Continuous Improvement Management Module

Achieve continuous improvement of your Quality Management Systems by Automating Disjointed Manual activities

Companies who wish to achieve continuous improvement in their processes will formalize their improvement management tasks. They can also automate their methods for tracking and managing error data and events with the tools in the Improvement Management Module. We provide a flexible structure for managing the traditional events of continuous improvement such as non-conformance reports and other aspects of a CAPA system. The electronic records are centrally generated and tracked to provide visibility of all improvement management tasks.

  • Non-Conformance Reporting

    Identify non-conformances in materials or processes. Generate system records to drive workflow instructions and activities for problem resolutions. Availability of multiple user-defined fields support analysis of problem sources and allow easy customization of tasks.

  • Root Cause

    Define formal investigative processes. Link each step in the investigation to assigned departments or individuals. Provide target completion and review dates. Monitor and communicate information efficiently on a system-wide basis.

  • Corrective Actions

    When analysis for cause is complete, define needed actions for achieving improvements. Formally launch corrective initiatives and track outcomes against goal. Monitor assigned responsibilities by dates, individuals and other values.

  • User-Defined Event Tracking

    Each organizations has a different focus for continuous improvement. Each organization can identify specific actions that require monitoring and tracking throughout the problem life cycle. There is a centralized view of assignments and completion dates. Examples of reportable actions and events include: Requests for Deviations – Withholding Notices – Returned Material Authorizations.

  • Recurring Queries

    Monitor outcomes of improvement activities with standard data queries that can be reused as needed. Provide periodic reporting against standard processes.

  • Standard and Customized Reporting

    All standard reports may contain unlimited modifications in support of targeted data generation. Ease communication with customers and users with access to email and other methods of distribution.

Document Recommendations

SPOTLIGHT ON: User-defined Codes

The purpose of the Improvement Management functionality is to bring clarity to the effort of continuous improvement. We can automate monitoring the multiple manual systems that are typically used to manage unexpected problems as they occur.

We do not plan for things to go wrong. This means the problems or issues that affect quality are unexpected. This limited predictability makes creating standard processes for resolution and investigation of root cause a challenge. With the functionality of Improvement Management from Quality Essentials Suite, we provide tools that can consistently capture any non-conformance. The architecture is flexible enough to communicate across all aspects of the organization. Issues move through a problem lifecycle and are tracked from resolution to analysis to improvement. The status of each activity can be shared through a centralized events tool. The robustness and flexibility to customize the software to meet the needs of your organization is achieved with the application of user-defined codes for different functional needs. These codes allow you to create methods for action, monitor adherence to those methods, manage response expectations, and analyze sources of problems with ease. Here are a few examples:

CODE USED FOR:
Action Type Define the actions you most frequently need to track like non-conformances or withholding notices, unlimited codes can be developed.
Action Status Define for each action type the various status steps that should occur and use the data to monitor expected progress
Owner Identify possible owners of actions and use ownership to monitor problem sources and response levels
Outcome Code Define acceptable outcomes that indicate nature or method of problem resolution
QA Source Define locations, events, transactions that represent how the issue was uncovered or use to define QA dispositions
Material Disposition Identify status of affected materials
Departments Define departments for action or responsibility
Discrepant Source Define likely causes of discrepancies
   

The Cost of Quality

The cost of quality can be hidden by standard accounting practices. Scrap rates or expedited shipment costs are often incurred due to errors. If there is no visibility of these direct costs then ongoing problems remain undetected. Sometimes they are considered not meaningful enough to require action. Tracking actual and estimated costs for quality issues will provide insight for improvement investments. Including revenue expectations due to problem resolutions can amplify awareness of cause-and-effect and drive the selection of meaningful improvement projects.