If you want to connect with professionals who are passionate about their company and quality assurance, look no further than Jim Todaro and Rene Bennett at Alpha Analytical. Recently, we talked about the powerful work of Alpha Analytical and the role our product plays. It was a great high level look at what they accomplish and how our product is a critical piece of the compliance efforts.
We love how broadly Qualtrax is used at Alpha Analytical, and we also love getting into the details of the day-to-day use of our product. There are a variety of ways that our product is positively impacting Alpha Analytical; here is a sampling of some of their (and our!) favorites:
Before Qualtrax was incorporated into Quality Assurance at Alpha Analytical, “it was not unusual for Auditors to spend 2-3 days on site, with the conference room covered,” explained Jim. The good news is, after implementing our software the time necessary for an audit was reduced and the process was much smoother. Jim emphasized, “the auditors love it! They have been extremely complimentary.” Don’t you want your audits to happen in a shorter and more streamlined way?
One awesome aspect of our product is that it can pivot to unexpected needs across organizations that support quality but aren’t considered a traditional quality function. With our product, onboarding new employees is an easier experience. “The buckets we set up for employees are set up so if you are part of a department, or a sub-group, there are documents associated with that department,” Rene explained. “With Qualtrax, and the workflow, if we take a person and move them from one department to another they automatically get documents they need as part of that department.”
Alpha Analytical is one of the largest environmental labs in the United States. They have two labs in Massachusetts and eight service centers. The ability for all employees across all locations to access the Qualtrax is paramount. Our hosted platform allows for ease of access anywhere — if an employee can access the internet they can access Qualtrax.
With going hosted, technical support moved from internal IT staff to the Qualtrax support team. Rene recalled it and shared, “We freed up our IT team, and they were thrilled!”
One problem many organizations face is clear communications. With centralized document management, as part of an integrated compliance management software system, that challenge can be addressed. “We push everyone to go to Qualtrax for the information they need,” Rene shared. Once Alpha Analytical moved to hosted, information was more accessible and therefore communications were streamlined, resulting in clarity.
Jim and Rene both emphasized the importance of everyone working from the most up to date version of manuals and operating procedures. Jim shared, “[Qualtrax] provides you with the most up-to-date version. That is extremely important from an auditing perspective and regulatory view.” When employees access information in Qualtrax they see the most current and valid published iteration of a document, preventing obsolete information from being accessed.
In addition to ensuring that only the most recent version of a document is accessed, Qualtrax also provides the history of each document. This is critical for helping people understand why a document was edited and what was subsequently changed. Jim said, “It is huge that we can pull up the historical edits for an SOP. We can go back and look at previous documents to understand why it was edited and why it was published.” Context is critical and creates traceability.
As an environmental testing lab, Alpha Analytical has to be mindful of sustainable practices. In regards to document control, Jim shared that it is “significant” that when auditors come on site paper copies of documents are no longer necessary. They can use a large screen to pull up requested information — requiring much less paper and waste. Jim emphasized, “We are an environmental lab. We should not be printing just to put the paper in the recycling after an audit.”
These day-to-day benefits of Qualtrax at Alpha Analytical show how our product is poised to transform compliance realities of not only those within testing labs but other industries under the purview of accrediting bodies. Our hope is that our product can support people, like Jim and Rene, who endeavor to make the world a happier and healthier place.