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Crazy file folder structures

Posted on January 29th, 2014

Compliance management systems that store documents and records on paper and on servers managed by in-house IT, all have the same "pain" points when the company outgrows their management system.

It’s a familiar sight when we look at management systems that have been cobbled together over many years.

They are typically paper-based, as well as having documents and records stored on servers managed in-house. (Sometimes managed by an employee with another role who happens to knows a bit more than average about I.T.).

The system works in the beginning when the company is small, and the system is overseen by someone who keeps it in shape (in addition to their other duties). But then the company grows. It becomes too much for the overseer. The order starts to break down because everyone has their own idea about how the folder hierarchy should work and where files belong. Everyone is too busy growing the company to sort it all out. The one person who knew how it was supposed to go together moves on.

….order? …system?

Eventually it bites.

The “pain” points of these systems are strikingly similar…

  • Unable to find documents or forms…crazy file / folder structures
  • Multiple copies of documents!
  • Non-existent version / change control of documents
  • Issues progressed via the exchange of emails…how many get lost or stalled?
  • No sensible analysis of issues / non-conformances
  • Poor planning of training, generation of training records and analysis of competency gaps…generally left to the HR department with little or no interaction with QA staff
  • Always in a panic when the external auditors rock up
  • No procedures in place to control key suppliers / subcontractors
  • Ad-hoc processes to control continual improvement

These problems are be pretty generic across many industries.

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In QSToolbox, we avoid hierarchical folder structures and instead advocate broad categories and the use of search functions

If your system is biting you hard enough to make you want to do something about it, have a look at QSToolbox for document management, non-conformance and corrective action, training management, and more…