Participation in the Document Review Process from Multiple Sites

T

tylerr

#1
We are a distribution company with three sites across the country and currently have a QMS that was adopted from a large supplier. The QMS works okay for now but we are moving towards ISO certification and would like to bring the “old and the new” together.

One of the practices we would like to keep (and hopefully expand) is the idea of reviewing and testing most documents prior to approval. It is one of the ways we get employees to “buy in” on the idea of a QMS; employees review and test (hands on) Work Instructions, etc. Moving forward, we would like to have employees from all three sites be involved in the review and testing of documents, rather than just the ones from which the document, or document revision, originated.

I was hoping the Cove could provide some suggestions for making this as painless as possible. The catch, obviously, is how to control these documents, their forms, and the related Document Control forms throughout all three sites. Does anyone have experience with this level of “participation” from their locations? Also, we are using a mixed (paper and paperless) system.

Any thoughts would be helpful; we aren’t looking for “the answer”, just some hints.

Thanks in advance,

Tyler R
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
J
#2
Well I've never been involved in something like this, but my first thought is that if you have a quality rep at each facility he would be the logical one to have responsibility for things where he is at. That way each facility has a "go-to' person and you have a single person at each facility relaying back and forth.

Peace
James
 
K

Ka Pilo

#3
I think you are on the right track. James’ suggestion is good. Since it is the unique processes of each site will drive in the documentation, you may have a Deputy MR for each site that manages and control the system (document review, revision etc) and supports the MR in the effective implementation of the QMS.
 
F

foiley

#4
I have set up a QA systems for 27 sites operating originally working under completely different systems, which was usually no system at all.

I formed a QA Consultative Committee made up of a delegation from various departments and site representatives.


The difficulties were:
  • balancing committee with operational business
  • issues with time zones
  • issues with buy in from top site management (i.e. allowing a cleaner access to a computer terminal required counselling and slight change of culture)
  • issues with technology differences - due to the nature of the business we were not able to have every site on our WAN and required some planning
  • Issues with top management buy in - I had one Executive Manager refuse to recognise the role of the committee, instead used to approve his own documents, than bullied staff into using his documents - he was sacked, but caused so much damage, I disbanded the committee.
I did however make the committee a very formal committee. The committee had a very specific Terms of Reference. The committee had an endorsement role. Ultimately it was the CEO who approved documents. But gave them some sense of ownership. I also had an accredited proof reader on the committee, that was absolutely fantastic. I learned a lesson: just because someone works as a cleaner, doesn't mean that is the only thing they can do!

The other thing I liked was it gave a solid document control workflow. That is documents submitted by this date are approved by this date. It also provided some barriers to changing documents without adequate planning. We did have provision for a flying minute outside meeting dates, which was written into the constitution. But I would only use this when justified.

Sorry for the novel, something obviously hit some sort of nerve...
Cheers
Foiley
 
T

tylerr

#5
James,
Thanks for the suggestion. This was an idea that my coworker and I have tossed around. If we choose to follow through with this participation-heavy system, we will most certainly end up having some sort of a QA rep at each facility. This should help lessen the amount of work (and fear) that will go into tracking and obtaining all the training records.

Ka Pilo,
That is a good add-on to what James suggested. We could always try to expand on the responsibilities a QA Rep. would have. This would help us feed the “buy in” even more, if there was a QA Rep. at each facility. They could help oversee and maintain the QMS, rather than one location being the QMS “overlord”.

Foiley,
Don’t worry, I like novels. I really like the idea of forming a QA Committee with the individuals who may end up being QA Reps. I think it is only logical to move forward in that direction, if we choose to stay on the three-site participation path.
As far as the top-management, I’m really lucky to have management that is actually pushing for this type of system. At this point, we (the people implementing it) might have more reservations than they do. The other issues you brought up will certainly be contemplated but, aside from balancing workload, I don’t think we will run into many problems.
On a side note, the driving tests in the US are jokes. I haven’t had to take on in the UK or Europe but from what I’ve been told, they are much more practical and complex.

Thanks all for the wonderful suggestions. Keep them coming if you have any.

Thanks again,
Tyler R
 
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