QMT Features: March 2008
Calibration management
Moving from spreadsheets to a formal calibration software solution can be easier than you think.

Formal calibration software programs have provided viable calibration management solutions for two decades, so why do many companies still rely on standard spreadsheets to record and track calibrations?

Spreadsheets can be cumbersome for even the most adept users. Activities such as entering and retrieving calibration records can seem like looking for a needle in a haystack and events such as flagging out-of-tolerance gages and email notifications are not automatic. There is also the issue of security.

The perception may exist that making the move to a formal calibration software solution would require manual re-entry of years’ worth of data; that such a solution would be difficult to learn; or that a formal calibration software solution is “too expensive”.

In reality, many calibration software solutions provide easy-to-use data transfer utilities (DTUs) which safely and quickly move your data from a spreadsheet into the calibration software solution’s database. Calibration software solutions tend to be easy-to-use and have been perfected in that regard over the past twenty years. And, with a wide-range of calibration management software now available; one can be found to meet almost every budget. 

Many calibration software solutions also provide you with the ability to customise fields, labels, etc., as easy, if not easier, than adjusting spreadsheets.
Given the variety of calibration management software solutions available in the marketplace, it’s easy to move from standard spreadsheets to a formal calibration management software solution.

Start by answering a few questions:

  1. How might a formal calibration software solution make my company more efficient and productive? (Requesting and checking out free demonstrationss of calibration software solutions will help provide you with answers to this question)
  2. At what level is my company’s current calibration management program and what level of improvement and efficiency gains would my company like to achieve?
  3. How could my company benefit from marketing the use of a formal calibration software solution to current and prospective customers?
  4. How much easier and less stressful would a formal calibration software solution make documentation and audits for me and my company?
  5. Formal calibration software solutions have built-in automation; how much time and effort would automation save me and my company?
  6. Would my company be willing to invest the equivalent of less than one month of my annual salary (8.3%) to make me 20% or more productive in my job?

Answering these questions will most likely reveal that you and your company would benefit greatly by moving from standard spreadsheets (or index cards) to a formal calibration software solution.

How do I begin a search to upgrade my company’s existing calibration management program? Review respected trade magazines to find editorial and advertisements related to calibration software solutions. Search the Internet to locate calibration software solutions providers that might suit your company’s needs. Compile a list of calibration management software solutions which you would like to review…

Then it’s between you and the software vendor. Most calibration software vendors are happy to provide you with a CD or download of their software solution for free. Often the demo allows you to work the software solution for thirty days.

Most calibration software solutions providers will even walk you through a demo over the web. Well-versed in the capabilities of their products, and adept at answering questions from novice to expert users of their solutions, it’s well worth the time to shop your needs with experienced, knowledgeable calibration software managers. These providers live on customer referrals; as such, they are unlikely to recommend anything other than a software solution which fits your needs. Do not hesitate to ask for a list of customer referrals (who used to use spreadsheets, prior to their calibration management software solution).

Once you’ve done your research and made your selection, you’ll be up and running in no time! l


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