What does EQMS do that SharePoint doesn't?

Posted by Kate Armitage on Fri, Apr 07, 2017

The Global Quality Trends Report 2017 revealed that 45% of quality professionals work without a quality management software tool to manage their documentation. Of these, 20% use SharePoint to handle documents, while others have archaic systems of printed documents, shared drives, or shared MS Word/Excel files.

There are big problems here for any quality professional who strives for continuous improvement and wants to implement a culture of quality across their organisation.

A platform like SharePoint has many features that a developer can use to build a document manager solution. But for the average end-user, and for businesses whose systems need to consider regulatory demands, EQMS offers that much more when it comes to use, configuration and compliance. 

1) SharePoint's lack of controls mean documents are unprotected from editing

Hosting documents in a central hub such as SharePoint, or on an internal shared drive without proper controls, means there's every chance your vital information could be edited incorrectly by individuals who lack the necessary authorisation. If this information is then disseminated throughout your organisation – or, worse, to your customers – there could be no limit to the damage.

For example, using the wrong instruction for a product will result in a poor-quality or even an illegal product being created. And if the same instruction's followed at the quality assurance stage, that poor-quality or illegal product could be provided to the public. Had this product inadvertently broken regulations (maybe it failed to include the right nutritional information), the harm to your reputation, and the costs associated with product recalls and rectifying damage, are significant.

orange_tick_opt.pngSolve it: With EQMS Document Manager, administrators can create tailored user groups and edit document controls case-by-case or by batch. Permissions for editing, uploading and downloading information can be set according to user group and type. If any documents are changed, the system will produce a change log with time stamp and user ID to ensure there's a full and clear audit trail.

2)  SharePoint's security features offer no guarantees that sensitive data won't be seen

While you may have some restricted-access folders on your shared drive or within SharePoint, there's no guarantee that your sensitive information won't be seen by the wrong people. Someone with a little IT knowledge could easily bypass security protocols, or it could be something as simple as the wrong person being given permission (or not having their permission revoked) by mistake.

Your organisation must protect its interests by retaining control over its sensitive and confidential data, and old and outdated systems just don't offer the right level of security to give you peace of mind. Any business aiming for ISO 27001 would be at a distinct disadvantage in this situation!

orange_tick_opt.pngSolve it: EQMS Document Manager allows you to organise documentation into specific groups, areas, or even between different companies if your organisation's a parent to multiple businesses or clients who need access to some but not all documents. Confidential information is restricted to the relevant parties, so only the right eyes can see sensitive data.

3)  SharePoint doesn't tell you when documents have been read or received 

Sometimes you WANT people to see documents! Once you've uploaded a new document or made important changes to an existing one, it's important you communicate this to the relevant people.

But how do you know that those people have read the document? There's no surefire way to tell that your staff have read your latest policy update – which puts your organisation at risk of things like damage to its reputation, or litigation following an incident that the new policy would have covered.

orange_tick_opt.pngSolve it: EQMS Document Manager allows document owners to select a read-receipt acknowledgement, ensuring the tick-box system confirms that users (individuals or groups) have read the document. A change log on the document means users can easily see why the change was made, while a feedback option allows any user to give the document owner feedback for making further updates or changes.


What you should do now

If you're one of the 45% of quality professionals not yet using a quality management system to control your documentation, ask us for a free demonstration of EQMS Document Manager to see how it can help you improve security, reduce errors, and promote quality improvement.

Document control software 

Tags: Document Management

Qualsys Updates EQMS Search Tool

Posted by Emily Hill on Tue, Jan 12, 2016

Qualsys has updated the entire search functionality on EQMS, providing EQMS users with a faster tool to access documentation within the portal. 


"Many of our customers use EQMS as a central repository for all compliance, statutory and internal documentation. Whilst this eliminates information silos, it also means there is a lot of information to sift through. Being able to quickly navigate to the relevant documentation is essential," said Simon Wells, Training Manager at Qualsys Ltd.

"Our team of developers are always looking for ways to improve user experience on both the desktop EQMS system and within EQMS mobile applications. This new search functionality tool will dramatically speed up the document navigation process, saving our users a considerable amount of time."

