BPA Solutions Welcomes Two New Sales Channel Managers

BPA Solutions Welcomes Two New Sales Channel Managers

We are pleased to welcome our 2 new Channel Sales Managers, joining our Swiss and US offices.

Mr. Forrest Partovi has recently joined the BPA Solutions’ team in Switzerland. Forrest will be responsible to support existing partners and develop the channel business in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia. As a seasoned professional with many years of international experience, Forrest’s career path started off as off a developer, subsequently “moving” up into sales and business development, supporting both direct and indirect channels. Forrest has been exposed to a multitude of different verticals, spanning large multinationals to smaller companies, in international and local settings. He has worked for both large companies (such as Microsoft) and smaller ones, and his language skills go a long way in building bridges with international customers. His first name has become well known after the movie “Forrest Gump” first aired back in time.

Mr. John Pyktel has recently joined our US office. John’s main responsibilities will be to develop business in North America and Oceania. John brings many years of experience to BPA, most recently he’s been the education sector working with resellers and end-users delivering technology to the school districts, colleges, and universities. He has teamed up with resellers to assist them in their growth and continued success by implementing the tools of his trade. John’s technology experience goes back to when he used to be hunched over a workbench putting computers together before delivering them to the customer. John’s philosophy is simple, and that is to “Take care of the customer”…and not only the customer, John also took care of fishes that day in Mexico when he couldn’t catch any fish and ended up catching two pelicans (that were released of course).

Seattle BPA

BPA Solutions Opens a New US Office in Seattle, WA

Last June 2016, BPA Solutions SA has opened a new US office in Seattle, Washington.

BPA Solutions is a leading Swiss-headquartered software editor, developing SharePoint and Office 365 solutions for quality, compliance and risk management.

The new US entity has been created to better support actual BPA’s customers and partners and develop new business in North America.

“North America is a rapidly growing market for BPA Solutions. Establishing a business presence in the U.S. will allow us to better serve our customers and partners in this strategic market for BPA”, said Dr. Boris Lutz, CEO and Founder at BPA Solutions.

BPA’s co-founder and COO, Mrs. Belinda Schöni, will manage and develop BPA Solutions USA LLC out of the Seattle office. She can already count on strong support of a new Channel Sales Manager, Mr. John Pyktel.

“I am excited to run BPA Solutions USA LLC as CEO and build for our partners and customers a local quality service team. BPA’s commitment to the North American market is needed to strengthen the bonds and support our ambitious business expansion”, said Mrs. Belinda Schöni, Co-Founder and CEO BPA Solutions USA LLC.

Contact details:

BPA Solutions USA LLC

1601 5th AVE, Suite 1100, Seattle, WA 98101, US.

Phone: +1-888-556-9262

E-mail: sales@bpa-solutions.net

Web: http://BPA.Solutions

Typical problem solving process

Moving Beyond Excel Spreadsheets – What are The Real Benefits of a Digital Collaborative QMS?

In this article we will highlight benefits of digital collaborative QMS for a typical problem solving process.

How does a typical problem solving process look like for most organizations?

Considering the 8D methodology we have following steps for a typical problem solving process:

Typical problem solving process

What are typical risks for this process?

An Excel spreadsheet is certainly not a good way to register problems because one person at the time can modify the file. A form solution allows internal or external stakeholders to register a problem. This avoids the quality manager to register problems for everyone in the organization and make the system participative.

How can you link emails, documents, corrective actions, risks and activities with the problem? Spreadsheets and typical database systems are not adequate to handle related data and documents with a problem. Typical spreadsheets and database systems are disconnected and you will miss the overall picture. The ideal system should display a 360 degree view of a problem with all related information coming from different sources, like emails, tasks, calendar, documents or others.

How to make sure the right persons are alerted during the problem solving process? With a traditional paper or database system, each end user has to manually alert the right persons throughout the process. Obviously it is a risky process, it’s also time consuming and usually not efficient. With a digital collaborative system, workflows and automatic alerts will make sure the right people are alerted. Workflows enforce that corrective actions are efficient prior closing any QMS process. Also, workflows will shorten any process’ lifecycle.

What about reporting? With a paper system, reporting is a time-consuming manual work. With a digital system, you can view instant reports or export any data into a spreadsheet for advanced reporting. No manual work is needed anymore.

