Rachel Beavins Tracy

Rachel Beavins Tracy
Rachel Tracy is a writer for EtQ with expertise in environmental, healthcare and technology topics. She has a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University and has been writing for businesses since 2008.

Recent Posts

7 Strategies for More Engaging Employee Training

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Jan 19, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

7 Strategies for More Engaging Employee TrainingA large study of over 4,000 workers showed that nearly 3 in 4 employees don’t think they’re achieving their full potential. Add the fact that one-third say boring training content hinders learning, and it’s clear organizations have a long way to go in terms of effective training.

Lackluster training isn’t just an annoyance. It also carries a multi-million-dollar price tag for organizations in terms of poor performance and employee turnover. To help companies avoid these problems, we’re looking at 7 strategies to make your employee training programs better. 

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Quality Management

3 Elements of Effective Corrective Actions

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Jan 09, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Many quality or Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) management professionals rely on Corrective Action software everyday to manage events such as nonconforming materials, customer complaints and safety incidents.

And yet, time and again, we see companies falling behind on their corrective action goals. Corrective actions don’t work. They have weak fixes, where people automatically assign human error as a root cause without examining the systemic factors behind the error. And when an incident occurs, it’s not uncommon for someone to comment that they knew it was bound to happen—a sure sign of ineffective corrective actions.

What can companies do from a technology perspective?

To ensure your corrective action process is working, you need corrective actions that are findable, trackable and designed to prevent systemic issues.

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Quality Management

Understanding the Basics of ISO 13485 for Medical Device Quality Management Systems (QMS)

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Jan 08, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

ISO 13485 for Medical Device Quality Management Systems is growing in popularity, with the number of certified facilities jumping 13% from 2015 to 2016.

But how is ISO 13485 different from ISO 9001 for Quality Management, and who should certify?

In this post, we’ll take a look at the basics of ISO 13485 to help you decide whether it’s worth pursuing this certification.

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Life Sciences

How EHS Software Can Keep You Audit Ready

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Dec 29, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Think for a moment about the last time a safety auditor came to your facility. Were you nervous? Did you feel ready? Were you reasonably certain you would pass? Were you caught off-guard by the results and findings?

Whether we’re talking about internal, third-party certification or regulatory audits, success often comes down to effective preparation. In this post, we’ll look at how EHS software can help you prepare, focusing on the tools that are most important for audit readiness.

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5 Operational Excellence Myths and Facts

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Dec 28, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

When you hear the term operational excellence, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it:

  1. Just another worthless top-down initiative forced on overworked employees.
  2. The answer to all the problems plaguing your company.
  3. Something corporate goons invented to make themselves look good and justify their bloated salaries.

The correct answer: none of the above. Like many things in life, success with operational excellence is all in how you approach it.

In today’s post, we’ll bust common myths and misconceptions around operational excellence, so you can identify an effective strategy that’s grounded in reality.

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Quality Management

Document Control for Food Safety: Common Mistakes and Best Practices

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Dec 19, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Ask the average food manufacturer today about their Document Control system, and more often than not they’ll likely start dragging out paperwork from some dusty file cabinet. Other companies might pull up a server drive or file sharing app where they keep electronic copies of key documents like manuals, specifications and job instructions.

And while electronic tracking is undoubtedly a step ahead of paper-based methods still prevalent at many food manufacturing facilities today, neither are any guarantee of effectiveness. Today, we’re looking at what food and beverage manufacturers need to know about document control, including the most common mistakes and how companies can get a better handle on this important process.

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Food and Beverage

5 Elements of an Effective Corrective Action Plan

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Dec 15, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

When it comes to solving problems that arise in manufacturing, identifying the cause of what went wrong is top priority. But what about once you’ve pinpointed the root cause of the issue? That’s when the real work starts, and you have to make a corrective action plan capable of fully resolving the problem.

In this post, we look at the most important elements of your corrective action plan, and how you can ensure an effective, streamlined process.

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Quality Management

The Charles Dickens Guide to Quality and Safety

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Dec 12, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Author Charles Dickens was famous for his depictions of 19th Century life and the effects of the Industrial Revolution on the working class. Dickens himself had a difficult life, forced into a workhouse pasting labels on shoe polish at age 12 after his father went to debtors’ prison.

Dickens understood factory life well in his era, and he’d probably have a lot to say about workplace safety and quality.

In this post, we take a look at several iconic Dickens stories, mining them for some truly Victorian quality and safety insights.

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General Quality

5 Ways Cloud-Based QMS Software Can Help with Task Management

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Dec 08, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

If you’ve watched the hit satire Portlandia, you might remember a sketch where Fred Armisen is frantically switching back and forth between reading funny blogs, answering text messages, checking email and updating his Netflix queue.

His friend, Carrie Brownstein, tries to help him overcome this endless hamster wheel of distractions. Suddenly, they’re speaking telepathically via “Mind-Fi,” which she says is like WiFi for thoughts and will let Fred put down his devices (until an ad interrupts them and makes his brain melt down).

Quality managers often have similar problems, jumping from one system to another, sifting through spreadsheets and checking off audit questions until they can barely see their larger quality goals.

With that in mind, let’s look at 5 ways cloud-based Quality Management System (QMS) software can help streamline your work through more efficient task management.

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Quality Management

4 Risk Management Gaps and Opportunities [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Dec 07, 2017 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

To achieve operational excellence, you need a comprehensive, forward-thinking approach to managing safety and quality risks.

This infographic identifies 4 of the most common risk management gaps and shows you how solutions like quality management software can help mitigate these risks.

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Quality Management Life Sciences Food and Beverage EHS Risk Management

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