Blog Archive

You can now save any combination of searches for later use to speed up finding a group of documents you want to come back to more than once.

This short tutorial will show you how.


We have prepared this demonstration video that covers most of what would be presented during our normal one hour product demo.

We’ve managed to squeeze it all in to 30 minute session, and this format also gives you the ability to watch in sections, if you need to be interrupted.

At the end of this video, you will be familiar enough with document control to start working on documents, understand the overall navigation features, as well as have a sense of where to look to make configuration decisions.

In this training series, we separate the individual lessons needed to be proficient with the document control module.  We also include some insight to how The Lean Machine can be used to address some of the new requirements in ISO 9001:2015 being released next year in lesson 5.

Users can now directly access the Released Documents screen from the log in screen.  This saves users time as TLM doesn’t have to configure everything needed to operate from the main menu.

Also included is a check of the users dashboard for documents they need to read.  A pop up message will appear if newly released documents require their signature, and selected “yes” will take them to the screen where they can read and sign off on those documents.

Watch the short tutorial below to see all these changes in action for revision 505097.

Stand alone video for Windows (Select run or save, wait for download to complete, select Run Anyway)

Printing out the audit scheduling for the year is pretty simple, just create the audits using the start date as your scheduling date.

Then go to the Reports link on the main menu, select Audit Schedules, and print out the report you want based on the year and/or quarter.

You can also approve a particular schedule using TLM electronic signature feature.

The Audit schedule screen makes it easy to move audits around, as you can navigate directly to each audit from the screen, and even from some of the reports, in order to change the start date.

We just updated the quality system deviations tutorial in The Lean Machine, and it turned into a whirlwind tour of 6 other modules, as the deviation module is essentially used as a way to evaluate any mishap to determine the correct course of action, which is usually best handled in another TLM module.

The use of this module is mostly dependent of whether your organization is capable of correctly capturing and processing the different possible types of quality deviations, or whether as part of the organization’s learning curve, everything needs to be funneled through this module so that it is both easily captured, and appropriately addressed.

A classic example might be when material is received from a vendor that is not within specifications.  Someone without a refined sense of how a quality system should work might think we need to initiate a corrective action for this event, when single material events really just need to be captured in the Rejected Materials module so that the proper disposition of the material can be determined, and  the event added to the data available for trending, both for this particular material, and for this particular vendor.

At some point defined in your procedures, this data is then analyzed and evaluated with the reporting tools for this module to determine the need to take either corrective or preventive actions.  Also, as part of the Material Review Board process, it might be determined that a corrective actions is needed, but dispositioning the material would come first.

When the nature of your business, or the training needs of the workforce, make it difficult to get quality system events processed appropriately, the deviations module can be a handy tool for establishing some control, and serves to gradually train the workforce in quality system principles.

Before this module was built, The Lean Machine had an employee suggestion module.  It occurred to us that being able to capture something anyone in the organization sees as needing to be improved, could very well need to be handled as a quality system deviation depending on what it is.  So it made sense to us to combine these two systems and simply provide a way to classify the employees contribution as either simply a suggestion, or as Planned, Unplanned, or Critical deviation.

This gives the quality manager a simple way to open a portal to the whole organization that can be used to capture and process anything they come up with so that good ideas are not lost, and problems don’t go for years without being discovered and addressed.


Document Templates allow your document authors to start a new procedure or work instruction with a document already formatted with the document control header, company logo or whatever else you would like them to start working with so your documents have a professional and uniform look.

The Lean Machine also has a handy feature that puts the document number and title onto your clipboard when you open the document so you can paste it into the document control header.

Since TLM can support almost any document type users have the software to work with, it’s not really feasible to attempt the programming to connect the software data to the document control header.

The tutorial will show you how easy the copy and paste feature is to use, and all things considered it’s probably a better solution anyway.

Receiving a purchase order is the next topic for this tutorial as we receive a line item on a purchase order we created in Part 1 of the material management series.  We also make some configuration changes so that The Lean Machine will automatically create serial numbered tracking of each item received, and initiate an inspection record with an inspection template we set up to load as our receiving inspection checklist for this part.

We also take a look at how The Lean Machine can help you automate the receipt of serial numbered items when that batch of items has a sequential component to the serial numbers.

These items are received into the virtual “boxes” on the Quantity Location screen, which holds the information about the items received, including Qty, Location, serial / lot number, and links to the PO, inspection, sales order, or work order records in TLM that put them there.

Of course for Quantity / location “boxes” that are used for serial or lot numbered items don’t get reused, as they are also have a role in tracking and traceability.


This tutorial demonstrates the new field added to the attachment screen that can be used for links to folders, or other web/network resources.

Originally conceived for linking modules used for project management to folders dedicated to a specific project, we also elaborate a little on how TLM can be used for project management by combining whichever modules best addresses the needs of a given project.


In this tutorial we will see how to add new items to inventory, add that item to a bill of materials, and purchase it from an approved vendor.

After initiating the PO, we will discover a PO is already open for that vendor and add our new item to it before approving, printing a .pdf and attaching that .pdf to an e-mail we will send to the vendor.



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