Governance, Risk and Compliance Blog

FCA & PRA management with EQMS: Thomas Miller case study

Posted by Emily Hill on Wed, Mar 15, 2017

Thomas Miller are an independent and international provider of insurance, professional, and investment services, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). 

Most of the businesses Thomas Miller own or manage are acknowledged leaders in their chosen market. Their extensive portfolio includes mutual organisations and, increasingly, specialist privately-owned businesses.

Their document management system has become a key tool for gaining consistency and structured policies and procedures across all business and clubs worldwide.

Sarah Oliver (Quality Manager) and Ines Cebrián (Quality Department Technician) talked to us about their journey with Qualsys's electronic quality management system EQMS, and how they're using EQMS Document Manager to deliver continuous quality improvement.

Why an electronic document management system?

Inside Thomas Miller's offices on Fenchurch Street, London

Thomas Miller was using Lotus Notes to store all its documentation. But as the company grew, they wanted greater control over their documents, as well as being able to integrate quality management and drive stakeholder engagement. As a result, they opted for EQMS.

We chose EQMS because it gave us a lot of flexibility to configure the system exactly the way we wanted it, there was a lot of support, and the system did everything we needed it to.
Sarah Oliver, Quality Manager


Implementing EQMS

Ines Cebrián, Quality Systems Manager at Thomas Miller

Because Thomas Miller are a mature, global organisation, migrating their documentation to EQMS was a significant project. Around 6,000 documents needed to be extracted from Lotus Notes, then verified and approved before they could be transferred to EQMS.

Migrating all the documentation from Lotus Notes took me about a year! But it was well worth getting it right.
Ines Cebrián, Quality Department Technician

This migration project gave Thomas Miller an opportunity to cleanse their documentation and set document control types and approval workflows. When it came to introducing EQMS to their employees, Thomas Miller decided on a phased roll-out to make sure each site had the right level of training.

Simon Wells, Qualsys's Training Manager, was always very well-prepared and gave us all the support we needed during the implementation process.
Sarah Oliver, Quality Manager 


How EQMS is being used

EQMS is very easy to use, especially for an administrator. And it gives us enormous amounts of flexibility: when we need some new functionality we can ask Qualsys and they'll make sure it happens.
Sarah Oliver, Quality Manager

Thomas Miller staff working in different businesses and different parts of the world use EQMS to read policies, check procedures or download different standardised pieces of text. Everything is stored in a structured system that follows common criteria and is controlled centrally by the company's quality team. 

Thomas Miller are currently working hand-in-hand with Qualsys to develop a new regulatory system through EQMS Supplier Manager. Financial returns, tax return forms and other regulatory reminders will all be accessible and managed in EQMS.

Everyone knows where the forms are, from anywhere, at any time. And they can be sure that all the information they need is up-to-date and ready to use.
Sarah Oliver, Quality Manager

Thomas Miller use EQMS Audit & Inspection Manager to plan, schedule and manage their audits. The module has been configured to manage all internal, risk-based, quality, claims and process audits.

The company also give their external auditors access to EQMS so the auditors can prepare in advance. This has proved beneficial for both the auditors and the company, and the auditors have appreciated having a structured, organised and targeted view of the whole system.

We give external auditors access to EQMS so they can see all the information there beforehand. It really helps them to quickly and efficiently review our processes.
Sarah Oliver, Quality Manager

 
The results

 Inside Thomas Miller's offices on Fenchurch Street, London

Qualsys recently analysed Thomas Miller's user activity as part of their annual health check. This report shows who logged in to EQMS and when, sets out what's been done on each module, and identifies opportunities for improvement.

It's very encouraging to know how actively the system's used, and the data analysis showed great engagement with EQMS. Through training and regular support we encourage all our staff to use EQMS as part of their daily working lives.
Sarah Oliver, Quality Manager

The health check demonstrated that the system was being used significantly across multiple sites. However, it also showed that employees in some of Thomas Miller's newer businesses were not currently using the system, highlighting areas for improvement. 

 

What you should do now 

If your documentation is chaotic, download the EQMS Buying Toolkit for hundreds of useful resources to help you put together a business case for a document management system. 

Or, for more information specifically about optimising your document management processes, see EQMS Document Manager in action here.

business case

Tags: Document Control Procedures, Case Studies

How British Cycling and Sky Medical proved the importance of document control

Posted by Annie Grace on Thu, Mar 02, 2017

6 Lessons Learned: How British Cycling And Sky Medical Proved The Importance Of Document Control

Olympic medallist and member of the British Cycling team, Bradley Wiggins, has been under fire over the possibility of the use of performance enhancing drugs. The delivery of a jiffy bag without clear records of the contents – despite clearly being a medical product – has brought into question what he was taking. However, Wiggins’ doctor, Dr Richard Freeman, maintains that he lost the laptop on which medical records – including inventories – were held.

 

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There are several lessons to be learned from the very public investigation, centred around document control.

#1: No centralised hub resulted in lost records

A critical error by Dr. Freeman and the Sky Medical team was the practice of medical records and related information not being held in a central hub. The laptop Bradley Wiggins’ records were held on was reportedly stolen in Greece in 2014.

#2: No separate records for multiple medication inventories

A further problem complicating matters was Dr. Freeman’s position within both Sky Medical and the British Cycling Team. Employed separately by both, he stored medications in one place for both employers, with no clear record of inventories kept separately.

#3: No access to other rider’s records

One suggested possibility for the questioned drug provided to Wiggins in a jiffy bag via courier was Kenalog, a legal drug allowed on prescription. However, many riders at the Manchester Velodrome, where the medication store was held, also had valid prescriptions for the drug. Without access to records from a central point, investigators cannot determine who else had a valid prescription to account for any missing Kenalog from the stores.

#4: UKAD request for independent doctor requires access to records

The UK Anti-Doping committee requested via the General Medical Council that an independent doctor was able to access Bradley Wiggins’ medical records after Dr. Freeman cited doctor-patient confidentiality as a reason preventing the disclosure of information. With incomplete records due to the lost laptop, any audit of Wiggins’ medical history would be incomplete.

#5: Over 1000 man hours to date taken up by investigation

Without a clear audit trail, the investigation has been opened up to provide a clearer picture. This has involved over 1,000 man hours to date, with interviews taking place with 34 current and former riders of the British Cycling Team.

#6: Admission that policies were not followed ‘by all’

Despite clear anti-doping governance strategies by Team Sky, the investigation has revealed a clear negligence of all staff adhering to the policies. The admission that not all policies are followed has put Team Sky and the British Cycling Team under pressure to demonstrate continued ongoing governance to address the problem. By admitting that not all staff were following policies, Team Sky have held their hands up to a potentially very expensive liability: with a clear acknowledgement process in place, the responsibility would have been on the individual breaking the policy instead of the organisation.

How to prevent similar damage to your reputation

The reputation of British Cycling and Team Sky has been described as ‘in tatters’. The key problem in the entire case is the lost medical records – proof that you could avoid such a public assault on your business reputation with a controlled, centralised documentation management system.

Request a demo of EQMS Document Manager to find out more about protecting your reputation with essential software.

 

EQMS Document Manager

Tags: Document Control Procedures

Qualsys shortlisted for Document Manager Awards

Posted by Annie Grace on Fri, Feb 24, 2017

In December 2016 Qualsys were shortlisted for three categories at the Document Manager Awards, alongside a high calibre of candidates.

Document Manager Awards.jpg

michael_ord_picture.png"We are honoured that our hard work and commitment to improving quality using technology innovations has been recognised alongside such a high standard of entrants,” said Michael Ord, New Business and Marketing Director at Qualsys.

“It’s great to have acknowledgement of the innovations we deliver to our customers. It’s also a reflection of the dedication and positive relationships our customers have with Qualsys, as they are often the driving force behind our ongoing improvements with EQMS software. Their unique insights allow us to really get under the skin of the needs of quality managers across the world, and it’s with their feedback and commitment to continued improvement that we can carry on creating new and innovative features for the software.”

The awards Qualsys were shortlisted for included:


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“We were proud to stand with some excellent examples of quality technology innovations, and would like to congratulate the winners in each category,” Michael commented.

A key module considered in the Compliance Product Of The Year nomination was EQMS Document Manager, which has led a number of customers to acheiving full ISO 9001:2015 compliance. The module is designed to allow full document version control, restrict viewing permissions by individual or group for improved security, and improve business efficiency. 

 

What you should do now

Learn why global blue chips and hundreds of SMEs across the UK choose EQMS Document Manager to deliver unshakeable control over their documentation by requesting a 30 minute free demonstration with one of our friendly experts or read our case studies and watch customer testimonial videos here

Document control software

 

Tags: Document Control Procedures, Awards

3 reasons why you should migrate your documents from Lotus Notes to EQMS

Posted by Emily Hill on Thu, Nov 17, 2016

It used to be commonplace for IT teams to own the document management system. They would use a system like Lotus Notes by IBM, and then manage all configurations either internally or contract the work to external parties. 

But before long, the cracks started to show, and many quality professionals have recognised a growing gap between the functionality of their system and the requirements of their organisation. 

Accolade Wines, Honeywell and Yazaki are but a few organisations who have recognised the benefits of migrating their documentation from Lotus Notes to EQMS Document Manager, a highly configurable, off-the-shelf solution which enables you to track, search, retrieve, route, review, approve and annotate documents and technical drawings. 

Why are so many organisations migrating their documentation to EQMS? We've put together 3 of the main reasons below. 

 alternative to lotus notes for documentation

 

 

1. We are compliance experts

A large majority of IT professionals do not have a background in compliance. This means that when your IT team configures a system like Lotus Notes, there is often a gap between the functionality of the system and your organisation's real compliance requirements. And unfortunately, it is often too-little too-late when an issue with the system is detected.

