The bane of most medium to large companies’ existence is the need to keep abreast of all the compliance demands made on it by changing legislation and improvements in business efficiency. Allied to this headache is the need to keep employees informed of all plans, actions, alterations and complaints in a simple, straightforward and uniformed manner.
In computer terms, this usually means making use of a number of pieces of management software from spreadsheets to audit reports and general text documents which lack any form of overall integration. So what Avanquest has designed is a ‘Big Brother’ program that collates all the available information into one, in a way that is easily accessible yet allows a great degree of flexibility.
What Qudos System 3 does is provide the infrastructure to run any compliance or business management system (such as ISO 9001 Quality, ISO 14001 Environment or Occupational Health & Safety). Recognising that slip-ups in areas of risk and compliance can have severe financial and legal repercussions, the software is geared to deal with key elements in modular form.
Eight of these modules are identified and tutorials and customer support are provided as back-up: Objectives looks at setting targets and how they can be achieved; Documents underlines how these can be most efficiently managed; Action (the heart of the system) shows how any issue can be logged, responsibility assigned, and then follow-up can be monitored; Audits are properly scheduled and recorded, as are Meetings; Human Resources tracks employee development and training; Risk identifies and assesses hazards and Benchmark measures overall performance.
The documents and screens are clearly set out and all Windows formats (including PDFs and digital photos) are incorporated. Issues such as out of date information and rules can be brought to notice and corrected and the information stored in a central database. Qudos System 3 can be used on a single site or to integrate multiple sites via an SQL database over a Wide Area Network. Certification can be dealt with in the same way, thus cutting down on the need for extra external auditing.
When documents are added to a list they are automatically added to the audit schedule for a future Document Review – the intervals between reviews can be customised, as can the nominated reviewer, and all changes and who made them are also logged.
Although the initial outlay may seem considerable, the savings are potentially large and in an age when bad risk and compliance carry such heavy penalties, it’s easy to see how a tool such as this could be very useful.
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