What are the benefits of a digital collaborative QMS?

Benefits are numerous:

  • Reducing overall cost, like IT cost by replacing multiple heterogeneous systems by one integrated solution, reducing administration and labor cost by replacing a paper-based system with a digital solution, reducing cost of poor quality by having an integrated and collaborative PDCA system that will impact enterprise strategies and objectives.
  • Automating processes with automatic tasks and alerts. Workflows will drastically reduce lifecycle for each process and maximize productivity and efficiency.
  • Moving stakeholders back in the center of your QMS. Having a participative QMS system will help to spread the word about quality in your organization.
  • Meeting regulations will lower risks, legal fees and exposure for your company.

In this article we have discussed the numerous benefits of a digital collaborative QMS compared to typical paper or database systems. Benefits will be the same for any process, like the problem solving process in this example.

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Document approval workflow

CFR 21 Part 11 Compliance & Electronic Signature

Title 21 CFR Part 11 is the part of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations that establishes the United States FDA regulations on electronic records and electronic signatures. Part 11 defines the criteria under which electronic records and electronic signatures are considered trustworthy, reliable, and equivalent to paper records.

In this article we present a simple use case to configure a system for 21 CFR Part 11 compliance.

To handle the “signing signature” referred to in Part 11 documentation, a couple departures from BPA Quality and SharePoint are needed. The first is an e-signature custom field to capture the username and password and the second is a workflow that handles the document approval from start to finish.

Microsoft and SharePoint technologies propose many tools for regulatory compliance, like active directory services, SQL Server database and BI services, SharePoint list and library permission settings, version and audit settings.

In this typical use case, document managers (editors, approvers, distributors) have contributor rights for the document library. Approved documents will be published in another library or site (e.g. company intranet) where end users have reader rights.

Document approval workflow

Example of a graphical document approval workflow.

The e-signature module stores, in an encrypted form, the user identity, time and date of signing. This ensures only authorized persons can modify a document, document properties or any quality record. E-signature is required each time documents, document properties or quality records are modified. With no valid signature, a red stamp will be visible in the document or record properties.

Document properties

The e-signature custom field in the document properties makes sure the document was approved by the right people prior publishing.

With BPA Quality, end users can easily access published documents from an organizational chart or a process map.

Process map

The process map is the ideal entry page for end users to access published documents for the different processes.

Risk assessment

Risk Based Thinking

Risk based thinking is a big change in the new ISO 9001:2015 standard. Risk management is a proactive way to take action prior unfortunate events happen.

Where should you start? How can you detect risks and hazards in your organization?

After having determined the context of the organization, like stakeholder expectations, competitive analysis… you have to describe key processes in your organization with their input, output, activities and indicators. Risk factors can be identified with a SWOT analysis for any process. In the daily business, risk factors will be identified from any P-D-C-A improvement process, like objectives, KPIs, nonconformities, audits, management reviews, etc.

50+ described processes

BPA comes with 50+ described processes to help you to identify risk factors.

How to handle risks?

The Deming improvement wheel applies for risk management. Risks need to be identified, periodically assessed, treated and monitored.

How to assess risks? What is the cost of risks?

Risks can’t be measured but will be periodically assessed by your responsible team, based on impact (if the risk occurs) and probability (of occurrence). Additional factors can be added like a detection factor (used with FMEA). The risk severity is a multiplication of these factors. Based on the risk severity, controls and treatment actions will be done. The cost of a risk can be calculated based on severity multiplied by cost factors (e.g. number of non-production hours * cost of a non-production hour).

Risk assessment

The risk scorecard allows displaying risk assessment values and trends for each risk and period.

How to control risks?

Controls can be physical assets (e.g. sprinklers, detectors) or procedures (e.g. procedure in case of fire) to reduce the impact or probability of a risk. Controls need to be periodically verified.

Considered controls

Frequency and compliance of each control can be monitored easily with the BPA linear calendar.

How to treat risks?

Based on the risk severity or cost, treatment (corrective, preventive) actions will be declared and tracked. Effectiveness of actions will be verified. A prebuilt workflow makes sure actions are followed-up until resolution.

How to monitor risks?