With EQMS, advanced compliance is built-in to the system: 

  • Document Audit trail: Full version control - retain each superseded document and also find out who, when and what was changed in a document. 
  • Flexible Workflow: Drive review and approval processes with system messaging which integrates with your email system.
  • Works with Everything: Flexible API and web services integrate EQMS with your ERP, HR and or Financial Systems. 
You will also be assigned an experienced Service Implementation Manager who will configure your EQMS to meet your regulatory requirements. 

 

2. We will help you Spring Clean

EQMS Document Manager

Does the thought of migrating your online and offline documentation give you a headache? You are not alone. Many organisations have hundreds and even thousands of important documents in their Lotus Notes system which are duplicated, out-dated or siloed. Unfortunately, ignoring the issue will not make it go away. 

Now imagine this - the lifecycle of every critical document is managed systematically. Even better, it has all been done for you by an expert. 

Over the past 20+ years, our services team have migrated thousands of documents from Lotus Notes, SharePoint and desktops to EQMS Document Manager. They get under the skin of your processes and will support you as little or as much as you need to ensure your document management system is future-proof.  

Following a best-practice approach, the services team at Qualsys will: 

  • Audit your Documentation Requirements: They will help you to prepare a document audit plan, conduct feasibility and scoping exercises and review your processes. 
  • Configure the System: The services team will help you to ensure the terminology in your document management system suits your organisation's requirements. 
  • Migrate all documentation: By extracting documentation from your legacy systems and uploading them to your EQMS, your system will be ready for you and your organisation. 

For more information about our document migration processes, download EQMS Document Manager Datasheet here. 

 

3. We are always investing

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Businesses have an increasing number of requirements from their document management system. However, many IT teams do not have the resources to keep the system up to date. 

EQMS is continually being enhanced. New features, resources and training guides are being produced to ensure our customers maximise their use of the system. 

Customers can even request changes to EQMS in a number of ways, including: 

  • Account Managers: Every customer has a dedicated Account Manager who is available to help you maximise your use of EQMS. They will put forward your change requests and build it into the EQMS roadmap. 
  • Events: Qualsys hosts regular Development Forums and User Groups which gives you the opportunity to hear from other EQMS customers, the development team and the Directors at Qualsys. 
  • Annual Health Check: Every customer also has an Annual Health Check, which is where we audit your use of EQMS and help you to find more ways to optimise your document management system. 

See the latest developments in our Software

 

Ready to see how EQMS Document Manager can work for you? 

If you are one of the many quality professionals who has found that Lotus Notes is no longer working to control your documentation, EQMS Document Manager could be the perfect solution. 

To learn more, talk to one of our technical experts here. 

EQMS demonstration

Tags: Document Control Procedures

Proper document control procedures could have prevented poorly placed Pringle promotion problem

Posted by Alastair Atcheson on Fri, Jun 26, 2015

A recent promotional Pringles mishap left Tesco embarrassed and demonstrated the importance of having proper control over marketing documents and protocol.

For many businesses, seasonal promotions are often seen as a reliable way to entice customers with relevant services and products all year round. When done successfully, it can drive sales and delight consumers, and give businesses a chance to flaunt their cultural awareness.

When done poorly, it can lead to a national embarrassment, such as the one recently experienced by a London Tesco store when it decided to offer smokey bacon flavoured Pringles as part of a Ramadan promotion.


Poorly Placed Pringles


As pork is forbidden for practicing Muslims, it didn’t take long for a keen-eyed shopper to share the poorly-placed promotion online. Unsurprisingly, the reaction did not fall in Tesco’s favour.

While some Twitter users were left shaking their heads, many found the oversight ‘hilarious’.



Pringle Problem


So was this cultural insensitivity or shelf-stacking error?

A Pringles spokesman said the promotion was the company’s idea, but the stand was only supposed to contain original, sour cream and onion and salt and vinegar flavours. He went on to say “It was never our intention to cause any offense and we've taken steps to ensure this doesn't happen again.”

Tesco shared similar remorse, stating “We recognise these Pringles weren't in the most suitable place and our store colleagues have now moved them.”

While unintentional, errors like this can cost a company credibility, if not custom. Having proper control of marketing documentation would have minimised the likelihood of this occurring, as well taking the blame off Tesco’s shoulders.

EQMS Document Manager enables management to distribute documents to employees at any location, such as guidelines to promotional campaigns or updates to procedures.

Notifications settings can be adjusted so that employees are required to acknowledge that they have read and understood new documentation, ensuring that appropriate steps have been taken by the company.

EQMS Document Manager automates the management of document lifecycles, keeping track of versions, maintaining the integrity of content and ensuring the right information is available to the right people at the right time.

While it is impossible to completely eradicate human error, having an effective document management system is essential to ensuring control over your policies, procedures and other critical documentation.

Click here to learn more about EQMS Document Manager, or follow the link below.



EQMS Document Manager

 

Tags: Document Management, Document Control Procedures