Automating Quality Control

Compliance is important for any organization but within quality control, it’s especially crucial. Documents that need to be shared with state, federal, and third party agencies must be stored and maintained securely to ensure compliance. By heavily relying on paper-intensive processes for those documents, you put your organization at risk of non-compliance. Beyond that, paper processes are significantly more time consuming than their digital counterparts.  

Why automate?

In traditional processes, documents and paperwork get shifted around from person to person, department to department, with no real way to keep track of them. Key quality control documents including ECN (engineering change notice), SOPs and Inspection Reports can easily be misplaced or deleted, leaving your organization vulnerable.

Leveraging digital document storage and automation, companies can reduce manual routing, and take control of parts of the process such as revision control, automatic assignment of tasks to fulfill a change order process and ensure all steps for compliance were followed. Additionally, to ensure CFR Part 11 compliance documents are securely stored in a document management system to prove intent, and structure process.

Depending on your industry, you may be required to maintain records of all quality documents for years, even decades. If you are producing or distributing at a high rate, the paperwork builds up quickly. Rather than have stacks of papers within filing cabinets (that are susceptible to fire or flood), upgrading to a digital repository can help save you space as well as time spent searching for records.

By automating your process and managing your documents digitally, you’ll always know where they are and who they’re with, ensuring that you uphold company, industry, and federal standards.

What are some other benefits of Quality Control Automation?

  • Capture, store, distribute, and track production and control record, and link certifications and licenses.
  • Automate tasks for sales order processing
  • Pre-define documentation requirements, approval steps, and due dates, making each document that goes into your system easier to manage.
  • Create collaborative workflows that include alerts, approvals, reporting, and annotation, and distribute documents for approvals in just a few steps.
  • Utilize intelligent data capture and document indexing to make your records easily searchable.
  • Integrate with your existing EQMS, BOM, and ERP Systems

How does automation work?

In simple terms, it’s streamlining the process of collecting, capturing and storing engineering, production and quality control documents while maintaining regulatory compliance.

With automation, all of your files can be quickly captured, processed and securely stored in a central document repository allowing authorized employees to instantly search and retrieve them. Related documents can be linked providing instant access from other related documents. Tasks are routed through workflow according to your defined business rules, user roles, and access rights. All of the steps in your processes can be automated to reduce dependence on time-intensive manual entry and approval processes. A secure web-based interface provides access to documents from anywhere in the world, at any time.

How to get started

Automation can seem like a heavy lift, especially if you don’t know where to start.  Mosaic can help you get the tools you need and assist in building the systems and workflows required for total quality control automation.

Give us a call at 1-800-387-7859 to take the first step!

Important Attributes of ECM You Need to Know

Organizations of all types have become increasingly more aware of the consequences of not having a records retention policy and procedure in place, but many have not taken any action to correct their outdated process. Even in just the past 10 years, the landscape of records management has changed. What was once accomplished by some well-organized filing cabinets and diligent employees now must be actively maintained by excess labor or entire departments, taking up office space and employee time.  Beyond just being a hassle, and outdated content management system can have negative implications such as civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance, as well as the growing costs. These trends across organizations have caught the attention of C-level employees. Learn more about how Enterprise Content Management (ECM) can benefit your organization, as well as the traits to look for in an ECM system. 

How important is ECM?

Record-keeping activities impact an organization beyond just records managers, AP clerks, and finance executives.  The broad definition of records management requires that every employee at every level be responsible for following retention requirements. No department is immune.

Many managers don’t fully realize that their records consist of every scrap of paper and electronic documents, from faxes and invoices, to hiring and onboarding documents, to voicemails, emails and database reports. Organizations are disjointed with their storage, keeping important records in boxes beneath desks, filing cabinets in unused closets, and flash drives tossed in a drawer. This leads to missing files, incorrect information, or worst case, compliance issues.

Many organizations believe that using a free online document storage system, email archives, and physical off-site storage facilities are enough, but these systems aren’t secure, and the costs can add up.

How do you protect your organization while saving employees’ time and resources? Enterprise Content Management. 

Not just any ECM, but a feature-rich, user-friendly platform that’s designed to make content management much simpler.

What are some important features to look for?

1.  Advanced capture features that allow for the import of paper and electronic records in any format from any source. Regardless of the form of the record, the system should capture it at the earliest point of entry without additional steps.  Importing via scanner, fax, and print features are critical. The ability to store emails as well as attachments is a key difference of having a holistic ECM solution and not just a digital filing cabinet.

2.  Real-time indexing and data capture (including capturing metadata) that allows a broad array of information to be retained for searching

3.  Secure user access controls that prevent unauthorized viewing, alteration, and deletion of documents

4. Sophisticated search capabilities that allow users to combine powerful boolean searches, metadata searches, full-text searches

5. Automatic assignment of record retention schedule based on record types

6. Identification of the final disposition date

7. The ability to place records on hold for litigation purposes

8. Audit trails for records

9. Disposal management mechanism to make retention much easier and keep you compliant

10. Export and Transfer mechanisms 

11. Back-up system to protect against accidental loss

When looking to implement an ECM, make sure you inquire about these important features. Top ECM providers will be able to further explain how their solution offers and utilizes them, and will be happy to help to train you on using them once your system is implemented. Mosaic Paperless Solutions is a perfect example of an organization that offers these features within the DocStar ECM product they sell alongside the know-how to help you utilize them.

Call 770.452.7373 to get more information about their ECM offerings!

Focus on the Environment by Becoming Paperless

Many organizations are shifting their focus to become more environmentally conscious and improve their corporate social responsibility (CSR), and there are plenty of undeniable benefits to it. Whether you are working to continuously improve your company image, are looking for 3rd party certification, or even if you’re simply trying to showcase your company values, you can work to become more environmentally conscious by reducing (or eliminating!) your company’s reliance on paper.

The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year, 45% of that paper ends up being thrown out each day. Even if your organization only has 50 employees, that’s still 225,000 sheets being thrown out annually or 11,250 lbs. of paper (nearly the weight of 3 cars!). You may not consider your organization to be “green” but it’s still important to consider your environmental impact, as well as the additional benefits to reducing your paper usage.

Many organizations don’t put reduce their negative environmental impact at the top of their priorities. But even if the environment is not a key focus, reducing paper usage can still benefit your bottom line. By going green, you can easily save some green. Businesses annually spend about $1,367 per employee annually on printing supplies alone. By becoming paperless you can easily offset a good portion of that cost, as well as the cost incurred from loss of productivity from searching for or correcting files.

How can your organization go paperless?

  • If there are certain things you must print, consider doing it on the backside of recycled paper (as long as it doesn’t have confidential information). By doing this you’ll reduce the amount of paper you throw away, and save money by not needing to buy nearly as many sheets.
  • If there are invoices, purchase orders, or other forms that need approval from different managers company-wide, utilize an enterprise content management (ECM) system to share, markup, and approve any important documents. Paper-heavy departments such as accounting and human resources can directly benefit from an innovative ECM. 
  • Utilize web forms to complete commonly used forms rather than print out multiples of the same form
  • Rather than throw away unused paper, look to see if your city has a single stream recycling program you can participate in. If there are pages with sensitive information that you aren’t sure about, you can invest in a paper shredder or find a local shredding day to be able to utilize an industrial shredder.
  • Keep all your employee records on a digital database. Instead of taking up space with full filing cabinets, scan your current records into an ECM. For future employees consider utilizing online forms to complete new hire paperwork, including benefit elections, i4’s, W-9’s, and direct deposit.

These are just a few of the ways your organization can work to become paperless, and often once you move forward with one method, the others aren’t so far behind! By starting off your process to become greener with ECM, you can often snowball your environmental impact and immediately notice the benefits of utilizing a smart digital storage solution. The team at Mosaic can help you learn more about how your individual organization can directly benefit from DocStar ECM. Learn more by contacting us.

By taking small steps to reduce your reliance on paper, your organization can save money while doing good for the environment!