Canned Document Control Software - Is it for you?


Fully vaccinated are you?
As many of you probably know, I believe that canned document control software is basically a sham. With this in mind, please consider the following:

From: ISO Standards Discussion
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 08:17:26 -0500
Subject: Re: QSI Software /Mower/Andrews

Shawn inquired;
"Does anybody use the Quality Systems International System 9000 software based on Lotus Notes? Does anyone have any recommendations for or against it?"


When I first looked into using an "off the shelf" product that worked under Lotus Notes (our company communication software) I soon realized that I had two choices:

1) - design our QMS around the structure of the "off the shelf" product (not a very efficient approach)
2) - redesign the "off the shelf" product to fit the way we did business (time consuming and still had to compromise to fit the software)

I decided to design our QMS system from scratch in Notes. I designed it to reflect the way that we do business and to enhance our effectiveness. It took some time to do (but so would #2 above); however, we now have in place a fully customized series of applications that are taylor fit to our needs. Also, the (programming) knowledge gained along the way has enabled us to further expand our Notes based systems to fulfill a wide variety of needs throughout the organization.

It was quite some time ago when I first investigated the "off the shelf" products so I'm sure that they have come a long way; however, I still believe that any "off the shelf" product will require you to remold your system to some degree to fit their program.

Hope this is helpful.


Comments, folks?

James Gutherson

I agree whole heartedly with Ethan (I missed this thread on the list serv, thanks Marc). I started to build our system with canned Doc Control software, but found it (the doc control software) was pushing me away from the overall vision I had. Our system is now based around elements we were already using M$ Office, Outlook and Exchange, and Webpages. The only additiion has been (and I know Marc does not agree with extras) Adobe Acrobat. Acrobat was originally used to correct formatting problems when printing on different printers in regional offices, but has been shown to have other benefits for version control (eliminating the need for passwords). Overall this self built system is magnitudes of order more effective than the canned system, and significantly reduces training times.
Our only problem has been speed of access for the regional offices, actually the problem is convincing the bean counters that the cost of speeding up the wide area network will be offset by gains in productivity :) .


Fully vaccinated are you?
Acrobat I can handle - It's relatively useful. I do prefer to KIS - Keep It Simple.
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