It allows us to control and manage our non-conforming audits. We can then manage the workflow and get the right information back to the right decision makers.
I also like the reporting. By way of background, we previously managed our quality systems with an Atlassian solution. While it had a lot of the same functionalities as Intellect (workflows, assignments, data gathering), it was really lacking in the ability to do different integrations between tables. It was more of a flat file.
Intellect has the ability to duplicate the same type of functionality as far as the workflows, assignments and status with the added ability to have relational database where we can do better reporting.
Improvements to My Organization:
What we do with that report is try to improve the quality of our product. Where we were only able to get in a single dimension of various non-conformance or corrective actions or business related, we're able to have multi-dimensional reports that give us an excellent picture of what's going on in our business. We have a large supply base that forms a product in our business, and being able to make good decisions, what to do with vendors, and identify gaps has been really valuable to us.
Room for Improvement:
It is a very feature rich product. We haven't reached the limit of what we intend to do with it by any means, but certainly we desire and we've got pretty big imaginations here. We do want to do some pretty cool stuff, so there are some things that we've requested.
I think the one thing that's immediate right now is the ability to publish selective things instead of the entire application itself. Literally, at this very moment, in a situation where when I started making some major changes for another release, which impacts things that are in use right now very significantly.
I've got users out there that need me to make changes to the current setup that are fairly minor, but I have to make an archive of my design environment, put it off to the side, and adapt the environment to my design environment, make those changes, publish it, then right back and then duplicate everything I just did. I want to add a report, or I only want to publish a single app. I know it's standalone in and of itself, and it's been hard from a design standpoint.
Use of Solution:
We've used it for four years.
We haven't had any issues with deployment.
There were times that it was fairly unstable. Just last week, they moved us to a new server hosted by Amazon. There's been two instances in the last month or two where our design database disappeared completely and then magically reappeared, and we don't know why yet. We are working with Intellect to try to figure it out. There's the suspicion of one or two things may be self-inflicted.
There were times where our production site was slow, and we think that that might be fixed now with the hosting on the new server.
Scalability was one of the key decision in going with Intellect. We did look at quite a few different solutions. We considered external development and had some very competitive bids. We looked at some competing products, but Intellect stood out primarily because of it's scalability and the ease of development. I did a test case development over the period of a couple weeks where I was able to get familiar with the product, how to build an application and publish it over a couple weeks. For me, that's what really sold me on it -- its user friendliness and then also the fact that it really isn't limited to larger organizations or smaller. It's something that we can build out and it's going to be able to grow.
With scalability, I don't see as an issue. There isn't a user cap, with the exception of the number of licenses that we have available to us.
Holistically, I could see Intellect serving us for the next three to seven years with ease.
I checked in with the helpdesk, with the technical people there, in particular I've been working with a particular employee a lot, calling him up in a panic a couple of time, and he's been incredibly helpful and very responsive.
The setup was pretty straightforward. I've been managing software development groups for twenty plus years and used all sorts of different kinds of applications that you have to do all sorts of configurations, and it was very easy for me because I could tell it was based off of the net UL database with and afp.net interface. I've worked in that environment before, several times, so a lot of this is familiar to me.
Other Solutions Considered:
We considered our own custom development. We really never considered any out-of-the-box solution before. The two options were self-implementation and a customized solution that we had developed externally. This definitely seemed like the right route to go. It was very competitive in terms of cost.
The time for us to develop was reasonable. In other words, while we build our apps, we're the experts on how our business works and we can go in and fine-tune the apps to work with the people that actually use them. For us to develop it here internally made a lot more sense.
Know your business and have a plan. I would say that you should really try to establish some realistic expectations for implementation. You need to have your processes somewhat formalized. If you do that, then building out a workflow and trying to decide user groups and users, that really comes down to the way the business works. Knowing your business is a really significant first step.