Unshakeable document control

Diageo is a global alcoholic drinks manufacturer, the world’s second largest distiller and owner of brands like Guinness, Smirnoff, Baileys and Johnnie Walker. The company employs over 30,000 employees across 200 sites, with operations in more than 30 countries.

All of Diageo’s production sites are required to have documented health and safety, environmental and quality management systems – which are all monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.

In 2004, Diageo began a project to rationalise their quality management systems. Their commitment to quality meant that all offices and manufacturing locations operated quality management systems designed to support compliance with standards such as ISO 9001, as well as a variety of other local standards and regulations.

After a review of existing systems, it became evident that each location employed its own separate tools to help them manage the quality systems. Some facilities had built their own software tools, others had purchased software packages, and many operated paper-based systems.

A major goal of the project was to introduce a single, standardised web-based tool set that all Diageo sites and businesses could use. This would facilitate the integration and sharing of information across sites, ensuring a more consistent approach and reducing variation across one of the world’s largest corporations.

As well as these obvious benefits, Diageo expected their new system to help:

  • Slice their document management and auditing time expenditure
  • Improve document access and exchange while preserving security and control
  • Streamline the auditing process to encourage continuous inspection and improvement
baileys diageo

As testament to the success of their partnership with Qualsys, in October 2017 Diageo saw off all competition to be crowned the winner of the Institute of Directors’s (IoD) and Chartered Quality Institute’s (CQI) annual Good Governance Report. 47 good governance indicators, including audit and risk planning and management, were assessed and fed into a final GGI Index score. Diageo emerged the winner with a score of 837 out of 1000.

Robert Oakley, Commercial Director at Qualsys, commented:

Diageo have been using our quality management software to manage their documentation and audits for over a decade, and over that time, we’ve seen their governance, risk and compliance management system mature.

Qualsys has been working closely with the Diageo team to make governance, risk and compliance a natural part of the company culture. It’s really rewarding to see that all the hard work has been recognised.

diageo guinness

I've been our document management co-ordinator since we rolled out Qualsys's GRC software more than 10 years ago. I like the system a lot, and it's grown considerably since then. I look after 13 sites with nearly 12,000 documents so I'm kept very busy with document reviews, change requests and uploading new documents. It's a very user-friendly system. I do feel that it can be quite time-consuming behind the scenes but this makes for a very compliant system which, when areas are being audited, is a great help. Qualsys's support has been great over the years and they answer all queries and requests in a timely manner.

Janice McMillan at Diageo

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