Data Presentation: Best Practices for Your CMMS System

A validated CMMS (Calibration and Maintenance Management Software) system is a great tool to help you remain in compliance with your calibration and maintenance operations. There are a few options available, with several legacy products out there, and some relatively new products, like GxPReady! Suite. Deciding which product is right for you is key to achieving your compliance goals.

As a small to medium sized business, calibration and maintenance are essential to smooth operation of equipment, and therefore, manufacturing, which is often what drives revenues. Cost is obviously a concern, so the CMMS system you choose should have controlled initial and year to year costs. One way to control that is with a subscription based model which allows you to pay as you go and change systems when it is necessary and or convenient for your company.

Another major item is compliance, of course. Or rather, demonstration of compliance. This is where data presentation can be a key distinction between validated CMMS systems. Consider the following situation: during an audit, perhaps by a customer or a regulatory agency, a request is made to provide documentation that a particular item is calibrated. Often this can come during a walk through of the facility where a person may ask to see the most recent calibration of a WFI TOC meter, for example.

In such a case, your goal is to provide the information to the requestor quickly and in a manner that resolves the issue and allows the facility review to proceed unimpeded. This is where data presentation can become an issue.

Typically, such a request could be resolved by presenting a hardcopy of the calibration certificate from the calibration files, or perhaps a copy. This includes all of the relevant information about the calibration including dates, personnel involved, standards used, tolerances, results, etc. However, these days, with paperless systems, there may be no hard copy record, as data may be entered directly into the validated CMMS system. Moreover, the information that is normally on a certificate may be distributed over several screens on the CMMS system and may not presentable in a way that the reviewer can come away with a single document.

This presents challenges to the reviewers and the person trying to communicate the information. Obviously, the system is validated and the data should be good. All the data should be in there, but it may take time to walk the reviewer through the screens to demonstrate that the dara are there and are sufficiently reviewed, etc. Then, what started about a very simple request about a calibration can grow into an analysis of the calibration system in general, traceability, audit trails, security, etc. Again, this can become a distraction for both the reviewer and the reviewed.

This is where data presentation can save you. A good feature in your validated CMMS system is to be able to access and print records that have data presented in a manner that is useful to a reviewer. Regardless or how the data are captured, it is a great feature to be able to print a document that meets a potential reviewer’s needs. Then instead of having to drag the reviewer out of the field, or drag a laptop or tablet out to the field, you can simply take a sheet or two of paper to accomplish the same thing, without sidetracking the reviewer into your validated CMMS system. It also, conveniently, provides the reviewer with a simple document for his or her records that requires no further explanation.

GxPReady! Suite was designed with the intent of helping customers have and easy way to manage and document their calibration, validation, and maintenance activities. A large part of this involves your ability to present data that are likely to be required by a potential reviewer of your systems and practices. Of course, we have the validation and audit trails to back it up, but a key objective of the software is to improve your ability to be compliant and easily demonstrate that you are with minimum effort.