What do you do? Describe your company.
As an European (EU) Agency, our organisation performs specific tasks under EU law for the benefit of the EU citizens and internal market, human health and environment.
What was your problem, and what challenges prevented you from easily solving the problem?
The material relating to our Integrated Management System (IMS), including the Quality Management System (QMS) – documents, reports, records, files, etc. – was stored in different places on different tools. As a consequence, the IMS/QMS was disconnected. A lot of manual work was needed to get approval signatures or send constantly reminders. We were missing a consolidated view of our IMS. Because of the different tools we used, we didn’t feel the IMS was user-friendly.
How did you find out about our solution? Did you consider other providers? What criteria did you use to select BPA and Microsoft?
We wrote a specification document with our needs. Then, with the help of a consulting company we found the right solution on the market, based on our requirements. The selection process was quite rigorous. Different tools were compared and we selected BPA Quality & Risk Management.
What was the solution? How did it address your challenges?
We saw all needed features included in the software, like process management; compliance document management; nonconformities; external complaints; improvement proposals; audits and risks. The solution appeared to be agile allowing customisation. We hired a contractor to help us to configure the software and the workflows we needed.
The advantages of BPA’s software to us are:
- it provides a single entry point to access the IMS for the whole organisation;
- it reduces manual/human file interactions and manipulations;
- it interfaces with automated workflows to notify the right users when needed;
- it provides tools for controlling documents, versions and document sharing;
- it sends automatic notifications and reminders.
How did you implement the solution? How long did it take? What new challenges did the implementation create?
The system was deployed on a test environment for user acceptance and a production environment. We have introduced the solution progressively, module by module, following an established project plan. This was a good approach to gradually expand. The whole deployment took several years from 2016/2017 to 2019. We had to customise the needed approval workflows to stick to our organisation’s rules. Managing access rights to match our internal confidentiality rules was rather complex.
What results did you gain from BPA Solutions – both anecdotally and measurably?
We save time because document administration is simplified (no copy-paste or manual pdf creation anymore). We have a lot of flexibility to manage user screens (lists/tables/overviews). Because of a unified system, we get more visibility/transparency for everything. The embedded workflows guide users while approving items, which reduces the need for user support and the number of user questions. The modular structure is good. It’s also possible to expand the software to other processes. For example, we customised a data breach process (in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR). This process was easily and qickly integrated to the nonconformity module. The system records any modifications and logs them as an audit trail. We keep trace of any data change. The ability to consolidate all the data with a process and give process owners better overviews of their work areas is a great achievement. We also like the way we can assign activities and follow-up actions from the system.
Was there anything spectacular about how easy it was to deploy, or engage employees?
We like the pleasant and clear software layout which is easy to change, e.g. colors. Users appreciate the single entry point to the different modules and the navigation tiles. There was appetite for users to get this tool. Compared to the previous way of working, the software has significantly simplified the user experience. We feel the best experience so far with the compliance documentation – no more paper signatures are required, which accelerates the validation process. By working on simplifying processes, we could introduce new practices, e.g. we introduced a fast track approval process. This caused users to learn new practices but changes were well adopted and appreciated by end users.