I am a SQE for a small med-device manufacturer. At present I am updating our procedures/forms used within our Supplier Quality Management System. The update will to add provision for performing virtual audits. To clarify, a virtual audit is performed remotely (like a desktop audit) but includes much person-to-person interaction through the use of teleconferencing via the Internet. I am hoping that others who have already established virtual audit processes can respond and report on, for example, what works well and what does not? Perhaps a top three of each, or similar.
Some concerns that I have:
- File sharing. When the supplier is willing to share, is there one method that works best? Using cloud sites like dropbox, or email?
- Virtual Facility Tours. What are some of the tools that folks have used for this moving video capture?
- Risk analyses. In my case, most of the suppliers for whom a traditional onsite audit is required might be a candidate for a virtual audit. However, the fact that they are being audited at all is usually indication that they have a process deemed critical. We will have to determine if a virtual observation of the process will be satisfactory. The worse-case is that all of our virtual audits would have to include onsite follow-up, at least to observe the critical process(es). Any thoughts on this topic?
Regards, Will Leonard
Duke Okes is another who might be able to provide some insights.
I'm adding a link to a recent Quality Progress article my Lance Coleman that might be helpful to you: