• The Journey to Supply Chain Excellence

    12 March, 2015 Ed Rausch, VP of Global Marketing, Elemica

    Some goals haven’t changed. Businesses in 2015 still have the common pursuit of growing revenues, profits, and market space, and leading companies are relying on building collaborative relationships in their extended supply chains to meet these goals in a responsible and sustainable way. Building powerful and more intimate relationships, extending across a critical mass of trading partners, leads to continuous improvements in company performance, agility, and differentiation.

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  • Success By the Numbers (or Why Being Science-y is a Good Thing)

    12 February, 2015 Craig Gygi, Executive Vice President, Operations MasterControl

    How do you know if you know? In other words, how do you know when you have sufficient knowledge to reliably manage or improve a process? This last question reveals the foundation of all quality, regulatory, and compliance work.

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  • Risk Management in Clinical Research: Process and Application

    29 January, 2015 Emily Haglund, Clinical Auditor, IMARC Research Inc.

    Recently, two key pieces of guidance were released from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) regarding risk based approaches to clinical research. These documents include FDA’s “

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  • Setting an Organization's Risk Management Context

    15 January, 2015 Rod Farrar, Director, Paladin Risk Management Services

    There is considerable confusion in the risk world in relation to terms such as risk appetite, risk tolerance, risk acceptance, risk threshold and risk attitude (just to name a few).  These are defined differently by organisations and there is no guidance in ISO 31000 that clarifies this, so the confusion becomes a distraction.

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  • What Does Risk-Based Monitoring Mean for QA Auditing?

    13 January, 2015 Laurie Meehan, Internal Project Manager, Polaris Compliance Consultants, Inc.

    By now, we all know that risk-based monitoring (RBM) isn’t just about changing the role of the clinical research associate (CRA); it’s transforming the way clinical studies are managed. So what does that mean for quality assurance (QA) teams who audit these new processes? Polaris president Celine Clive led a roundtable discussion about RBM and its implications for auditing at November’s North Carolina Regulatory Affairs Forum (NCRAF) meeting.

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  • Five Common Issues that could Jeopardize Training Compliance

    9 December, 2014 Cindy Fazzi, Staff Writer

    If your company is regulated, then you know that it’s not enough to have your quality standards on paper. You have to implement and integrate them into your daily operations and prove to regulators that your standards and policies work.

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  • Why Do Corrective Actions Fail?

    23 September, 2014 Ed Grounds, President Integrated Solution Providers Software, Inc.

    Each year, the most popular learning course we provide is targeted at developing the skills necessary for our customers’ associates to implement their corrective action programs effectively and efficiently. Throughout the years, we have been asked the same question hundreds of times, “What are the most common reasons corrective actions fail?” Usually this question is asked during the corrective action learning session by a management team member hoping that we will deliver the message to the other team members that they are failing. Normally, we turn the question back around to the group and ask them why they think their corrective action program fails. The most common answers we hear are: limited time, resources, training, or not knowing which tools to use.

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  • The 3 Biggest Project Management Problems in the Regulated Environment

    2 October, 2014 Paul Sanderson Lead, Solutions Consultants Group, MasterControl Inc.

    Effective project management helps your company save time and money by keeping projects on time and on budget. It optimizes your resources by assigning the right people with the right skills for every project. In a regulated environment, you need all of these, plus one more crucial consideration: compliance.

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  • 5 Tech Support Life Hacks for Better (and Fewer) Support Calls

    30 September, 2014 Eric Weeks, Technical Account Manager, MasterControl

    Life hacks, which are practical tips or shortcuts that help you get things done faster and more efficiently, are all the rage these days.  A quick Google search reveals hacks for overcoming many of life’s pesky obstacles or frustrations—from how to keep a pot of water from boiling over (place a wooden spoon across the top it) to how to light a candle wick without burning  your fingers (use a dried spaghetti noodle).

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  • Are You Ensuring Supplier Quality?

    8 July, 2014 Christine Park, Quality Architech, Christine Park & Associates

    "Everyone cares about quality. Just ask them. However, unless someone actively measures quality performance, you must question the commitment to improvement."

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  • Listening and Being Heard are Important to Regulated Companies

    3 July, 2014 by Brian Curran, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Strategy, MasterControl Inc.

    If you’re wondering why your company should listen to your customers, or why as a customer you should be heard, just think of Twitter. Twitter and hashtags seem synonymous. But hashtags didn’t exist until a user suggested it in 2007. It took two years before Twitter, which was founded in 2006, started hyperlinking hashtags.

