The cost of non-conformities

Have you ever stopped to determine just how much it costs to respond to non-conformities after an on-site assessment? If you’re like me, it can be frustrating going back and forth with a quality analyst during the 90-day resolution process.

The question is, what does it cost in time, money, resources, and the overall impact on your business? If the average laboratory spends 50 hours resolving non-conformities, this can easily be translated into $5,000 in direct costs to the company. And this doesn’t include the impact on business and the lack of an effective quality management system (QMS).

Minimizing non-conformities when it’s time for your on-site assessment is best done by habitually and consistently maintaining your QMS year round, on a month-in and month-out basis – not just when it’s “time.” The best way to assure a smooth assessment process is to have an easily accessible system in place for all lab personnel so as to include everyone’s input and interaction.

The right tools and resources

One of the first actions that a laboratory must take when establishing a quality management system is to determine how the policies will be managed, the procedures to be maintained and how to maintain records for a minimum of 5 years required by AASHTO R18. There are many options available from cumbersome three-ring binders to costly sophisticated and customized software programs.

Be interactive

Whatever system you choose to manage your QMS with, all aspects should be reviewed on a monthly basis in order to be current. Would you fly on an airplane if you knew the pilot flew only occasionally and without periodic training and checks? Would you do business with a lab that didn’t have an effective QMS in place? Didn’t think so!

The advantage of managing with R18LabQMS

Each month, you have the opportunity to review the management and technical sections using the recurring checklist on the dashboard. Email reminders are also sent that include equipment procedures, internal audit reports, technician training and certifications.

Recent questions by users

Q: Can I bypass the setup process and go straight to the dashboard?

A: Yes, however you will not be able to go back and work through the setup process. Please note that if you click on the quality manual tab you will be able to edit all sections similar to the setup process.

Q: Why don’t I have procedures appear on the dashboard for equipment that I have put in my inventory?

A: Procedures must be added to “equipment”. This can be done by: manage lab/view inventory/actions/edit equipment.


R18LabQMS YouTube Channel

Training and Informational Videos that includes version updates, R18LabQMS demos, and more.

AASHTO re:source University

Training opportunities

Once you work through the setup process, the following links can be found in the upper right hand corner of the application;

         Knowledge Base / Help

         Support – Email Us

        WebEx – Additional training, please let us know and we can set this up.

         Onsite Training – Fee-based, please inquire.


As of August 22nd it’s AASHTO re:source (formerly AMRL), they have refocused, and are rebranding. Their new website is AASHTO resource.org.

For all questions regarding your quality management systems whether your lab is accredited or not please contact us and learn how R18LabQMS can ad  value to your company.

– Gary Irvine