One common system provides the best of both worlds—users have access to the information they need, and the enterprise has visibility into all data across every process and operational area. However, this increase in visibility may bring its own challenges.
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Explore This IssueFebruary/March 2012
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Conquer Data Paralysis
With newfound visibility into all events, data from all multiple point solutions are now being fed through a single system. As a result, the organization may suffer from “data paralysis”—so much information is coming in, the company doesn’t know where to begin. How does an organization begin to sort through the data and adverse events to find those most critical to the business? The company needs to prioritize and filter these events using a systematic and quantitative method.
- Quantitative risk tools as a filtering agent: CAPA—the heart of a holistic food safety management system (FSMS)—allows an organization to take action on adverse events in the system. However, with a much wider range of visibility into data, the ability to distinguish critical from non-critical adverse events becomes a challenge. Quantitative risk management is the key to effectively categorizing and filtering this information. Quantitative risk management enables an organization to give an adverse event a risk ranking using quantitative scales like severity and frequency.
This provides a systematic and repeatable method for determining how critical an event is. Traditionally, any event becomes a corrective action that results in a multitude of CAPAs with various levels of severity. The most critical events are essentially lost in the pile, like “needles in a haystack.” Quantitative risk tools essentially filter the needles from the haystack, enabling organizations to correct minor events immediately and focus their attention on those most critical to the business. Only the most critical adverse events will become CAPAs, effectively reducing data paralysis in the system to some extent.
In an integrated system where all quality and safety data are visible, risk assessment is a valuable tool in helping organizations categorize and prioritize events. It fosters better decision-making and streamlines the process by focusing on events that pose the most risk to the organization.
While filtering events in an integrated system helps to reduce data paralysis, not having an enterprise reporting system in place can hinder the organization’s ability to view and analyze the data coming into the system.
- Enterprise reporting: Enterprise reporting is helpful in overcoming data paralysis because it consolidates data into a single environment, a centralized location within the integrated system. This makes it possible for an organization to more effectively draw correlations between events across the enterprise, which promotes efficient trending and continuous improvement. Using enterprise reporting, an organization can increase data visibility by receiving it in a more manageable format, making the information easier to digest and decreasing the chances of data paralysis.
There is no need to audit five times for five different systems. Using a process-based approach to audit management, an organization can conduct just one audit for CAPA that will apply throughout all systems, eliminating the need to run a duplicate CAPA audit for each and every system.
Beyond visibility, enterprise reporting allows an organization to roll up data from various systems into one holistic report. This not only decreases the number of reports that will need to be generated, but it also ensures efficient analysis and decision-making.
Another benefit to reporting is easier detection of trends. Trending enables an organization to uncover similarities between events that occur in separate sites or departments, which allows the root cause of the issue to be pinpointed. The organization can then take preventive measures to prevent adverse events from recurring.
Visibility is important to an organization, as is the need to maintain processes on a continual basis. Upholding processes and procedures ensures that a firm’s integrated system is kept in sync.
Food Safety Governance
In an integrated system, certain elements will likely overlap each other, so maintaining a cohesive and continuous process can be a challenge. Whether it’s an overlapping process, changing management to adapt to the use of an integrated system, or training employees to use the system, it’s important to govern the system through continuous monitoring and periodic review. The most logical way for most companies to manage governance is through auditing. Using an integrated audit program enables an organization to monitor and continuously improve its management system processes through regularly scheduled audits.