An approach structured for success
The cornerstone of our commitment to building long-term relationships with our customers is making every interaction an outstanding experience. From the start of our discovery process, we strive to thoroughly understand our customer’s requirements and deliver a clear, thorough, and well-defined proposal. We follow a structured approach to project management and execution. At each step we strive to create lasting relationships built on quality, service, and responsiveness.
With every project for every customer, ACC strives to:
- Thoroughly understand customer requirements
- Manage the project life-cycle using our GAMP-based quality management system
- Design, implement, and test in accordance with industry standards and in a modular fashion
- Ensure ongoing support
- Proactively communicate!
What methods do we employ to ensure we deliver on our commitment?
Proactive project management
At ACC, project management means more than just maintaining the budget and schedule. Our project management approach emphasizes:
- Regular and proactive communications with the customer team
- Soliciting feedback regarding ACC’s performance
- Leadership and coordination amongst all project stakeholders
- Active participation in project meetings
- Issuing project status reports
- Soliciting feedback on system prototypes
- Organizing the overall scope into specific deliverables with clearly defined completion milestones
- Accurately communicating information and resource requirements to all stakeholders
Quality management system
ACC’s project execution methodology is based on the GAMP (Good Automated Manufacturing Practice) principles of design/develop/test, with an organized set of documentation providing the link throughout these activities. Our Quality Management System is built on the GAMP 5 model and emphasizes design documentation, customer communications and comprehensive system testing.
Adherence to industry standards and guidelines
We have always been passionate advocates for utilizing standards in the design and implementation of control systems. ACC was an early member of the ISA S88 committee on batch process control, which provides a consistent set of standards and terminology for batch control and defines the physical model, procedures, and recipes. We were also founding members of the ISA-95 committee on enterprise-to-control system integration. ISA-95 supports a consistent method for designing, discussing and gathering requirements for manufacturing information systems. ACC’s Chris Monchinski currently serves as the co-chair of this committee.
Modular and simple are the core principles of ACC’s development philosophy. We strive to organize deliverables into reusable modules that save development time and cost and enforce consistent appearance, functionality, and control philosophy. This is a natural extension of doing projects that require application of S-88 or S-95 standards but at ACC we have woven this philosophy into all our projects.
Our customers long-term support needs are addressed early in the project. We recommend involving support staff at the early stages of the project so that they clearly understand the design and implementation approach.
Our success relies heavily on our customers’ ability to take ownership of the solutions we provide, and to be comfortable with the technology. Ideally, operations personnel should have the ability to maintain and modify the system using in-house resources. ACC achieves this goal by applying the following principles:
- Use software and hardware platforms from industry leaders whenever possible.
- Identify and address the customer’s training needs early in the project including operations, maintenance, and engineering resources.
- Provide usable project-specific documentation. Again, separate documents may be required for different audiences.
- Generate custom software, only when necessary, using widely accepted programming languages and in a clear, structured manner. Avoid the use of elegant, but complicated algorithms. Include clear, concise comments.
Even customers with skilled in-house resources often rely on ACC’s team to provide some level of system support. We offer a variety of flexible post-startup support options –including both emergency service contracts and preventive maintenance agreements. Our agreements can include both on-site and secure remote support and are available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, with guaranteed response times.