Regulations - everyone knows them, only a few like them, we all benefit from them. Regulations require that equipment, systems and resources used in the manufacture of products or services demonstrate their suitability for the intended use and operate in accordance with their functional specifications. This is ensured, among other things, by test protocols. But many customers also want a complete protocol for their products, for example. However, companies often do not have a suitable protocol system or, in the event of problems, it is suddenly discovered that the protocols do not have the necessary information. In manufacturing companies, they still like to struggle with the creation of manual Excel forms for the most diverse test steps and characteristics. In this article you will learn why you should rely on software for your test reports in the future. But first, a touch of humor.
The Quality Engineer and the Shepherd
A shepherd is guarding his herd on a remote pasture when suddenly a brand new luxury SUV comes up to him. The driver, a young man in an expensive suit, leans out of the window and asks the shepherd:
"If I tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me one?"
The shepherd takes a good look at the man and answers calmly: "Sure."
The young man pulls out his iPad, calls up a GPS satellite navigation system, scans the area and creates a database of 46 Excel spreadsheets with complex formulas. Then he sends an email to his smartphone, prints a 120-page report on his portable printer, turns to the shepherd and triumphantly announces, "You have exactly 1586 sheep!
"That's right," replies the shepherd. "Take one of the sheep!" He watches as the young man selects one of the animals and pushes it into his car.
Then the shepherd says: "If I can tell you exactly what your profession is, will you give me back my animal?
"OK, why not?" replies the young man.
"Well", says the shepherd, "it is clear that you are a quality engineer and you’re generate test reports".
"That's right", says the man, "but how do you know?"
"That was easy," said the shepherd. "You showed up here although nobody called you. You want to be paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked and you know absolutely nothing about my job. And now give me my dog back!"
No industry today can do well without quality management and test protocols.
Every industry, every sector, from medicine to food to financial services - apart from professional shepherds, perhaps - today needs secure records of whether and when a transaction, activity or audit was carried out correctly and truthfully. Companies need these audit trails either to meet industry requirements for Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Management (QM). However, the goal may also be to comply with government regulations, such as FDA or CAQ. However, a well-maintained logging system can also help companies better understand their current condition.
Think of audit trails as insurance. You don't really think about it or need it unless something goes wrong. The same applies to test reports. You don't need them until you really need them. But if you don't have them, the consequences can be very unpleasant or even catastrophic.
Why are test reports so important?
Regardless of whether you conduct an audit internally or outsource to a trusted partner, audit trails serve as the primary means of communication to capture expectations, acceptance criteria, regulatory requirements and applicable standards. Protocols also document this information for future repeatability. There are therefore three major advantages to test protocols.
- preparation. Test logs ensure that all useful aspects of conducting a test have been considered.
- communication and training. Test reports help with training and education.
- effectiveness: they help to develop a mechanism for presenting test needs, limitations and justifications for defining expectations, acquiring resources and investigating unexpected outcomes.
Create test reports or have them created?
However, the advantages mentioned above are not self-evident, they have to be worked out. Of course, you could do this in the traditional way with Excel tables and forms for various test steps and features for tracking purposes. However, we now simply assume that you do not belong to this type of barbarian and therefore tell you that the tracking of your test steps can also be done with much less effort - provided you have the right software. The advantages of a good system for creating test reports go far beyond mere troubleshooting. A good, software-based system such as the MyXPert Monitoring Module from MySolutions enables you to keep track of the status of your company. With the MyXPert Monitoring Test Protocol add-on module, various test protocols can be easily created and even captured with a mobile touch solution. In addition, numerous test and measuring instruments can be directly integrated, thus avoiding the annoying typing and reducing the error rate.
What you should do now
If your company regularly meets certain requirements and has to prove this or is subject to frequent inspections by the authorities, software for inspection protocols is a guarantee for time and cost savings. To find out how you can save time, money and headaches with the MyXPert monitoring module, all you have to do is contact MySolutions.