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  • Strategies for Addressing the Top 3 Quality Pains in a Regulated Environment

    8 May, 2014 by Paul Sanderson Lead, Solutions Consultants Group, MasterControl Inc.

    In the past 10 years that I’ve been working with highly regulated companies, I’ve seen many organizations find out the hard way that quality does not occur by accident. Quality requires good planning, design, and execution.

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  • Six Easy Criteria for Targeting a Good Process

    6 May, 2014 Jason Piatt, President, Praestar-Consulting

    Whether we’re practicing Lean or Six Sigma, what we’re really targeting is process improvement. The process could be technical, commercial, or a support-process to the standard order-to-delivery process within the context of our manufacturing environment. All too often, manufacturing executives mistake a sequence of activities to be a process. That’s simply not the case. So, what makes a good process? 

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  • How Do I Follow The Trail?

    1 May, 2014 by Jamie Colgin, President, Colgin Consulting, Inc.

    One of the most effective audits I ever participated in started with a systems-naive auditor asking a simple question: "Imagine I'm a sample arriving at your loading dock. What happens to me?" We proceeded down the trail together, following the sample through the processes of accessioning, analysis, reporting, and storage.

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  • Quality Beliefs Determine Behavior

    29 April, 2014 by Craig Gygi, Executive Vice President Operations, MasterControl Inc.

    A few years back, I helped an international holding company assess the operations of their portfolio of companies. They wanted to know things like, “How Lean is the operation at each company?” “How far along is each company in its Six Sigma improvement journey?” And “What are the common opportunities and strengths we can build upon?” I visited company sites, reviewed operation activities, collected data, and interviewed executives and staff. I found that in many ways, the foundation for excellence in operations can be boiled down to a single, simple question: “How do you define quality?”

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  • Demystifying FDA/CDRH Appeals Process

    3 April, 2014 by David Lim, President and Principal of Regulatory Doctor and Yoonhee Beatty, Regulatory Affairs Associate, Bard Access Systems, Inc.

    We present a summary of available options to request additional review of FDA decisions or actions, including how to choose an option when a stakeholder has reasonable grounds to disagree with FDA/CDRH’s decision. It is worthwhile to note and get familiarized with the available options. However, it is recommended the stakeholder try to avoid having such situations in the first place.

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  • What Does the New FDA Guidance on Electronic Submissions Mean?

    25 February, 2014 by Cindy Fazzi, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    Two years after the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) became law, the FDA has taken a step forward in requiring electronic submissions under FDASIA. Do you know how this new requirement is going to affect your submissions?

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  • Responding to FDA 483s: Do’s, Don’ts, and When to Call In a Remediation Partner

    14 February, 2014 Lisa Weeks, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    Operating under the oversight of the FDA and other global regulatory agencies creates a climate of transparency for regulated companies; any misstep can result in severe consequences such as product seizures, recalls, or company closure. Therefore, the way you respond to FDA Form-483 observations, warning letters, and other critical events is vital to your company's survival. Having a sound quality management system in place is critical, but when remedial action is necessary, time is of the essence. After all, you have only 15 working days from the receipt of the 483 to respond!

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  • Where Are You in Your Quality Management Maturity?

    31 January, 2014 Robyn Barnes, Public Relations Specialist, MasterControl Inc.

    We’ve all heard about quality management journeys or trips down the quality lane. I heard someone recently equate quality to following the yellow brick road. Quality similes are usually about pathways but this week, I read a new description.

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  • A Risk-Based Approach to Validation

    10 December, 2013 Peter Knauer, Partner Consultant, MasterControl Inc.

    FDA classically has defined the requirements for validation under 21 CFR 820 and 210/211 regulations as a comprehensive testing process where all systems are given thorough examination and tested under equal weight, complete with an exhaustive evaluation process. Recent guidance and initiatives by FDA (Process Validation: General Principles and Practices) and ICH (Q11: DEVELOPMENT AND MANUFACTURE OF DRUG SUBSTANCES) have provided a streamlined risk based approach under an updated life cycle management methodology. Under this scenario, a new definition of validation has emerged, best described by FDA as “the collection and evaluation of data, from the process design stage through production, which establishes scientific evidence that a process is capable of consistently delivering quality products.” This is in contrast to the classical definition as perhaps best emphasized in the device regulations under 21 CFR 820.75:

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