• 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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  • Happy Employees Matter

    1 July, 2014 by Curt Porritt, Senior Vice President Marketing, MasterControl Inc.

    Every year, Fortune Magazine publishes a list of the top 100 companies to work for. These companies are well known for how well they treat their employees. In 2005, Deloitte Consulting decided to see if there was a correlation between a positive work environment and corporate success. They tracked the shareholder returns of the 56 publicly traded companies on Fortune’s 2005 list of best companies to work for. According to this study, these companies not only consistently beat the S&P 500, but “walloped it.” Companies that have happy employees apparently have a better chance of success than those who don’t. As Deloitte principle Bob Dalton explained, “This puts real data on something that seems intuitively true.” *

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  • Creating a Global Regulatory Plan

    24 June, 2014 by Cheryl Wagoner, Wagoner Consulting LLC

    Having and maintaining strong global regulatory strategy and plans can help your business not only stay in compliance but can be an integral part of corporate market growth strategies. How many of us have jumped into a new market before fully understanding the regulatory requirements and the potential impact of those requirements? If you have, you are not alone. Mapping the requirements as part of your strategic planning may help you identify a great new market or help you avoid a costly mistake.

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  • Partnering with Quality Professionals Worldwide

    19 June, 2014 by Jon Beckstrand, CEO, MasterControl Inc.

    MasterControl has grown our reach significantly over the last 10 years—from a small provider of a narrowly focused document control product to one of the largest organizations in the world focused on helping quality and compliance professionals achieve their purpose. I have met with many of the world’s top quality professionals over the past 10 years and I have been amazed by their devotion and commitment. I have recently found myself asking the question: What drives these dedicated people? Why are they so passionate about their jobs? I believe I have found the answer and it has had a strong effect on how I view MasterControl’s mission.

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  • 3 Common Cybersecurity Mistakes in Pharma (and How to Avoid Them)

    17 June, 2014 by Jim King, Senior VP of Technical Support & Infrastructure, MasterControl Inc.

    Due to the ever-rising position of information as a valuable commodity, organizations must take steps to protect their data. For pharma and life sciences companies, the question is not if their digital data will be compromised, but when. Here are three common security mistakes made by enterprises and ways to avoid those mistakes by focusing on employee behavior.

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  • Quality’s Role in Drug Approvals

    12 June, 2014 by Theresa Allio, Ph.D.

    In a recent review, I summarized the underlying reasons contributing to delayed market entry for 51 product applications submitted to CDER between 2009 and 2012.1 Reasons cited in the complete response letters issued for these applications covered a number of areas, including safety, efficacy, regulatory, labeling and quality related issues. Quality- related issues were one of the most prominent reasons for delay of market entry with deficiencies being cited in 20/51 (39%) of applications. GMP inspection failures and data deficiencies contributed equally to the quality citations. The prominence of quality-related issues in the delay of product approvals emphasizes the importance of robust quality programs in drug development. Understanding what elements have posed as hurdles in past development programs will help a sponsor avoid these pitfalls in the future.

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  • MasterControl Demonstrating Quality Management Software at MD&M East and DIA

    12 June, 2014 by Robyn Barnes, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    June is the month for weddings and trade shows. Though we're not celebrating any nuptials, you’ll find MasterControl at MD&M East this week and at DIA the week of June 15.

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  • Five Trends Transforming the Medical Device Industry in 2014

    5 June, 2014 by Lisa Weeks, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    Five Trends Transforming the Medical Device Industry in 2014

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  • How Can You Measure the Return on Your QMS Investment?

    29 May, 2014 by James Jardine, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    Every provider of electronic quality management systems claims its product will give you a significant return on your investment. But how can this ROI be truly measured? To find out, MasterControl recently surveyed customers to learn more about their levels of waste and efficiency before and after implementation of MasterControl's quality management system (QMS). Some of the results of the survey are compiled here in an informative infographic.

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  • How to Cut Your Document-Approval Cycle Time Using Escalation

    27 May, 2014 by Marty Jackson, Professional Services Consultant, MasterControl Inc.

    From SOPs and procedures to CAPAs and deviations, most regulated companies maintain document-based and form-based processes for compliance and business reasons. How do you get approval for your documents and forms? How many processes do you have and how long is your approval cycle time for each one?

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  • Ruined by Best Efforts

    22 May, 2014 by Craig Gygi, Executive Vice President, MasterControl Inc.

    When W. Edwards Deming famously said, “We are being ruined by ‘best efforts,’” he was conveying the idea that simply striving to improve—even with laudable effort—can actually have the opposite outcome. How can this be? How could good intentions and diligent work ever possibly sabotage us? Well, they do all the time.

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  • The Top 6 Pains in DHF Management

    20 May, 2014 by Matthew M. Lowe, Executive Vice President, MasterControl Inc.

    In my experience working in medical device product development and product management, maintaining the design history file (DHF) posed daunting challenges because it was a process that continued throughout the lifecycle of a product. Even years after a medical device is launched, it’s not uncommon for the technical lead to revisit the DHF because the product is undergoing an iteration or it’s being launched in another part of the world.

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  • Understanding European Declarations of Conformity or Incorporation

    13 May, 2014 by Robyn Barnes, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    In the wonderful world of medical device regulation, a manufacturer may find it easy to become confused with FDA rules.  When your product moves to the international market, there are new rules that must be followed to get your product to market. 

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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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  • Conducting an Effective Failure Investigation: Going Deep Enough to Hit Root Cause

    24 April, 2014 by Christine Park, Quality Architech, Christine Park & Associates

    The FDA has increased focus on the effectiveness of failure investigations during recent inspections. A review of recent 483 observations and warning letters clearly demonstrate the agency’s current concern about the adequacy of failure investigations to really identify root cause.

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  • Principles of Lean Documents

    22 April, 2014 by José Ignacio Mora, Owner, Atzari Enterprises, L.L.C.

    Many would chuckle at this story as a simplistic analogy.  Yet, there are many lessons from this example that could apply to a medical device facility.  No, it’s not a controlled document in the sense most understand it.  But the owner would not want it to be this morning’s breakfast menu during dinner, or to display last year’s prices.  Nor would she want it to show meal options that are not available.

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