Records are essential for a management system is effective and efficient. The decision «which records» are to be saved is critical since it depends on whether the company later will draw a good advantage of them or simply make staff lose their productive time and resources creating records that never They are to be consulted.
Records must be neither more nor less than what a company really needs. So we say that is critical to the correct determination of which records are to be stored in an organization.
There are four types of needs:
1. Legal regulations state records that a company has to keep (provided there is an applicable to the activity of the company that allow administrations to carry out inspection regulations). This requirement obviously is mandatory, whether or not the company management systems. As it is mandatory records, in this case there is no difficulty in deciding whether to keep or have no such records.
2. Customers, by making their planning product realization, have to determine what records have to have each of its suppliers to send along with the product or to arrange for audits of second part.
If a client has done its homework well, records requires its suppliers should be part of what providers need to add value. As are customer demands, nor will any inconvenience to determine if such records have to file or not.
3. The models of quality management, environment and risk prevention, meanwhile, identifies a series of mandatory records that any company has to maintain if you want to become certified. Nor doubt arises here. This section is usually where auditors find their nonconformity very easily.
Actually not conformities to put this, it is not necessary to understand well the activities of the audited company.
4. A fourth type of records that companies need to be managed effectively and efficiently, and their determination purely depends on your specific business activities. Management models do not determine them and leave them in the hands of businesses, but ask the companies themselves decide which records are to be kept.
Management models are designed to be sufficiently generic and can be applied in any business sector. This is where the problem arises because the decision on what records must be stored is critical since this is where the difference between value added and bureaucracy. If the company has fallen short you will have to take risks. Auditors rarely write non-conformities related to deficiencies such records even if they have the obligation to do so (eg ISO9001 7.1). The risk is business, not the auditors.
On the other hand, if a company has decided to maintain records that are not useful, you lose productive staff time and resources such as paper, storage space and / or memory in the computer system. In this case the auditors have no obligation to notify the companies, if they have time during the audit to get his attention to the subject. However, for the company and its customers this problem can be serious when it comes to quality problems.
In the case of environmental records, the difficulty is relatively minor because only affect non – legal environmental aspects.
For prevention of occupational risks, the problem is usually not exist if companies have used prevention technicians with expertise in the production process for both planning controls to define the records.
During planning, you must determine which records are to be entered. The following criteria are that a company can apply:
A. Control of undesirable behaviors volunteer staff
1. Records serve to avoid the risk that «do not» planned controls.
When a control is «really» necessary to ensure the quality (or environmental protection or prevention of an occupational hazard), and as you can not be continuously monitoring if it is not done or planned or legally required control, it was decided to register .
The need to register, in turn, would force the realization of control. But the design of the registration form must not allow counterfeit controls actually incurred. To do this, for example, you can force the operator (or inspector if any) real – time to fill a form designed to record a certain value, time control, etc. rather than designing the form with space to put a simple «x».
2. Records «force» staff to comply with certain procedures.
And internal audit is to verify the degree of implementation of a procedure records, staff is obliged to comply with these procedures and record evidence of such compliance.
3. Records demonstrating compliance with a legal obligation.
As mentioned, the legislation has provided for certain records to force companies to carry out certain controls and to have evidence of such controls for administrative inspections in order to ensure the safety and / or to protect the rights of citizens . (Examples: clinical history of a patient record inspections of elevators or jets of powerboats, registration of complaints from any user, control register cooling towers, evaluation reports of occupational hazards, etc.).
B. Control of involuntary behaviors of staff
1. Records avoid errors due to unintentional oversights.
A checklist (checklist) helps the operator (or inspector) make no mistake in the correct sequence of activities and forget to perform the necessary activities.
2. records identifying the processing state.
Registration helps identify steps that have been taken in the realization of a product (Example: a record in the road map (or identification) tag stating that the product is verified or not, if it is clean or, if components have been added or not, etc.)
C. Records that minimize the damage when something has gone wrong and learn the appropriate lessons
1. Records allow cause analysis of incidents
The black box of an airplane is a record that is designed with the team itself to record information of an incident so that later can perform the cause analysis.
Other examples of such records can be audio recordings, video, or a simple record on paper or in the computer system.
2. Records allow traceability
When a product has hurt users, faulty batches are identified and provided with a system of traceability are detected where the rest of defective products are, and are removed from the market.
Manufacturers of all products that may affect public health and safety are legally required traceability (Examples: toys, cars, food, drugs, to name a few).
D. Data for performance management of quality, environmental and process safety
Finally, the management system requires indicators to analyze trends in their results and seek continuous improvement thereof. Essentially, the data to compute the indicators have come from the records that are generated in the various activities of the organization. You need to define which indicators are needed to control processes.
Many companies have indicators that measure the degree of compliance plans or methodologies, not the level of results achieved.
For example, consider the process of formation. Consider the «%» prompt compliance of the training plan. What use is this indicator? Staff spend valuable time by calculating the values of an indicator that does not say much. A plan poorly done, even 100% compliance does not guarantee the competence of personnel.
The useful indicator would be the one to point out that product defects are attributable to poor knowledge of the staff. Indicators processes should define the extent of the results to avoid bureaucracies.
Rajaram Govindarajan is an industrial engineer trained in India, Japan and USA and work experience in the automotive industry both in Spain and in (USA) Detroit.
He currently works as Chief Auditor in the certification nonprofit SPG (Systems and Processes Management, www.certificadoISO9001.com) . Govindarajan Rajaram Professor-Collaborator of the Department of Operations Management and Innovation at ESADE, Barcelona.