Document Control for Food Safety: 7 Gaps to Watch Out For

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Mar 02, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Imagine the following situation: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is inspecting your facility, and regulators ask to see documentation for your Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan.

You spend 20 minutes trying to pick out the most recent documents, only to get hammered by regulators because only a few are actually dated. What’s more, most references to related documents are broken. After this impressive start, how well do you think the rest of the inspection will go?

Food manufacturers must keep track of numerous documents in order to ensure compliance and mitigate risks. This post looks at 7 of the most common document control gaps that companies should address to avoid regulatory citations and food safety issues.

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Quality Management Food and Beverage

5 Questions for Your Corrective Action Plan

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

Danish physicist Niels Bohr once said, “Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it.”

Bohr’s work was instrumental in the discovery of the electron, an elusive subatomic particle whose location, even now, we can only describe in terms of a field of probability.

Within this context, today’s post looks at how we can change our thinking to pin down similarly elusive solutions to problems requiring corrective action. The trick is to ask detailed questions about the problem and the corrective action process, ensuring you’re not just going through the motions. 

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Quality Management

How Different Industries Use Bowtie Risk Assessment

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

When it comes to making decisions informed by risk, each industry has its preferred risk assessment tools. A risk matrix is a common one, as is Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA).

One tool that doesn’t get as much attention is the bowtie risk assessment. The bowtie model is useful for visualizing complex risk scenarios where you don’t have historical data to create a risk matrix.

Let’s look at how different industries like aviation, energy, life sciences and manufacturing are using this risk model.

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Quality Management EHS

5 Quality Management Trends to Watch for in 2018

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Feb 02, 2018 / by Alexa Sussman

Technology, business best practices and quality management all saw substantial growth and change in 2017. We don’t anticipate that these areas will stop innovating any time soon.

We talked to five of our industry leaders to find out what quality management trends we’re likely to see in 2018—with focuses on the market outlook, the evolution of technology, regulated industries, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and software.

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Quality Management

Document Control as the Foundation of ISO Standards

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Jan 29, 2018 / by Alexa Sussman

ISO standards are the backbone of quality management. They set detailed criteria for best practices for quality management processes and systems.

Learning the best ways to apply these standards to your operations is extremely important for compliance success. Executing ISO standards with the proper tools lets you efficiently master compliance.

Of those tools, document control is one of the most critical because it standardizes your documentation and training processes and mitigates risk.

Document control aligns with the goals of ISO standards to achieve and maintain compliance.

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Quality Management

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 Reasons Why Audits and Corrective Action Software Are a Dynamic Duo

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Jan 15, 2018 / by Alexa Sussman

Image-002.jpgAudits are more than just sets of checklists, and corrective actions are more than just band aids for your organization.

They are both critical quality management functions—and they happen to work extremely well together.

Here are three reasons why we consider audits and corrective action to be a “dynamic duo,” a duo that brings out the best in each other.

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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

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

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