Q&A

Module Guide - A Deeper Dive!

Introduction

The Q&A section of V5 Traceability forms the cornerstone of the system’s Quality Control functionality. It is designed to allow manufacturers to run Quality Control checks in a 100% digital manner.

V5 Traceability Q&A provides controls for manufacturers to trigger production suspension after critical non-conformances, emailing alerts to management and supervisors.

In this section, we can create questions and messages that will be displayed to Terminal or WMS operatives at a variety of different event points, such as the start of a batch, when receiving a purchase order, and many others.

This page will cover how to set these up in Control Center and will illustrate some examples of where they will be triggered for operators.

Table of Contents

1. Q&A Setup

The first step to setting up Q&A is to first create a question. This is done by hitting the green ‘+’ in the top left panel, which creates a new entry on the list. The desired question can then be typed manually into the ‘Question/Message’ box.

Note that the ‘Group’ column is a non-mandatory, freetext field used to create custom groups of questions. In this example we can see there are different question groups for mixing, receiving purchase orders, moving stock etc. This is used mainly for the grouping of reports (see ‘Reports’ section of the online help).

 

It is then important to define the ‘type’ of question being asked. In this first example we will set up a ‘Question/Message’ type. This is the standard/default type of question that the system uses.

1.1. Question/Message

This type selection indicates that our example should be treated as a question or a message. If answers are entered in the bottom panel, the system will present this as a question. Equally if no answers are entered then the system will show this as a message. This is unless the ‘Allow Undefined Response’ box is checked. In these instances, the user will have the option to enter whatever response they want. This is useful for adding more information to an existing selection based/predefined answer.

In this example we will set up the question/message ‘Any signs of moisture damage?’

With this highlighted in the top left panel, we can use the green ‘+’ in the top right panel to add conditions under which this question will be asked.

  

As we can see, questions can be triggered by a variety of different events and activities. In this example, we will select ‘Sugar’ under ‘Commodity’ and ‘Goods In’ under ‘Event’. This means that the question will be triggered whenever sugar is received into stock. It is worth noting here that formulas can be selected under the ‘Commodity’ dropdown.

  

Selecting ‘All’ in commodities will make the question apply to all commodities, unless specifically excluded. Some events however will not adhere to commodity selection, such as a user logging in or out.

We can also use ‘Location’ to specify in what location our question will be asked. This dropdown is populated from ‘Production Locations’ that are setup in the ‘Locations’ section of Control Center  (see the ‘Locations’ section of the online help for more details). This is useful if we want to ask a question in one specific location but not another. For example we might want to check for water damage when stocking sugar into our manufacturing location, but not before any lab testing we may want to do.

 

A full list of all event triggers, as well as documented functionality of other fields present in this panel can be found here.

Finally, the bottom panel allows us to add responses to the question being asked in the top left panel. Several different answers can be entered here to be presented to the user being asked the question. In this example though we are going to have a simple choice of yes or no.

 

We can see this in action now as we try to complete a purchase order for sugar and bring it into stock in WMS. The system will now ask us the question that we just set up.

 

–Termination, Notification & Additional Requirements

In the bottom panel, along with entered answers, we have additional options here that allows each answer to potentially:

  • Terminate the current process.
  • Notify a specific user that this answer has been selected.
  • Require a picture to be taken using the a camera attached to the system (either a webcam or an integrated camera if using tablets).
  • Require the operator to input additional comments to be recorded against their chosen answer.

 

Termination applies only to questions/messages asked during sales, purchase order processing and job/product start events. If this box is checked and the answer selected, the relevant process will be suspended. Where applicable the trailer in question will also be marked as ‘suspect’ in the future.

Notifications are extremely useful for tracking events that require further action from management.  If the ‘Notifies User’ box is checked against an answer in this list, the results of this answer will be emailed to that user. The user must have an email entered against them in the ‘Operators‘ window.

In our example here, if the newly stocked in sugar is water damaged it may not be very useful for batch production and management will need to be informed in order to seek replacement stock and contact the relevant supplier etc.

  

Please contact SG support for further information and assistance on how to set this feature up.

1.2. Link

The next type of question the system provides is a ‘Link’, which as the name suggests, opens a URL link once triggered. This is useful for linking to other applications or websites. The desired URL should be entered in the ‘Question/Message’ field in the top left panel.

 

Commodity and event triggers work the same here as with the previous type of question. In this instance we are going to apply this question to a batch start of all commodities, so essentially whenever a batch is started the desired link will be opened on the user’s terminal.

 

1.3. Image Capture

The final different type(s) of questions the system can ask will ask the operator to take one or more photographs. ‘Image Capture’ will prompt the user to take one photo, whereas ‘Image Capture (Multiple) will allow the user to capture/save as many photos as they want.

 

As with all previous question types, commodity and event triggers work in exactly the same way. In this instance we will make the question trigger at the start of a Purchase Order for any commodity, and we will ask our operator to take a photo of the delivery trailer’s license plate.

  

If we then attempt to start processing a Purchase Order in WMS, then the system will prompt us to take a photo using the system’s camera.

 

2. Q&A Usage In Formulas

In all these previous examples we have used commodity and event triggers to tell the system when to ask our questions. This does not always have to be the case though. We can leave the top right panel empty and then use a question/message as a formula step.

 

In this case we are going to create a message to tell our operator to ‘Turn mixer on low speed for 60 seconds’. As mentioned above we will not enter any event or commodity triggers for this.

 

As we saw previously, we can also use this as an opportunity to use the notification system, telling the system to notify management if there is an issue with the mixer in question.

 

If we then go to our ‘Formulas’ page within Control Centre (see ‘Formulas’ section for more details) and edit the steps of a formula, we can see that, if we drop down the ‘type’ menu in the bottom panel when adding a step, we have the option for either ‘Question’ or ‘Message’. For this example, we will choose ‘Question’.

Once ‘Question’ or ‘Message’ is selected, we can use the ‘Message’ Column dropdown to select our desired question from the list.

 

As we can now see, when we run a batch of this formula through Terminal, we are then asked this question after adding the previous 3 ingredients. Note how a ‘response’ window is also available, a result of allowing an undefined response in the question setup above. This could be used for the operator to give more information on mixer issues if this needs to be reported to management.

 

In the formula step setup above, we selected ‘question’ as our message type, however, we could also choose ‘message’ instead. If this is selected, the system will present the same information to the operator, but there will be no response options, just the ability to acknowledge the message and move on to the next step in the formula by hitting the green check button.

 

This is useful for questions/messages that do not require a user response, but act as a reminder to perform certain actions at specific points in a batch’s production.

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