To correct this, the company confiscated and evaluated every electronic document. Unneeded documents were cast aside, while others were revised. All remaining documents were uploaded into the CORE ISO Compliance Platform® (CORE) cloud-based document management software. Gassler then used the CORE platform to assign each document an owner, unique control numbers, revision levels and reviewers.
Today, reviewers must give electronic approval in the CORE platform before a document is released for employee use. Once approved, documents are converted into pdf files so that they can’t be changed. All documents are reviewed on an annual cycle, with 20 to 70 becoming due each month. Consequently, Gassler says, “Any employee can walk up to a computer and open any of the work instructions, and I am sure that everything they will see is current.”
CPI also revamped its training documents for certification in 2015, as well as the process for ascertaining which employees have been trained on new procedures. New training documents are identified at level 0. When the company makes process changes, the documents are relabeled to level 1, level 2 and so on to indicate a revision was made. However, that labeling system didn’t signify employee training.
“If we had a work instruction or a procedure that was revised, there was nothing systematically that told us to go out, get employees and make them aware of the changes,” says Gassler. Therefore, employees may still have been operating under previous guidelines.
To create a more robust system, Kevin Grace, safety manager, developed a database that ties each of the company’s 400 process documents and their revision level to each of its 150 employees. Now when a revised document is released, Grace can immediately identify employees who need to be retrained or updated based on changes.
“That’s the beauty of the ISO program,” says Gassler. “Once you get your certification, it’s a process of continuous improvement. It constantly forces an organization to be on guard for, identify and eliminate system weaknesses.”
ISO also has improved employee engagement. For example, CPI’s engineering and quality staff met with one customer to conduct a four-day, deep-dive analysis on how to improve products. Afterward, CPI certified a select group of employees as the only ones who can work on this product line.
“To see the engagement and the ownership that employees are taking in this process is tremendous,” says Gassler. “We now have employees coming up with suggestions on how to improve things on a regular basis.”