The updated EQMS search feature includes a number of powerful new features: 

  • Add documents to favourites: EQMS users can now add documents from the search feature directly into their favourites. This eliminates time taken to search within the navigation tree. 
  • Save searches: Easily access all the relevant documents time and time again by saving a search. 
  • Greater document refinement options: Refine search results by document owners, ISO standard, topic, file type and more.
  • Search multiple fields at once: Search by title, synopsis, content and more, all in one click. 


Two months to go until the launch of EQMS 6.7!

From 18th March, all current EQMS customers will have the option to upgrade to EQMS 6.7.  All new customers will benefit from a range of new features in the 6.7 release including: 

  • Custom metadata fields extends data field creation across all EQMS modules.
  • Improved module integration supports better referencing and navigation between all EQMS modules.
  • Extended audit trails across all records allow administrators to look at the complete history of any EQMS record.

We'll send out more information closer to the date. Please contact us to schedule your EQMS 6.7. upgrade or to take a look at these new features.



Tags: EQMS, Document Management

7 questions to ask if you're planning to buy a document management system

Posted by Emily Hill on Tue, Oct 13, 2015

For companies with hundreds of governance, risk and compliance documents, using an intuitive document management system to organise, share and control documentation is critical. So when you decide to invest in a new document management system, it is essential that the solution will meet the unique requirements of your organisation. 

When choosing a document management system, it can be very difficult to decide which system and which vendor will be the best fit for your requirements. To help you to narrow the playing field, we have provided you with seven questions to ask your selected vendors. 

1. How will the software help to overcome documentation issues? 

document managment software

Make sure that the software will overcome your document management issues. 

If your company has too many paper-based processes and needs a document management system to digitise paper documentation, you will require a different document management system than if your main problem involves ensuring that policies and procedures are available for all members of staff to access.

By discussing your current problems with vendors, you will be able to ensure that the document management system will align with the strategic direction of your organisation. 


2. How configurable is the system?

compliance management software

When managing governance, risk and compliance documents, you may not want everyone to be able to access all documentation. Request information about how configurable the system will be and whether that level of configuration is necessary for your requirements. 

Whilst bespoke document management systems are configured entirely around your requirements, these systems can also be unreliable, expensive to update and often take a long time to develop. You may also be dangerously exposed to the developers availability to improve the software or fix any bugs. 

Off-the-shelf document management systems will vary in terms of how configurable they are. Mature off-the-shelf software will more than likely have very sophisticated options for configuration. By discussing your requirements with your selected vendors, they should be able to provide examples of how their software can be configured to suit your requirements. 


3. Who is using the document management system and what do they say about it?

best document management software

You wouldn't buy a new bike or a new car without first researching the company you are buying it from. You would spend hours looking at web reviews, talking to friends and looking on social media to see what is being said about it. Document management systems are the same, so you will want to ask for reviews, references and case studies. 

Some things you will probably want to know are: how the customer would rate the system & service, does the vendor understand the industry and regulations, how have system updates been managed and how long the system has been used. This will validate the vendors ability to provide a high level of service and give you an insight into the maturity of the software.


4. How can the document management system be accessed? 

using a new electronic document management system

The document management system needs to work cohesively with the ways your employees are accessing information. 

If your employees use SharePoint, you may want a document management system that can be accessed from SharePoint. If your employees access documents on their mobile phones, it fits that your document management solution is either mobile friendly or can be accessed by a mobile application. 

By asking how the document management system can be accessed, you will be able to make sure that the software will meet the requirements of all employees. 


5. What is the cost of the software? 

cost of grc software

Assess whether the vendor is a good fit by requesting cost information.

It is highly likely that every vendor will use a different costing structure which makes it difficult to compare. A more comprehensive way to determine which document management software will provide you with the best value to your company is to request information about the expected return on investment.

This ROI Calculator can be used to give you an estimate of the four year return on investment of EQMS Document Manager. 


6. How does the document management system prevent outdated documents being used?  

grc document management software

If you will be using the document management system to manage policies, processes, SOP's, quality, regulatory or compliance records, your document management system must prevents out-of-date documents from being used.

Request information from your selected vendors about how the system will help you to manage the delivery, acknowledgement and review cycle of documents. 


7. What level of support will be available?

governance, compliance and risk managment support documentation

Most vendors will provide you with software training. However, after this initial training, find out what other support the vendor will be able to provide you with. 

You may need user-guides, online help desks and extra training further down the line, so make sure that the vendor has the resources to support your ongoing training requirements. 

It can also be helpful to ask the vendor about what other governance, risk and compliance management software is available in case your requirements change. For example, EQMS is also available for auditing, supplier management or training records management. By finding a vendor who can provide you with more software solutions, you will save time and money in the future. 


What Next? 

Knowing the answers to these questions means that you will be more likely to find a solution which aligns with your overall business goals, organisational culture and future plans. 

If you need more information on getting a new document management system into your organisation, download the EQMS Buying Toolkit to access a number of resources to support you throughout the buying process of your document management software. 


Governance risk and compliance management software


Image Credits: 









Tags: Document Management, Governance Risk and Compliance News

Qualsys welcomes University of Leeds as new customer

Posted by Emily Hill on Wed, Sep 02, 2015

Qualsys is delighted to welcome the University of Leeds as a new customer to EQMS.

After a thorough and competitive evaluation process over several months, Qualsys was awarded the contract to implement an integrated environmental management system (EMS) for the University of Leeds. Consolidating the document management, issue management and audit management modules, the new EMS solution will facilitate the University of Leeds's ongoing commitment to health, safety and environmental management.

As one of the world’s leading research universities, the University of Leeds carefully selected EQMS because of its intuitive design and powerful features, including SAP integration and customisable Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reporting.

The University of Leeds recently set ambitious initiatives to strengthen its sustainability. These key initiatives include:

  • Embedding sustainability through collaboration
  • Making the most of resources
  • Building knowledge and capacity
  • Being a positive member of society

Integrating new initiatives into the everyday processes of complex organisations such as universities can pose a considerable challenge.The versatility of EQMS allows organisations to adapt it to their specific requirements and help make the integration process run as smoothly as possible.

Jo Firth, Facilities Directorate Health and Safety Manager at the University of Leeds, said: "EQMS Audit Manager has been used for the Commercial Services and Campus Support OHSAS 18001 audit and passed with zero non-conformances. We have plans to use EQMS Audit Manager for our Residences OHSAS 18001 re-audit in October and Estates Services will be using EQMS Audit Manager for OHSAS 18001 audit next year. We also plan to use the software system for ISO 9001 accreditation."

EQMS will support the key initatives for the University of Leeds in various ways:

Embedding sustainability through collaboration

To assist with the collaboration of information between a huge network of 40,000 students and staff, the University of Leeds has invested in an advanced Document Management system. EQMS Document Manager will help employees to seamlessly share relevant documentation electronically. 

Making the most of resources

The University is demonstrating its commitment to environmental management by becoming ISO 14001 accredited. EQMS software underpins compliance and will enable the University of Leeds to manage all of its compliance initiatives within one system. With streamlined KPI reporting via the EQMS Dashboard, the University will be able to easily monitor and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its compliance processes. 

Building knowledge and capacity

Essential to the success of a university is the ability to build knowledge and capacity. EQMS Training Records Manager centralises all training requirements and highlights to each user any outstanding modules. The system also has a built-in electronic signature system which ensures employees receive and acknowledge any mandatory updates and training.

Being a positive partner in society

Part of being a positive partner in society involves managing any problems responsibly. EQMS Issue Manager provides automation and collaboration that addresses business issues such as complaints, non-conformance, exceptions, deviations and loss-events. By empowering the entire organisation and providing visibility and transparency, EQMS Issue Manager helps to eliminate systemic problems.

Continuous Improvement



Qualsys's New Business Development Manager, Michael Ord, oversaw the tendering process:

“We're very delighted to be working with the University of Leeds at this exciting time. At Qualsys, our software is as bespoke as our customers require– like a suit, tailored to your needs. We're continually developing innovative and adaptable solutions to match each customer’s specific requirements.”


Find out how EQMS by Qualsys can support your organisation with a product demonstration. 


Request your EQMS Software demonstration


Tags: EQMS, Document Management, Issue Tracking System, Environmental Management System, New Customers

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

Qualsys glide through their annual ISO 9001 audit

Posted by Gemma Baldan on Tue, Dec 17, 2013

describe the image

In November this year, ISOQAR visited us to execute their regular Audit Manager surveillance audit, in order to assure themselves that we were still conforming to ISO 9001:2008. It was reassuringly good news that our 15th year of compliance marked a single minor non-conformance. The bad news was that the Quality Manager proved to be the guilty party. The technical offence was repaired within hours of the audit! We are now looking forward to the embedding of both procedure and process in our own revised: 

  • Issue Manager
  • Risk Manager
  • Dashboard and
  • Mobile facilities

as we approach certification to ISO 9001:2015.

All our business activities from:

  • Business Planning 
  • Sales
  • Business Consultancy
  • Product Development, Testing, Implementation, Support and Training
  • Staff Induction, Training and Appraisal
  • Audit Management  to 
  • Supplies Management

are now monitored at a weekly meeting through our own EQMS installation, QQMS.

It is all well and good designing and testing a bicycle, but nothing beats getting on it each day and experiencing the journey.

The MD is thrilled.


Peter Pond

Quality Manager, Qualsys

describe the image

Tags: Quality Management Software, iEQMS Auditor, Audit Management Software, ISO 9001:2015, EQMS, Document Management

EQMS New User Interface (UI) - coming very soon

Posted by Michael Ord on Mon, Sep 30, 2013

Giving you another reason to upgrade your EQMS, we are pleased to release these preview images of the new EQMS user interface (UI).

Mike Pound, MD of Qualsys said:

"EQMS has always been about making life easier for the user - whether that be higher level users who need the ultimate flexibility or read only 'end users' who want the simplicity to get on with their job without distraction.

When releasing our iEQMS Document Management mobile app and our Microsoft Office 'Add ins' this brought us closer to our vision of bringing quality and compliance to the user - allowing you to access crucial funcitonality from directly within your preferred business tools.

With around 900,000 users of EQMS we have to evolve carefully.

The new EQMS release brings next generation look and feel, without requiring additional training for your existing users. They benefit from a refreshed experience (in any browser) which improves usability, business efficiencies and buy-in"

The screenshots below are from the EQMS CAPA Manager and EQMS KPI Dashboard modules.

Speak to your Account Manager about scheduling your upgrades to benefit all the new features.





Tags: CAPA Software, EQMS, Document Management

PDF conversion and overlays – Document management features

Posted by Michael Ord on Wed, Aug 28, 2013

Document control. It's the main user requirement for document management software systems like EQMS.

Using PDF Conversion and Overlays, EQMS gives you control of documents both in the system, and out of the system if a document is printed.

This article is for those new to EQMS Document Manager, it explains the feature and benefits of 'PDF Conversion & Overlays' - how it will save your organisation time and minimise costly errors.

Controlling Documents within EQMS:

If the PDF Conversion option is activated in the system settings, users *with appropriate permissions' can upload documents in their native format (such as Microsoft Word, Excel etc) and EQMS will automatically convert these documents to PDF when they are opened by end-users.

The image below shows an example, 'Greentech Work Instruction'; which is uploaded into EQMS as a Word document, but is presented in the EQMS Navigator 'Active Window' as a PDF.overlay blog image 1


  • End users can access controlled documentation but CANNOT download an editable version.

    This stops users from downloading controlled documents and editing them without going through appropriate approval paths.

    Depending on the industry this feature is a powerful risk reducer, and minimises that possibility of both costly and dangerous errors.
  • Document Managers and Owners can still access the original document in its native format.

    So you still have the peace of mind and efficiency savings that EQMS naturally provides.
EQMS Document Manager - Overlay

Controlling Documents outside of EQMS (i.e. when printed):

With PDF Conversion activated, documents can be printed *if user has permission* and key document metadata can be included within the document as an 'Overlay'.

In this example below, we can see that the Document Owner is Robert Oakley, and the Current User is Michael Ord (me). It also shows the Version number, Status, and current date/time.

Many other forms of metadata can be included and can be placed anywhere in the document. This is very useful for part completing forms and removing the need for manual, in document version control. 

PDF Conversion blog image 11 resized 600


A practical example of the benefit of Document Overlays is in a manufacturing environment

  • Work Instructions are often printed from EQMS and used by the Engineer onsite. If a work instruction is buried under a coffee cup and used when out of date / superseded you can be talking about errors costing six figures and more. 
  • With EQMS, users can be notified when a new version of a document is approved. By using overlays to impose 'uncontrolled if printed' dates and 'current user' we are controlling paper copies of crucial documentation. 
  • Users are disinclined to keep hold of out of date documentation and reminded of the Audit Trail and personal accountability of ensuring the user of Approved, Live work instructions.

EQMS Dashboard - Reports are available for document views, acknowledgments, approvals and more.

EQMS Dashboard


PDF Conversion and Document Overlays are really useful tools to help control documentation and enforce quality management and corporate governance policies.

1. Uncontrolled if printed – no more coffee stained, out of date SOPs

2. Pre-filled forms – reduce time, admin, human error

3. Detailed reporting – document usage, acknowledgements and training records 

We are more than happy to answer questions or provide a customised demonstration. Please feel free to get in touch.

Thanks for reading,


Michael Ord

Michael Ord




App Store

Tags: New features, EQMS, Document Management

Diageo: EQMS Dublin site visit – July 2013

Posted by Michael Ord on Mon, Jul 15, 2013

Rob Needham

Qualsys' Director Rob Needham (above) and Business Development Manager Michael Ord recently returned from a customer site visit to Diageo's famous St James Gate Brewery in Dublin - home of Guinness, no less.

Diageo have been EQMS customers for over 7 years, now using EQMS Document Manager and EQMS Audit Manager throughout many of their drink brands worldwide. They are massive advocates re the benefits of EQMS in supporting ISO9001 and Quality Management in general. 

Rob Needham said:

"2013 has been a big year for EQMS. As we continue to invest to develop our GRC suite, including our flagship EQMS Document Manager product, it is crucial that we pass on the learning and best practices to our existing customers. 

As longstanding customers, I'd like to think that we have built a real understanding and partnership with the team at Diageo. This Dublin visit was really useful, we discussed new offline sync, Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office Add-ins for EQMS and feature requests for EQMS Audit & Inspection 3.0 and the new Audit Manager Mobile App which is currently in test.

I'd like to thanks all at Diageo (too many to name...) for your support."

Guinness' historic St James Gate Brewery in Dublin:

 diageo St James' Gate

Read the Diageo EQMS Case Study

image credit: OHAC

Underground tunnels, beneath St James Gate Brewery

Rob Needham, Breda Tanner (Diageo), Tom Ray (Diageo) and Michael Ord on a mini-tour (on the way to lunch...)

Diageo and Qualsys: Rob Needham, Tom Ray and Breda Tanner


Wouldn't we all like an emergency Guinness 'Bat' Phone at work! 


Guinness Batphone

Site Visits and Training Webinars

The Diageo Site Visit is part of on an ongoing dialogue to help customers make the most of their EQMS. 

Our Account Management team have been co-ordinating a series site visits, training and upgrades to put the latest Quality Management tools in customers hands. 

Contact the Qualsys Team to find out more


Attend Free Webinar

Tags: Quality Management Software, Microsoft Office Add-ins, EQMS, Document Management

Oxford University Press: EQMS Customer Focus

Posted by Michael Ord on Thu, Jun 13, 2013

oup logo

1478. Oxford University Press (OUP) is older than most nations. With over 500 years history, OUP has a legacy to be proud of.

And a reputation to sustain.

OUP Paula

[click image to watch video interview]

As Paula Hart, Quality & Health and Safety Manager for OUP's distribution division says, 

"We benefit from a long term view, and are fully committed to quality innovations and best practice.
We have invested in state of the art printing and distribution facilities throughout the world, for example our Kettering facility holds 28+million SKU's (books) printed in 40 languages.
We use industry leading ERP and Quality Management software such as EQMS to manage Health and Safety, Document Control and give us real-time Management Information (MI).
This helps us stay flexible and competitive as the printing / distribution industry experiences rapid change. 
Quality and adaptability are crucial drivers that will ensure OUP's success for the next 500 years."

Oxford University Press (OUP) Distribution Services.

Paula Hart gives Mike Pound, Qualsys Managing Director, a tour of Oxford University Press' Kettering Distribution Facility.

Aerial View (Kettering)

newcorbysiteaerial resized 600

Form over fashion...

OUP Safety Shoe

Paula Hart and Mike Pound at the start of the OUP Warehouse tour.

Mike Pound and Paula HartMike Pound and Paula Hart

Mike Pound, Managing Director of Qualsys, said:

"Oxford University Press is a great example of staying power through innovation and quality. The team there always push for better. The move to the new Kettering distribution facility reflects that ethos.

I remember the EQMS implementation at the original Corby site and how impressive that site was. The scale of the new operation is even more ambitious. 500 years plus of commitment and investment. I hope EQMS is used by them for the next 500!"


Watch the video interview with Paula Hart 

 OUP Paula video resized 600

Tags: Quality Management Software, EQMS, Document Management, New Customers