Multi-Site Document Control

My company will be opening a 2nd manufacturing site within the next month and we are getting our work instructions and documentation together. For those who work at a multi-site company, how do you handle Work Instructions for different locations? Do you simply put the site location in the title? Use different filters within your EQMS? We are trying to avoid getting granular with numbering schemes. Any ideas are much appreciated!

8 Replies

I work at a multi-site company. We have 2 facilities that produce our one product, and another facility that repackages that same product for retail. Our method for identification of documents is using the first digit to identify section. S for Safety, Q for Quality, B for Bulk, R for Repackaging, etc. If there's different work instructions between the bulk facilities, we'll add a 1 or 2 for which bulk facility it is.

I hope this helps 😊

One way to better manage is to differentiate with numeric code if individual facility has got different work instruction,

using same number with title addressing location may lead to wrong usages

Most eDMS will have a location field to differentiate. This field should be multi-select. This can then drive views, searches and other ways to serve content to end-users.

Be careful to avoid a solution that makes it difficult in the future to have WIs cover more than one location. Avoid numbering schemes or titles.

Jair Aldana
10 Posts

If you EDMS allows, adding a site location for use can be configured into the creation of the document and will be a field viewable when document is accessed, if you want to go beyond, if your system allows permission control, you can give permission to document access per role or site. I agree it is not best practice to use numbering schemes or titles. To take this beyond, investing in a PLM system is the way to go, this will streamline product and processes.

We now use an EQMS with a single number for all worldwide documents for uniqueness, integrity and traceability. All other details such as Location, Revision History, Approvals, User Roles and Permissions we manage through each document's metadata. No need to make codes for locations, areas, purposes, etc.

I managed the QA/QC for several different companies with multi-sites nationally (US) and internationally. To maintain ‘control’ ALL work instructions and procedures really need to be controlled at the local level. Sharing “best practices” between sites is encouraged, but each site must have its own unique identifier and authorizations for generation, review, and approval. Corporate unity is maintained through the corporate audit function, inter-site meetings, and system transparency (availability of all documents and process maps across the company).

All good ideas. I managed a system for 52 facilities and we used a a 3 letter designation for the facility and maintained the number from the standard. This was so when a facility did not have a documented process and was looking to add one, they could search by the standard number to help them get started on documenting the process.

SharePoint can be good for document control on multi-site