A risk scorecard is ideal to monitor the risk severity and trends for the different periods (e.g. monthly or quarterly). A heat chart can be used to display the risk severity for specific risks.

Risk

The BPA heat chart displays risk severity and trends for selected risks.

Why Excel is not enough? What tools can you use?

Microsoft Excel is not a relational tool. You won’t be able to optimally track actions, tasks, emails or documents related to risks with a spreadsheet. More important, Excel is not a collaborative tool and you won’t be able to automate the risk treatment process, distribute tasks automatically or collaborate with you team to assess, treat or monitor risks.

BPA’s integrated QMS and risk management software is the ideal tool to identify, assess, treat and monitor risks. BPA is built on the #1 Microsoft SharePoint technology and brings a simple and powerful framework to help you to deploy a collaborative risk based thinking tool.

Risk details

A collaborative risk management tool like BPA allows tracking treatment actions, tasks, emails and documents related with any risk. Automatic reminders and alerts will be sent to the concerned persons.

BPA’s risk based thinking software applies for any standard like ISO 9001:2015, ISO 31000, HACCP, FMEA or any other risk methodology.

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Deploying Your ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Software

BPA Solutions has developed a flexible and cost effective quality management software to help you to deploy ISO 9001:2015 in your organization.

Process Approach

  • Achieve continuous improvement with a collaborative PDCA tool
  • Navigate your QMS easily from a graphical core process map
  • Select your key processes among 50+ described processes
  • Be compliant with any QHSE Standard
Process Map

Drill down the process map to view the process summary page and related documents, KPIs and risks. (BPA Quality screenshot)

Integrated Internal Audit Tool

  • 100+ predefined ISO 9001:2015 & supplier audit questions
  • Easily plan and schedule internal audits
  • Manage auditor skills and audit plans
  • Track audit findings, risks and KPIs
Audit Questions

Select among 100+ predefined ISO 9001:2015 audit questions to prepare your audit. Generate an audit
checklist in a mouse click. Append risks, findings… related to your audit. (BPA Quality screenshot)

Context of the Organization

  • Tools for competitive intelligence, stakeholder expectations, supplier evaluation
  • Make SWOT analysis and track business improvement opportunities
  • Track satisfaction for each customer interaction
  • Manage customer surveys

 

Strengths

The SWOT analysis tool will help you to declare and track QHSE improvement opportunities

Leadership & Customer Focus

  • 50+ described processes to determine your needed skills
  • Develop skills through continuous collaborator training
  • Develop and maintain knowledge with a wiki tool
  • Track important customer interactions
Organization Chart

Drill down the organization chart to view responsibilities with their related collaborators. Plan training, develop skills and knowledge. (BPA Quality screenshot)

Planning & Risk-Based Thinking

  • Identify risks from any QMS process
  • Periodically assess considered risks using scorecards
  • Mitigate risks with controls and actions
  • Monitor risks with heat maps, reports and KPIs
options

Periodically assess identified risks with a scorecard. Plan periodic controls and actions to mitigate risks. (BPA Quality screenshot)

 

Support & Compliance Documents

  • Microsoft SharePoint brings the most powerful document management features
  • Prebuilt Compliance Document Management workflow
  • Design your own no-code workflows for any process
  • Manage equipment, assets and resources
Compliance Documents

Start from a document template and update metadata directly in your Office application. Be sure your document gets approved prior to publishing. (BPA Quality screenshot)

Operation & Problem Solving

  • Manage product development projects
  • Manage product and process FMEA
  • 8D CAPA problem solving tool
  • Track and evaluate suppliers
Workflow Progress: NCR Process

Prebuilt 8D CAPA problem solving workflow. Workflows will drastically reduce any process lifecycle and automatically alert the right person at the right time. (BPA Quality screenshot)

Performance Evaluation & Improvement

  • Manage PDCA processes and achieve continuous improvement
  • Track compliance for each process in a single dashboard
  • Track management reviews and actions
  • Manage objectives and KPIs
Considered KPI

The overall dashboard shows compliance for each process in a snapshot view. (BPA Quality screenshot)

The Best QMS Software

  •  BPA is an all-in-one QHSE solution which covers all ISO 9001:2015 requirements
  •  BPA gives the highest flexibility to customize your solution to your needs
  •  BPA is based on #1 Microsoft SharePoint technology
  •  BPA gives the highest user experience
  •  BPA gives the best price/value

Drastically Save Costs with BPA

  •  Lower the total cost of ownership of your project
  •  Lower IT cost in replacing heterogeneous systems
  •  Lower admin/process cost through process automation
  •  Lower the cost of quality with our integrated PDCA tool

Are you tired dealing with tons of Excel files, heterogeneous systems, time-consuming reports and paper-based processes?

