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What's the best way to track corrective actions?


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GMO

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 07:55 AM

I'm tempted to try and teach myself access to try and get a better way of tracking non conformity.  After a few months of "RAISE MORE ACTIONS PEOPLE!" I've found my team are now quite good at raising actions.  Whoda thunk it eh?

 

The problem now is tracking and chasing those actions.  We have different non con logs in different places, all on excel.  It means actions for the same person aren't user friendly.

 

Before I get immersed in trying to understand Access, which I KNOW could do the job but probably be like a sledgehammer to crack a nut... does anyone have an off the shelf, free, ideally within 365 based app which they use?  What would be ideal is something which either automatically chased people or that at least they could pull off a report of their outstanding actions while we, as a quality team could also pull reports on specific audit types or areas.  

 

The more I type, the more I think Access is the tool but I know it will take me weeks to get there... even if it's totally worth it.  I've used QPulse in the past but essentially that's just a front end tool for Access with a lot of work as well (and cost).



pHruit

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 11:24 AM

I know this is a stupid question as you've been doing this long enough to have had the same thought, but... can all of the various logs not be combined into a single one?

For example I had a complaint log that covered multiple parts of the business in one Excel document - there is a tab per area, and from this it automatically compiles info in various ways onto summary tabs (roughly analogous to having a tab per non-con log, and pulling out the actions for each person so they can be reported by individual).

From what you're saying I think you could do this with Excel, but it might mean getting up close and personal with some more esoteric formulae and possibly some Visual Basic coding (latter very much depending on the complexity of what you're actually trying to do), at which point you might reasonably ask if it's more sensible to put the time into learning Access.

FWIW Access isn't that difficult to get to grips with for something relatively small and simple (in database terms) like this, so it might be worth spending a weekend experimenting with it, given that it could give you exactly what you want without the cost of the better-known third party systems.



GMO

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 10:29 AM

Hmm, yes I'm thinking the same but it has audit downsides.  I want to show an auditor what I want them to see.  Also actions don't just arise from audits but from meetings; food safety near misses, etc, etc.  

 

I might do as you say though.  It's probably the easiest thing.



pHruit

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 11:13 AM

Hmm, yes I'm thinking the same but it has audit downsides.  I want to show an auditor what I want them to see.  Also actions don't just arise from audits but from meetings; food safety near misses, etc, etc.  

 

 

I'd suggest that you set up filters on each of your "report" tabs (assuming you stick with Excel) as, once you're familiar with the sheets, you'll be able to choose what is shown very very quickly indeed - for example to only display actions from one type of source, as I do understand why you'd want to only show e.g. internal audit outputs when asked about internal audits, rather than giving them free reign to also wade through actions from complaints, meetings etc ;)



trubertq

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 11:24 AM

My client uses excel and everyone inputs into the same document and then it is differentiated into internal or complaint but I see you are looking for ways of chasing people to carry out corrective actions which is a whole other bag of frogs....


I'm entitled to my opinion, even a stopped clock is right twice a day

GMO

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 11:36 AM

I'd suggest that you set up filters on each of your "report" tabs (assuming you stick with Excel) as, once you're familiar with the sheets, you'll be able to choose what is shown very very quickly indeed - for example to only display actions from one type of source, as I do understand why you'd want to only show e.g. internal audit outputs when asked about internal audits, rather than giving them free reign to also wade through actions from complaints, meetings etc ;)

 

I've had an auditor insist on all filters being removed before...



GMO

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 11:36 AM

My client uses excel and everyone inputs into the same document and then it is differentiated into internal or complaint but I see you are looking for ways of chasing people to carry out corrective actions which is a whole other bag of frogs....

 Well yes, that too.  What's nice about Access is you can set up custom reports.



pHruit

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 12:12 PM

I've had an auditor insist on all filters being removed before...

Ah yes, that must mean that we're getting towards a generation of auditors that are more IT-literate, which was inevitable I suppose. It's reasonable request too, just removes one more of the techniques for a simple life during audit ;)

Filtering in advance onto different tabs gets around that to an extent, so you can have a tab that prepopulates itself only with outputs from hygiene audits, another for internal audits, another for complaints etc from a master list, thus negating the need to remove any filters ;)



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Posted 23 September 2020 - 05:02 PM

I think we discussed similar in another thread, but have you looked into Microsoft Sharepoint? Has the ability to create a list and assign tasks to individuals, can set up workflows to email reminders, etc. It's a beast to set up, but is so helpful for FSQA documentation and logs. 



GMO

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 11:06 AM

I think we discussed similar in another thread, but have you looked into Microsoft Sharepoint? Has the ability to create a list and assign tasks to individuals, can set up workflows to email reminders, etc. It's a beast to set up, but is so helpful for FSQA documentation and logs. 

 

I'd love to but my company have disabled "lists" from our sharepoint pages.  I'll try and get it reinstated.   :helpplease:



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Posted 28 September 2020 - 07:50 PM

I'd love to but my company have disabled "lists" from our sharepoint pages.  I'll try and get it reinstated.   :helpplease:

 

What!? Lists are the most useful part! Crossing my fingers for you. 



Mulan1010

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 07:50 PM

I use Microsoft Outlook for my follow up reminders.  I send an e-mail with a corrective action form on the issue attached to the person(s) responsible and then set up the "Follow Up" for them and me on the e-mail.  It seems to work pretty well to stay on top of what is open.  You can then keep an Excel log of all events to help you monitor and review (can set it up with a due date that highlights if past) but if asked about a particular issue you would only have to provide the individual corrective action form that was completed and never show them your log.



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Posted 29 September 2020 - 02:15 PM

Hi, 

I have what i call an action log - on excel as i've never used access.

all actions arising from internal audits, non conformances, risk assessment, things discovered but don't fit anywhere, etc. are logged and tracked every Monday morning for completion. it has a refence link, e.g. NC number or risk assessment report so you can access directly why the action was risen.

there is also a quick description of what to be done, by who and an expected completion date. I then track the actions by duration and remind people (some will say pester) when actions have not been completed in the time frame or if no one has given me a reason why the time frame should be extended.

it took some times for other people to start using it but now it's used by all the quality team easily and even our production manager is using it to see what he has to do.

Aurélie 






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