In a Quality Management system a lot of documentation activities take place within you organisation: writing and evaluating quality manuals and standard operating procedures, writing audit plans and reports, registration of follow up and more. The members of your quality control circles execute these activities, which involve several challenges.
First, documentation is mailed back and forth or is up- and downloaded from your Document Management System (DMS) each time a member has made a change. Not only is it difficult to keep track of the latest version of all the content; it also means that only one person at a time can work on the final document.
Secondly, not all members have equal rights in the authoring process, yet with current solutions, enforcing this requires many work-arounds. As rights can differ per section this not only applies at the document level, but also at the section level.
Thirdly, when one member asks a colleague to review content, the former has to wait for the review before the process can be continued.
Author-e QM solution
Author-e is a collaborative authoring environment with integrated Document Management System (DMS) functionalities. It represents our answer to applications such as Google Docs for collaborating professionals, by enabling simultaneous editing combined with tracking functionalities to monitor the documentation process. For quality management, this can assist in:
Quality assurance.By eliminating copy-pasting and version inconsistencies, the organisation can be assured that the latest versions of SOPs and protocols are being used throughout the organisation. Furthermore, the distribution of these procedures can also be arranged within Author-e, by publishing documents to HTML or PDF.
Quality control. By performing audits with audit checklists that are dynamically linked to norms and legislation, Author-e ensures that quality controls are performed efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, due to digital signatures, errors can also be traced back to users, ensuring accountability.
Quality improvement. By embedding instead of copy-pasting re-usable texts in procedures, all the changes to them are reflected in all the procedures that use them.
Create, review and approve documents. Using workflows and tasks, insights into the progress of e-learning documents and modules can be gained through the notification centre.
Multi-channel publications. E-learning documents and modules can be published to multiple formats, such as Word, PDF, e-Pub, HTML and XML. This ensures that any organisational requirements regarding publications can be met.
Central layout management. Templates and centralised standardisation of fonts, font size, captions, text alignment and spacing ensure that all your documents are consistent with your corporate identity and organisational standards. Forms can be used to standardise data input.
Reusability of content. Sections and documents can be embedded in other documents. This enables modifications to documents to be reflected in all documents that use them, eliminating double maintenance, copy-pasting and confusion about which version is the latest.
Simultaneous writing. Authors can work on the same document at the same time. This eliminates the need to lock documents as is usual in other DMS environments, thus increasing efficiency.
Version control. All previous versions of documents and files are retained, and can be restored if necessary. This is absolutely necessary to comply with norms and legislation, and allows you to look back at documents that were effective in the past.
User access management. Roles and rights can be defined not only at the document level, but also at the section level. These rights are automatically assigned to sub-sections. This allows enforcement of refined access policies.
Digital signatures. Workflows can be coupled with digitally signing off tasks. This, combined with version control, ensures traceability of actions, as well as accountability.