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Select The Best Quality Management Software For Your Company

What are important criteria to select the best quality management software for your company?

 
Quality managers are used to work with tons of Excel files, heterogeneous systems, time-consuming reports and a lot of paper-based documents.

 
best quality management software

 
Our comparison table will help you to select the best quality management software for your dedicated needs, based on criteria like:

  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Covered features
  • User experience
  • Technology
  • Cost

View our quality management software comparison table

US Trade Adjustment Assistance Program to Get Funds For Your QMS/CRM Project – Do you qualify?

Article by Boris Lutz, CEO of BPA Solutions, March 2016

 

BPA Solutions would like to call your attention to a relatively unknown US federal program that can provide funding for US based organizations from all industry sectors, who have experienced a recent decline of minimum 5% in sales and employment as a result of import price competition.

Your firm may qualify to get funds.

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAA), a federal program, provides financial assistance to firms in all industries affected by import competition. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, this federal assistance program pays half of the cost of an ISO implementation project or any other project to improve global competitiveness.

“The TAA Program is a great way for any firm to get funds to strengthen their position in the market. It is very easy to get started and I encourage each firm that needs to develop additional capabilities – like implementing an ISO 9001 or CRM project – to find out whether they qualify for this great program.” says Dr. Boris Lutz, CEO at BPA Solutions.

Grants for an ISO 9001 Quality Management System implementation are available at a 50/50 cost sharing basis, up to $75,000. Over the last decade, many US based companies have been awarded with a matching grant to help them to develop their businesses just from applying for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Grant Program – so can you.

The program is called Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). There is no cost to find out if you are eligible for this program. Through the TAA program, your firm might receive up to $75,000 in government assistance to develop and implement strategies including the required resources to implement an ISO-based Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001, ISO 14001 EHS, OHSAS 18001, etc.), or CRM system to improve your competitive edge. Typical projects are: quality management system implementation, sales and marketing improvement, new product development, productivity improvement, computer system upgrades, and export feasibility studies.

Let see how this program can help you to improve your competitive position and profitability.

Initial Application

Basically, any firm headquartered in the U.S. that can show a 5% decline in sales (dollar volume) for a current period (most recent 12 months) versus the same period last year, or a 5% decline in employment for the same period, and is indeed import-impacted, is eligible to be approved by the Department of Commerce (DOC). This U.S. government grant program can provide up to $75,000 of U.S. government funds on a cost sharing basis for firms that have been hurt by import competition over the last years. This program is available to all U.S. based firms that have experienced a decline in sales and employment due to import competition.

The program is available within all US States. Each US State has its own TAA Grant Administration office, responsible for collecting and managing all applications of firms for the grant program.

Three Phase Application

The program is divided into three easy consecutive application phases:

  • Phase 1 – The firm is certified into the program. There is no cost for the firm to get certified.
  • Phase 2 – This phase includes the development of the diagnostic analysis and adjustment plan, in which a suitable implementation project is defined.
  • Phase 3 – is the project implementation phase, in which the firm can start implementing the project with an implementation partner and the local TAA office. The allocated grant will be used to fund the project.

Application Procedure

For certification, your implementation partner will help you to build a petition based on your financial and employment data (two years), along with some other very basic information. Petition development can go very quickly (a few days) once all the information is available. Designated project application support will be provided by the TAA local office in your state.

After acceptance of the petition by the TAA Office, (about 60 days from receipt of the petition), an official company visit is required to clarify details and determine eligibility.

From that point, the implementation partner prepares an “Adjustment Plan (AP),” which goes to the TAA local office for internal approval. The AP cost depends on the firm revenues, but ranges from $3,000 to $12,000, with the TAA picking up 75% of the total AP cost. The maximum cost for the firm is $3,000. Once the AP is approved, the project implementation phase can start.

