Quality Innovations: Is Your Employee Certified?
Developing an effective document control system is an important step in ensuring quality and compliance to industry standards. After policies, processes, procedures and work instructions are documented, organizations must ensure the employees themselves are adequately trained, so as to meet with the needs of
"Companies are scrambling to meet a growing number of compliance standards, however, gaining certification or developing quality and compliance processes is only part of the problem. Employees are the ones whose actions actively affect quality and compliance policies and their outcomes. All the planning and certification is for naught if companies can't effectively update and track employee training specifications," says Matthias Grossman, chief executive officer of IBS America Inc. (Lexington, MA).
IBS America, a supplier of Internet-based software and services for quality management, recently expanded its QSi Web System to include a module for Employee Training and Qualification.
The Employee Training and Qualification module is integrated with IBS' QSi Web System for Document Control. As updates to documents are made, they are immediately available to relevant employees and managers to ensure up-to-date compliance with the latest documentation. Companies can track the status of individual employee certifications so renewals are maintained and lapses in certification can be avoided.
Before deploying QSi to 500 users across the organization, John Medgyesi, quality manager at Ingersoll-Rand's LCN division (Princeton, IL) managed all quality documentation and employee training records in a homegrown, Microsoft Word-based system. "It was difficult to manually search documents, and the approval process was cumbersome. QSi makes it easier to search for documentation, distribute the approval process to other managers and link core documentation with employee training records. As a result, our quality process will be easier to maintain and more accurate," he says.
By gaining insight to workforce capabilities, enterprises can better allocate resources, plan for future expansion or relocation by identifying specific employee skill sets. For example, a business that wants to expand production operations to a new facility must understand the skill sets of employees at the previous and new site. The system can help determine if a facility has enough trained employees to take on new tasks, or it can help determine whether employees need to be re-trained. It can determine if all employees working on a particular machine have the necessary safety certifications to do their jobs.
The QSi Web System includes a Web-based, platform-independent document control system that allows documents to be created, edited, routed and approved via the Internet. With QSi Web System, the entire documentation lifecycle is automated. The Employee Training and Qualification module coupled with the QSi Web System, which are purchased as a package because both systems are tightly integrated, has a price beginning at less than $10,000 per site, Some of the package features include:
• Scalability and Extensibility: Adaptable from a single location to managing multiple sites and global operations.
• Flexibility: Managers can select the materials employees have access to and develop training programs to match individual job descriptions and career paths.
• Security: Administrators can set access levels for employee records as required to ensure that employee information is kept confidential.
• Mobility: Web System is not bound by traditional client-server architecture and is accessible via the Internet or intranet. Employees have access to pertinent documents and updates on the shop floor or anywhere they have a PC with Internet access.
• Record Keeping: Documentation and employee training records can be categorized in multiple dimensions to simplify access to data in even the most complex organizations.
"Maintaining employee certification and training can be an overwhelming task, but losing track of this information can have damaging consequences. Incorrectly trained employees can create unsafe work environments, reduce quality standards or prevent compliance certification," says Grossman. "The latest QSi Web System module not only automates this complex process, but also provides executives with information
to make informed workforce management decisions."
• As updates to documents are made, they are immediately available to relevant employees and managers.
• Companies can track employee certifications so renewals are maintained and lapses in certification can be avoided.
• The system can help determine if a facility has enough trained employees to take on new tasks or if the workers need to be re-trained. It can be used to determine whether employees working on a machine have the necessary safety certifications.
For more information on QSi and the training and qualification module, contact:
IBS America Inc.
125 Hartwell Ave.
Lexington, MA 02421
Fax: (781) 862-9003