What happens when you bring together a new quality manager, a new QMS system and a short timeline for accreditation? A focused and successful Qualtrax implementation.
Talk about quality improvement! Darren Welch from the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) gave a great presentation at the Qualtrax User Conference held in Blacksburg, Va. KDA became a Qualtrax customer in April of 2014 after being docked for not completing their FDA requirements in a timely manner.
“In March of 2014, we were significantly behind in getting accredited. We received a Document Control 4.3 deficiency, the FDA put us on monthly update calls and we were docked funding for insufficient progress. We had uncontrolled documents, too many copies and had problems tracking revision numbers. We knew we had to move fast. The lab immediately hired a new Quality Assurance Manager and purchased Qualtrax in April 2014.” says Darren Welch, KDA, Lab Supervisor.
KDA installed an on premise system and was surprised how well implementation went. The Qualtrax training team flew out to their headquarters to help with training. Expecting push back from some “non-technical” users, they were pleased to find that all their users adopted the user friendly system without a hitch.
Once training and implementation was complete, they immediately started working on their document control strategy. At the time of their audit, they had 441 documents being tracked and managed within Qualtrax. Their Quality Manager sat down with the auditor and was able to easily access the information needed within Qualtrax per the auditor’s request. They are proud to say that they have well over 550 documents in Qualtrax today.
Though Document Control was the initial driving factor to buy Qualtrax, KDA quickly began using more of the system’s functionality.
“We love the Testing & Training features within Qualtrax. The email and inbox reminders when testing and trainings are due and the records reporting save us from filling cabinets full of paper records. As a bonus, using Qualtrax got us to implement a good internal audit program.” says Darren.
Since implementing, KDA has been accredited to ISO 17025 and MFRP. They are happy to say that out of 22 state labs needing MFRP accreditation, they were one of the first three to achieve accreditation. They credit this to hiring their new QAM and Qualtrax. As the lab continues to improve their Quality Management System they are looking into AFRPS accreditation and working with specific accreditations for the pesticides and fertilizer programs.
“I couldn’t do my Quality Manager job without Qualtrax. Document Control and automatic training reminders keep me on track so I can focus on other important tasks. ” – Lindsey Shalz, Kansas Department of Ag, Quality Assurance Manager