Funds up to $150,000 can be used for growth projects that are outlined in the AP. Funds are available on a 50/50 cost-sharing basis, depending upon the firm’s sales volume / size (i.e. the firm pays $75K and the TAA grant program pays $75K at a cap amount of $150K in project assistance for firms with over $3 million in sales).

The TAA grant program foresees also a mini-plan for smaller firms – around $1 million in sales – which caps project funds at $30K, but the program pays 75% of that total project cost. It is recommended to request support for application from your implementation partner.

The TAA Adjustment Assistance Program does not pay for any kind of asset purchase (machines, software, etc.), but pays for asset-related projects, such as software modification or implementation, ISO 9001 implementations, etc. They also cannot pay for off the shelf software or modules, and cannot pay firm’s employees. Outside those few limitations, the program generally pays for the partner implementation work. Firms must complete any approved project every six months (from the date of AP approval for the first project) in order to stay in the program and get the matching funding on re-occurring basis every year. In a recent change, firms are now required to complete the program within five years after their adjustment plan is approved.

Once the implementation program contract is signed, the implementation project can start. Local TAA offices encourage monthly billing, to ensure the client is satisfied with the results. The implementation partner bills half of the implementation cost to the responsible TAA local office and the other half to the firm. The program does not allow any direct payment to the implementation partner.

Application Requirements

  • Employees data
  • Production Employees
  • Total Net Sales
  • Sales from Purchased Finished Products for Resale
  • Sales for Exported Products

Firms must make sure employment numbers match the State Employer Quarterly Reports.

Production employees are employees that work on the import-impacted products.

Please make sure your net sales information matches your financial statements.

 

Please contact us for more information

BPA Quality ISO 9001:2015

The need to comply with customer’s demands and regulations is increasingly challenging for managers and executives. Complex risk(s) and quality management obligations must be observed (and or monitored) on a daily basis down to the affiliate levels. Noncompliance can hurt any organization’s bottom line, market position and corporate image.

The latest edition of the ISO 9001:2015 has just been published in September 2015 and takes care of these new challenges.

BPA developed an all-in-one quality + risk management solution to help organizations registering or renewing their ISO 9001 certificate and be compliant with the 2015 release.

More than 50 quality processes have been described with their purposes (or objectives), inputs, outputs, activities, indicators and needed compliance documents. The core process map gives an overview of the key processes.

 

Strategic Planning

 

BPA Quality ISO 9001:2015 gives answers to the new ISO requirements, like considering your stakeholder’s expectations and determining your quality strategies such as competitive intelligence.

Market

 

New quality tools have been integrated like SWOT analysis to better support your strategic decisions and business opportunities.

 

 

Risk management is now required by the ISO 9001:2015 standard. Risk management is the preventive way to avoid nonconformities. 60+ high level risks have been identified and are ready to be assessed periodically using our scorecard component.

 

Auditing is a powerful tool to check for any process compliance. 100+ audit questions grouped by ISO 9001:2015 clause and chapter will help you planning your internal audits. The audit question library contains another set of questions to help your organization qualifying and evaluating suppliers. Key suppliers are periodically evaluated using scorecards.

 

Prebuilt workflows will drastically reduce time to handle your quality processes. The 8D non-conformance/CAPA workflow makes sure you go through the main steps to build your team, describe the problem, investigate root causes, declare corrective/preventive actions and measure their effectiveness. The 8D CAPA report is generated on the fly and can be emailed to your stakeholders from the system.

 

Knowledge is one of the most important asset in your organization. ISO 9001:2015 requires to develop, maintain and retain knowledge in your company. BPA introduced a wiki system to sustain your knowledge management initiatives.

 

Contact us to learn how BPA Quality will help you registering or renewing your ISO 9001:2015 certificate and guide your organization to Excellence.

BPA Solution Builder

Business Solutions for any Service & Function

With BPA Solution Builder, power users can build professional no-code solutions for any service/function in a few hours or days, like contract, asset, human resource, stakeholder, project, meeting or internal control management.

With BPA, you can replace spreadsheets and databases with powerful collaborative solutions and stay aligned with IT strategies to harmonize technologies and reduce costs.

Discover solution examples by function: