QMS Software Recommendations for a Small Company

D

dianamendes

#1
My company is considering to buy a QMS software.

We are a small consultancy company of 20 employees. We need something easy to use ( the ones in charge of the QMS will also be working in projects so there is no time for extensive training...) that is made for service companies rather then industries (our "products" are "projects" and obviously we don?t have calibrations or inspections as in a factory).

Of course we are also interested in a affordable solution and that can be accessed in by iPhone of tablet.

Any idea?

If searched on previous discussions here in this Forum but all the softwares seem extremely complicated and with a horrible user interface...
 
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P

PaulJSmith

#2
What exactly are you looking for this software to do for you? Microsoft has some fine products - like Word, Excel, and Access - that will document just about anything you might need in a QMS, and it's probably already on your computers.
 
D

dianamendes

#4
Hi!

Thanks for your reply.
We have a QMS system thought and planned (meaning we have a policy, manual, goals, procedures, indicators, etc).This "exercise" of understanding IF and WHY we need a QMS was already done with our management.

I developed all the documentation in Word and Excel with no problems. The thing is it requires quite a lot of time and probably 1 person full time to make sure you can control all the versions, updated when necessary, calculate indicators, take care of NC, etc. That would be the Quality Manager but in this case the Quality Manager will need to also perform other tasks.

so what we are looking for is a software that can do the following:
- to centralize all the info regarding the QMS (templates, procedures, reports, NC, complaints, etc);
- to helps us to easily define access restrictions to documentation;
- to make sure only the right version is used (this is quite important because we have several employees working out of the office and is difficult to ensure they always have the most updated information and are using it)
- to easily "spread de word" about a new update, version, procedure, etc;
- to collect data and calculate KPI?s (now I can do this with excel but will take me a lifetime....);
- to have a module to have all the info about suppliers and suppliers evaluations;
- to have all info about clients, complaints,etc;
- to have all info and attached documentation on employee training and evaluations
- flexible enough to allow us to add or change our processes when needed

When I say we don?t really have time to train our employees in a software I meant the "common users", the users that will only access some documents and insert few data in the system. Of course that for me or for other person that will be in charge of maintaining the system we must have time for a proper training.

I don?t see why our pre-conditions are a concern, as Jackbey said...isn?t it normal that you want to purchase something HMI friendly and affordable? I mean after all, the purpose of having a system like this is to make your life easier...if it?s even more complicated and at the same time expensive then you have it for nothing....
 

sagai

Quite Involved in Discussions
#6
Diana,
I tend to say there is no single software that would fulfil your expectation, at least I have not come across with such.
I would set some priorities first to carry on.
Cheers!
 

Mikishots

Trusted Information Resource
#7
Hi!

Thanks for your reply.
We have a QMS system thought and planned (meaning we have a policy, manual, goals, procedures, indicators, etc).This "exercise" of understanding IF and WHY we need a QMS was already done with our management.

I developed all the documentation in Word and Excel with no problems. The thing is it requires quite a lot of time and probably 1 person full time to make sure you can control all the versions, updated when necessary, calculate indicators, take care of NC, etc. That would be the Quality Manager but in this case the Quality Manager will need to also perform other tasks.

so what we are looking for is a software that can do the following:
- to centralize all the info regarding the QMS (templates, procedures, reports, NC, complaints, etc);
- to helps us to easily define access restrictions to documentation;
- to make sure only the right version is used (this is quite important because we have several employees working out of the office and is difficult to ensure they always have the most updated information and are using it)
- to easily "spread de word" about a new update, version, procedure, etc;
- to collect data and calculate KPI?s (now I can do this with excel but will take me a lifetime....);
- to have a module to have all the info about suppliers and suppliers evaluations;
- to have all info about clients, complaints,etc;
- to have all info and attached documentation on employee training and evaluations
- flexible enough to allow us to add or change our processes when needed

When I say we don?t really have time to train our employees in a software I meant the "common users", the users that will only access some documents and insert few data in the system. Of course that for me or for other person that will be in charge of maintaining the system we must have time for a proper training.

I don?t see why our pre-conditions are a concern, as Jackbey said...isn?t it normal that you want to purchase something HMI friendly and affordable? I mean after all, the purpose of having a system like this is to make your life easier...if it?s even more complicated and at the same time expensive then you have it for nothing....

Your requirements are best served using Excel, Access and a simple server system with permissions. To be honest, getting software to do all of this under one system won't work - I know of no system that can do all of this better than using basic spreadsheet and database packages available to everyone.

Some examples:

Distribution of documentation is easily accomplished using a portal or Intranet; by keeping the versions of documentation current on the portal, staff can't use the wrong version, because they simply won't see them. "Hey Bob, what's the current revision of this instruction?" "Look on the Portal". Done.

Restrictions is a non-issue: revise permissions in folders, post public info on the Intranet.

You have 20 people. Spreading the word doesn't require software other than email.

Collecting data and calculating KPIs is best done in Excel. I know of no canned software that is easier to use or has better flexibility in data organization.

We have a staff of 650. We use training management software because we are a regulated industry (aircraft manufacturing), we use document control software because we have over 500,000 drawings and thousands of irreplaceable documents going back 70 years, and we use an ERP system for planning and scheduling manufacturing (you can't build an $8M aircraft without powerful ERP software). This level of software is simply not warranted by the activities you've described. You can modify canned software suites to do what you're asking, but I speak from experience of QMS implementation over 20 years - you're walking into a dark place if you're set on having a single canned system to do all these basic tasks. No company is going to spend hundred of thousand of dollars to produce software that does what Excel, Access and Word can do. It just makes no sense.

I'm in full agreement of looking at your preconditions. Sure, people want a one-stop-shop that is easy to use and affordable...but it's a pipe dream. You'll be pulling your hair out after three months.
 
Last edited:
M

mguilbert

#8
I agree with others. I have not used wiki's but our company use sharepoint to store controlled documents. Like wiki's we can set permission levels. That is to say who can change or add documents, who can read only. Also we can set up RSS or email alerts based on the users needs. For example when document X is changed or modified. It sends an email or RSS alert to those who use the document.
 

drgnrider

Quite Involved in Discussions
#9
I agree about using MS-Office and server permissions. We have about 200 employees and a multitude of ISO documents.

Server permissions on our ISO documents are set so only the QMR has full access, everyone else has read-only.

All of our documents are Word-based and forms are mixed Word and Excel, and the objectives are charted in Excel. All of these documents are individually password protected from editing.

When a document is changed, it is because the DOC owner has agreed to it and approved the changes. The QMR adds the revised document to the server, then an e-mail notification is sent to all the Managers for them to disperse it accordingly.

:2cents:
 
#10
A relatively inexpensive software (although it might not fit all your needs) is Quality Link. It seems to be fairly straight forward and simple to use.

In case you are wondering, I have no relationship with the company, other than a couple of my clients have it and seem to like it.
 
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