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Computerized management of Systems of Quality, Environment and Prevention: Documentary management or Management of Information?

Domingo Rey Peteiro
Managing director
Sinapsys Business Solutions, S.L.

The bureaucracy of the Management of the Systems: Zero papers is possible?

In some organizations, the system of management of quality, environment or prevention is not more than a set of documents created, reviewed, approved and filed, without coming to be used by staff. This documentation only serves the most cases to collect dust on a shelf.
When these documents are updated, either by changes in the regulation, applicable norms or organizational changes, it is necessary to spend long time. Once updated, these documents will return to be stored in their place of file. For that reason, it is not surprising that the standard systems of management (ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, EN 9100, ISO 17025, ISO 17020, ISO 17021, ISO TS 16949, etc.) have acquired the unfair reputation of being overly bureaucratic.

Zero papers? Documentary management or information and data management?

The best management system is the one that generates less bureaucracy and less papers, fulfilling its final goal: control risks, prevent failures and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of processes. For that reason the first premise to consider is to diminish the volume of data and information to include in our system.

The second premise is to computerize the data as far as possible, but… attention!!!: save documents in electronic format (pdf, Word, Excel, image and others) does not constitute a suitable electronic registry since the simple fact to turn a paper into electronic format does not ensure the following management requirements:
• Authenticity
• Data security
• Possibility of data analysis

Consequently, a document management software is not the suitable solution for the management of a quality system, environment and prevention since it does not manage data, but documents.

Advantages of the data and information management

The management software with database, really is the solution for improving management systems, since it allows:

• Reduce transcription errors
• Update data in real time
• Provide access to data in a controlled way to the addressees who must know them
• Reduce bureaucratic work: each data is recorded a unique time
• Analyze data (i.e., convert data into relevant information to know what happens and why it happens, making us the proper decision easier to continue improving our management)

How to manage data and information in the management systems?

For over two decades, the more advanced organizations began to implant computer systems that allow planning and processes and resources control: application such as MRP (Material Requirements Planning), ERP (Electronic Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and SCM (Suply Chain Management). These applications let you control the data on key processes (business, engineering, purchases, manufacture, warehouses, expedition, billing, cash management, analytical accounting, financial accounting).

These MRP, ERP, CRM and SCM have been very successful in improving the organizations since they facilitate the systematization of the processes and allow to have real time information that is crucial for management. Unfortunately, these operative management applications do not often include all the necesary functions for the management of quality systems, environment and prevention, such as a record of incidents, audits, goals, training, corrective and preventive actions, improvement suggestions, evaluation customer satisfaction, residues management, identification and evaluation of environmental aspects, quality risks, labor risks, etc. These requirements have been traditionally contemplated as "extras" of management, and not as essential requirements for what they have been left out of these operational management systems.

Information technologies allow to integrate quality software applications, environment and prevention with computer science systems MRP/ERP/CRM/SCM so that all the requirements and processes are handled in a unified way. A suitable systems management software integrated with operational management systems presents many and important advantages:
• Avoid duplication of data - against the alternative of non-integrated management systems
• Reduce bureaucratic work burden
• Avoid errors in data
• Facilitates and improves the products and processes tracking
• Allows to provide valid integral information for making decisions (being able to create circuit board contemplating all the perspectives: financial-economic, processes, customers, innovation and development, people)
• Allows to share information between not only the inside of the organization staff, but also with other external stakeholders (customers/suppliers/administrations/entities of conformity verification/shareholders/citizens) establishing the appropriate levels of access based on the type and adressees of the information

In abstract: the integration of the computer quality management system, environment and prevention of operational management computer systems allows to improve planning and management control, thereby the consequent improvement of the competitiveness of organizations.

How to choose systems management software?

In order to select a software of quality systems management, environment and prevention, an organization must consider various factors that allow to choose the suitable alternative. The following questions can serve as guide:
• Does the application allow integration with existing applications of operational management and, if so, how and at what cost?
• Does the application provides a high flexibility and scalability degree?
• Is the application complete enough to answer all the present and future systems management needs?
• Is it simple enough to use and friendly for the user?
• Can be carried out its implementation in a quick and easy way?
• It allows remote access?
• Has it advanced security systems?
• Does the provider offer regular updates?
• Does the provider offer an appropriate technical assistance?

For more information about Bemus®:
Sinapsys Business Solutions, S.L.
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Computer Management Applications
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