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Drupal for QMS

imwilliam

Starting to get Involved
#1
Hello,

I have a small job shop, (There's only a couple of us), and we're being asked to get ISO9000 certification. I'm looking into software that might help us with this. I've looked at several commercial software packages, one I liked quite a bit, but the cost was on the high side.

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with Drupal and if so what they think of using it to build a system for keeping track of the sorts of things you have to keep track of in order to be ISO9000 compliant.

I'm also considering Access, I've read a bit about it here on the forums, seems like it works, though it seemed like the posts were a little older.

Any thoughts or ideas you could share on the matter would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Billy
 
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indubioush

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
If you work for an organization, please refrain from trying to use an electronic system. I suggest you employ a consultant to help you understand all the requirements and create a paper-based quality system tailored to your organization.
 

imwilliam

Starting to get Involved
#3
Hello Idubioush,

Can you elaborate on why you don't think I should use an electronic system? Is it the size of my business, security or something else?

I've hired a consultant, I'll limp through the process with them, but I'm disappointed in their work to date. I'm going to have to do a lot of the development and writing.

In regards to record keeping, they suggested excel spread sheets, I think some sort of data base would be more useful. I'd prefer it was online mainly because we aren't set up with an internal server.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#4
I would only suggest a consultant if you don't understand ISO 9001 requirements.

As for Drupal - Where did you get that recommendation? It is probably overkill for your needs in such a small shop. Having worked for small shops, I also recommend a simple paper based system with something like a simple spreadsheet for control of documents. You can do a database rather than a spreadsheet but they are more complicated.

Take a look at: Simple Document Control Spreadsheet Example

I'm going to have to do a lot of the development and writing
Ther are 'canned' documents you can buy, and a consultant will typically write documents with your help but it will cost a lot more for their help. I recommend your writing your own because you understand how yur company does things.
 

indubioush

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
Forgive me. I didn't know anything about Drupal. I assumed it was an out-of-the-box solution for QMS. I see now that it is more of a content management platform. Can you explain how you want to use Drupal? It seems to me that you would still be considered a paper-based system even if you use Drupal to store your documents.

As an example, what would be your process for changing documents? I assume you would have to still manually fill out a change control form and obtain ink signatures for approval of the document changes. This would result in a new document revision and a record. The new document revision would be in Drupal. Where would you store the change record? Would it be scanned and uploaded to Drupal?
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#6
Drupal. I assumed it was an out-of-the-box solution for QMS.
It is a content management system, much like the software this forum runs on. It's just a bit complex to configure. But, it is quite popular software. My only objection with it is a company has to have a person who understands the software and who can do things like updates and various customizations.
Drupal is {I think} free.

Drupal - Wikipedia

Where would you store the change record?
Typically software like Drupal automatically keeps a record of changes. Xenforo does - But, I had to had to have a special 'add-on' written (the forum 'Attachments Listing') to be able to easily list documents in Xenforo and to be able to search by document name. DISCLAIMER: I had to habe the add-on to incorporate documents from the old vBulletin software (another CMS software that I used for many years).
 
Last edited:

imwilliam

Starting to get Involved
#7
Hey Marc and Indubioush,

I've had some minor experience with Drupal, sort tinkered around with it as a hobby. While I was watching some demos of some commercial QMS software, It occurred to me I might be able to duplicate some of that functionality with Drupal. Maybe even add some functionality they don't have that would be valuable in my particular case.

As Marc says, I believe that Drupal keeps a record of changes, by whom and when that with an add on could be added to the record. In any case, is there any reason multiple versions of a document couldn't be saved in the database with only one being current? It would simple enough to set up a search that would only return the current version and another search that would return all versions, enabling you to display only current, but access when needed past versions.

Signatures are something I was wondering about, but if only a logged in user can make a change, then I think that might be able to be leveraged to create an acceptable "signature"

I'm also concerned about security, but I think that could be sorted out, maybe a random domain, maybe even a IP whitelist for access.

I think it's something that could start out with just a little more functionality than a spreadsheet but grow into something much more useful over time.

I like narrative notes for example, Drupal would index these and make them searchable. Set up correctly I'd be able to look at every job I'd ever used a particular gage on, every machine I'd ever used to make a particular part and so on. I guess you folks call that "tracebility".


Look, I've looked at QT9, it's a great program, but it's pricey for a one man band and there's a lot there I wouldn't need. If price weren't an issue I'd grab that up and call it good, but price is an issue.

So I'm just giving Drupal some thought. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea.

Thanks for your thoughts Mark and Indubioush
 

indubioush

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
I guess my thoughts are that it is hard enough to set up a quality system without having to worry about configuring some software platform. Please know that you will have to do software validation. When you get audited, you may have a tough time getting the auditor to understand how your system works. Changes to your system won't be as easy.

If you have your heart set on it, and you also really take the time to understand the ISO 9001 requirements, it could work.

Also, if you don't like your consultant, just let them go. There are plenty of awesome consultants out there who can provide the help you need.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#9
is there any reason multiple versions of a document couldn't be saved in the database with only one being current?
No reason - I'm just not familiar with Drupal so I don't know its functional aspects. If you like it and are familiar with it I see no specific reason not to use it.

I'm also concerned about security, but I think that could be sorted out, maybe a random domain, maybe even a IP whitelist for access.
You should be able to set it up so that it runs locally on your shop network/LAN.

Here's the thing - First write down everything you want it to do for you and make sure it can do what you want. And remember th old KISS - Keep it as simple as possible. Just because it can do certain 'tricks', don'y over complicate it.

In all honesty, if I was you I'd be more into making a simple relational database that you can tailor and include more things, like inspection results. To me Access is a bit much, but it is powerful.

you will have to do software validation.
That should be simple enough in such a small company. I do heartily agree that the poster learn and understand ISO 9001 and its requirements. When I did implementations, one condition to accepting a contract was that the company have a single point person for me to train so that the company had a person who knew and understood ISO 9001 (or what ever standard). Too many companies do not do this and end up neck deep in problems.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#10
I've hired a consultant, I'll limp through the process with them, but I'm disappointed in their work to date. I'm going to have to do a lot of the development and writing.
Be aware of a couple of things: many consultants out there are very unprofessional and will drag a simple project as long as they can; so, if you feel that your consultant is primarily interested in his/her invoicing than your system, drop them ASAP.

Any company that tells a 2-man shop supplier they need ISO 9001 certification are either ignorant, or putting a roadblock in front of the supplier in the hope they don't overcome it.

For a very small organization like yours, do not overkill. MS Word and Excel is more than enough for you to document your management system. Use the lack of prescriptiveness in the 2015 Edition of 9001 to your advantage.

Good luck.
 
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