preeminent manufacturer of metalized, coated, and laminated films, has been producing high quality manufactured film systems since 1903. Located in Woburn, Massachusetts, the hi-tech ISO 9001-certified firm has more than 170 employees.

A quality and compliance management system was hardly a priority for Madico in its first 96 years of existence. Company documentation had been handled in much the same way as it  had in the past—in paper systems stored in a selection of binders distributed to multiple departments at its various locations. With hundreds of different products, each with its own specification, the inherent problem with this particular system was ensuring that all employees were using the most current revision of each specification, a situation that was not always the case.

Currently, with three distribution sites, sales offices in California, Florida, and Arizona, as well as their main manufacturing and corporate offices in Massachusetts, there was a need for everyone to have access to the most up-to-date documentation. As the system was setup, that was almost impossible, as paper documentation was stored in 34 locations within the Woburn plant in up to five three-inch binders at each location.

Tired of the inconsistencies with that system, a software-based system was suggested by Dan MacKay, Madico’s director of manufacturing and quality systems. This suggestion initially met resistance at Madico, but when MacKay agreed to manage the system administration himself with IT supporting the hardware needs, the project moved forward. Because he would be responsible for system administration, MacKay made it a requirement that any system brought in-house would be easy to use and to maintain.

Prior to implementation of a solution from IBS called CompliantPro, MacKay had tried a document control product from another source, but found it lacking in both functionality and the ease of use that they required. The new solution offered better value, software features, support, ease of use. In all, it was a better product than what he had previously tested.

With training and support provided by IBS, MacKay had the document control module of CompliantPro up and running in a short period of time and was finally able to “get everyone on the same page.” He was able, without other administrative assistance, to move their documentation into the new system, making it instantly available to everyone in the company who needed access. From work orders to printing job specifications, CompliantPro has become an indispensable tool in their manufacturing workplace. As MacKay says, “They wouldn’t know how to setup their machines without it.”

With the use of the document control system a success, Dan expanded the use of the CompliantPro system to include:

  • Employee training
  • SCARS (supplier corrective action requests)
  • CARs and PARs  (corrective action and preventive action requests)
  • RMAs (return material authorizations)
  • Internal audits
  • Supplier assessments
  • Action Items · ECRs (engineering change requests)

 

The manufacturing unit found the software the most useful because of its interaction with the system on a daily basis. Even operating at three shifts a day, five days a week, the program was so successful that the quality systems analyst position was phased out and the employee who had the position was promoted within the company. MacKay says that he has found the system easy to set up and maintain without the need for IT support, and with only occasional technical support from IBS.

Madico derived a number of benefits over the years from their integrated CompliantPro system. Certification now is faster and easier to accomplish. In fact, all the work required to complete a certification audit could now be done from a computer in a conference room or MacKay’s office.

One of the large benefits of the system was that everything worked together. For instance, when an internal audit identifies a nonconformance, a corrective action request can be issued from and linked directly to the audit question itself.

Other benefits that Madico received from the system were:

  • Reduced space requirements
  • Reduced administration time
  • Faster Underwriters Laboratories (UL) audits based upon online evidence of product tests that confirmed no changes to UL approved product tests
  • Approximately 50 percent reduction in audit times
  • Reduced scrap
  • Improved supplier quality
  • Support for lean and Six Sigma efforts
  • Overall process improvement

 

Over the last five years, IBS America’s CompliantPro has become an integral part of the business operations at Madico. With its ease of use, full feature set, and functionality, Madico has come to depend on it in its administrative and manufacturing areas. With all his expectations met, MacKay has used the software to usher in more efficient ways to handle processes, and in doing so has managed to institute a cultural change within Madico to carry it into the future.

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About The Author

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IBS America

For more than 25 years, IBS software has enabled businesses to comply with government regulations, meet a range of industry standards, and achieve quality management objectives. IBS works with its customers to foster a Culture of Compliance™ by cutting across corporate “silos” and enabling consistent, sustainable compliance. IBS solutions have helped thousands of companies realize the full benefits of compliance, including reduced cost and risk, improved customer satisfaction and higher profits.