In the past few years we have developed a quality management system from the ground up in Share Point. At first we made the mistake of only mildly using the power of SharePoint. We managed our Nonconformance Reports (NCR’s) and Corrective Action Reports (CAR’s) by hand. Papers changed hands 3 and 4 times. It was a disaster. I decided to pull a couple of all nighters and created new lists, 100% electronic, to create, update, and close all our NCR’s and CAR’s. I scanned the old ones and re-typed hundreds of pages of text, but I got it done.
For the next couple of months this worked well enough, but there was considerable amount of time being spent on following up on NCR’s and CAR’s. I would spend at least 2 hours of my day chasing down engineers, managers, and supervisors to get them to update their reports and eventually close them out (weeks beyond their due date).
So again, I decided to pull an all nighter, but this time my goal was to automate the process. Each report is assigned to a responsible party, so 7 days before its due date and each day after, the responsible party gets a series of emails in their inbox alerting them to the items that are due. Not only do they get the email, but in the email is a hyperlink that takes them directly to the page to edit the report.
What used to take 2 hours a day with 80%+ being completed late, now only takes about 15 minutes of my day to review and sign off on, with 80% being completed on time or ahead of schedule now. In addition to that the supervisors and engineers now have a quick snapshot in their email that they are free to work on, on their schedule, not mine. Its a win win for everyone.
I cannot over emphasize the value of automating the flow of your data. When you make it easy for people to do their work, and provide proper positive motivation to do so, great things can happen.