We are often asked how often we make upgrades to R18LabQMS. In this post, we will address this topic and summarize the upgrades and enhancements made for 2023, along with what is coming in the near future.
Each year we review the quality standards and comments from users and then make changes as needed. This process generally begins in Q4 of a given year with a launch date by the end of Q1 the following year. This year we established an R18LabQMS collaboration team for this process that will include a strong beta testing process.
So let’s take a look at 2023.
February 15th, Version 2.5
Our 30th major upgrade since the initial launch of R18LabQMS with V1.0 March 2013. The focus was on adding ASTM Quality Standards to the quality manual tab which can be added by going to the managed lab tab, and then quality standards ‘edit’ on the left-hand column. Read about this upgrade in more detail on the blog titled Version 2.5 ASTM Quality Standards launch date.
April, Version 2.6
Inventory import phase 1 – equipment only. This upgrade was made at the request of new users asking about the ability to import a large number of equipment into their inventory. With this benefiting virtually all users, we explored the options. Phase 1 of this upgrade was to add the equipment only (no cal/check/standard or maintenance procedures) and to perfect the process. Adding the ability to add procedures would come later.
The equipment importing process is done by going to the Inventory tab, click on Import Inventory where a dialog box will pop up, you will find ‘download template’ that will be populated with equipment details and required fields (header columns with an *). Once completed, upload this file within the dialog box.
May, Version 2.7
Inventory import phase 2 – equipment + procedures, (cal/check/standard and maintenance). Procedures must be established within the application for your account with the following required information: Upload ID, which can be found under managed lab tab/equipment procedures, and next procedure date. The download template previously mentioned will be used for this process.
Option to exclude system-level procedures
This was provided for labs that only want to choose/see procedures created and managed by their lab. System-level procedures are generic in nature and were created and managed within the R18LabQMS admin. When adding system level procedures be sure to review before implementation. This option can only be used by the primary lab manager (PLM) role.
User restrictions with satellite labs
When going to the manage lab tab / equipment procedures widget, the PLM has the option to restrict satellite lab users from adding or making edits to equipment procedures.
When going to the Manage Lab Tab / Lab Positions widget, the PLMh has the option to restrict satellite lab users from adding or making edits to position descriptions.
Corporate quality manual (CQM) section 5.2.5 was added within the admin. If users wish to implement the CQM from the primary lab, simply go to the quality manual tab, section 5.2.5 and click Edit CQM. By doing this the CQM will appear in all satellite labs as well as the primary lab. Also, when implementing the CQM feature, sections that are covered within the CQM document will be hidden, while sections that remain will be users/lab personnel, etc.
For more specific information regarding the CQM please go to the AASHTO re:source website for details: Policy and Guidance on Corporate Quality Management System (QMS) Reviews.
Q: I’m new to laboratory accreditation and in the process of getting our laboratory accredited with AASHTO re:source, where do I start?
A: Well, you made the right choice to manage your quality manual with R18LabQMS, that will make the process a lot smoother and remove an enormous amount of stress. I always tell labs three basic action items in the process of accreditation must be addressed:
We also offer on-site and virtual training to help with the process, please inquire.
BONUS content for our R18LabQMS Users:
Passwords should be 8-70 characters with upper- and lower-case letters and numbers.
Once you work through the setup process, the following links can be found in the lower right-hand corner of the application.
Training – onboarding process
Getting started happens within the setup process, it’s intuitive and follows the sections that require procedures within the management and technical sections. Each section number within the setup process corresponds to AASHTO R18. You can either enter your procedure Itself for each section or upload a file with the details of the procedure. I always tell labs during a demo that it’s much like a ‘Turbo Tax’ experience as it walks you through each step.
Once you have completed the setup process, or wish to move on to the dashboard view, just click save progress and exit setup in the upper right-hand corner. It’s straightforward and intuitive.
Upon exiting the setup process, there will be a dialog box that pops up asking you if you would like to add additional ASTM Quality Standards, and their sub-standards, i.e., D3666 (aggregate).
Additional Training needed to jump start the onboarding process:
We target a specific area for training and limit the time to one hour. An example would be adding equipment procedures to your equipment. There is no charge for virtual training limited to one hour.
We spend one day in your laboratory to review all aspects of your Quality Manual and take a deep dive into R18labQMS implementation. This training is fee-based, please inquire.
Upcoming meetings and sponsorship we will soon be attending:
Little Rock, Arkansas, November 14-16, 2023
Gary Irvine, from the Asphalt Institute, joins us to discuss the benefits of moving from a paper QMS to a digital system.
For all questions regarding your quality management system, whether your lab is accredited or not, please contact us and learn how R18LabQMS can add value to your laboratory.
One last favor to ask, if there is a specific topic of discussion you would like to see in upcoming posts, please send us a note.
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R18LabQMS Program Manager