Every organization has a defined set of Quality & Compliance systems in place. These may be official and governed by principles found in ISO9000 guidelines, or FDA regulations and even SOX Compliance levels. They may even be unofficial, guided by the owners need and desire to ensure the final delivery of quality products and services to customers. From interviewing customers on their deployment of Exact Event Manager and the challenges they face with maintaining these quality systems, it is quite clear that Exact Event Manager has a “golden key” when it comes to enforcing and automating many of these procedures. Lets’ take a look at some ISO9000 procedures deployed within a real-life distributor of high tech flow control equipment.
Firstly, it is important to understand that software is NOT ISO compliant. No software is. The compliance with ISO is centered on the organization and its’ defined policies and procedures. In short
- Document what you do
- Do what you document
- Is it effective?
I know this may seem simplistic, but it really does help understand the definitions of ISO9000 (and other certifications within ISO such as ISO 14001).
So, the point in case under discussion today also makes use of this “definition” of ISO. Here we go….
Davis Controls (www.daviscontrols.com) is a distributor of high tech flow control measuring equipment, among other things. They are ISO9001:2008 Certified throughout their organization. They use Exacts’ products and solutions to assist them in maintaining their high level of commitment to quality and adherence to their QSM (Quality Systems Manual). They have many procedures that define pretty much all of what they do, that assist in bringing products and services of the highest quality to their customers, all the while seeking ways to continuously improve those very processes and quality. In the loose definition above, “Document what you do”, Davis Controls has a defined and documented policy which states that any Sales Order over $10,000 in value requires authorization from a manager before it can be confirmed and delivered. This helps them mitigate any financial risk on higher value orders, which is an imprtant part of their procedures in today’s economically challenged era.
So, the policy simply defines what they need to adhere to. Every order that meets this criteria is then sent over to the manager for sign off and approval. This can be an arduous and time consuming task, open to potential slips and delays if attention is not paid carefully. Davis Controls’ challenge was to find a way to remove any risk in the procedure and automate it where possible, so that the element of human effort is removed from the equation. Having had signifcant experience with Exact Event Manager, they immediately turned to the solutions offered within the solution. A simple query was built, looking for any Sales Orders over $10,000 in total. This would run periodically on a defined schedule. The moment Exact Event Manager finds such a Sales Order, it will proceed to create a Workflow Request within Exact Synergy Enterprise with all the necessary information tied to the request, that would be routed to the Sales Manager. The sales manager would perform the evaluation of the sales order, and then either approve or reject the request. Upon approval, the Sales Order is then updated to an Approved status and life can continue normally.
Once again, this may seem like a fairly innocuous and simple use for Exact Event Manager. However, this use of the toolset allows for the automation of a highly repetitive activity that is fundamental to their financial controls and mitigates any risk associated with potential slips from a manual process. This policy, and subsequent procedure is then documented in their QSM and they can unequivocally trust that this is one policy that they no longer need to worry about. The ultimately make Exact Event Manager take care of the “Do what you document” part of ISO.
One of the key success factors here is keeping it simple. Davis Controls has identified a highly repetitive, yet important procedure that can, and should be, automated. Exact Event Manage provides them the tools to get the job done in a “fire-and-forget” mode. Oh yes, the Sales Manager obtains a summary, via email, weekly of all those Sales Orders over $10,000, driven automatically by Exact Event Manager!
As the world of Exact Event Manager grows, I am constantly looking for cool uses of the solution within real-life situations. If you have any, please feel free to contact me and let me know.