Investing in a quality management system is a smart move, and it won’t just improve quality across your business. A QMS can help cut costs, improve reporting, aid decision-making, and simplify auditing. By ensuring superior quality, you improve the entire lifecycle of your product from suppliers of parts through to manufacture and then onto the customer. On top of this, the insights you get from a QMS can help your business adapt and pivot as needed.
The Importance of Advanced Quality Management
Not all QMS solutions are created equal—advanced quality management goes beyond processes and procedures. An advanced QMS solution is flexible and highly customizable, allowing you to take your quality management digital, no matter your industry.
Implementing QMS software lets you remove inefficiencies from the manufacturing process and other areas of the product workflow before it reaches the end-user. That’s important because, by improving efficiency, you can cut costs, improve relationships with customers, and get a deeper insight into the business without being blocked by information silos.
You can evaluate your quality strengths and weaknesses here.
Risks Associated with Not Pursuing Advanced Quality Management
There are considerable risks associated with not pursuing advanced quality management. These include:
- Lost revenue due to delays, waste, rework and recalls
- Increased compliance costs
- Time-consuming audits that may fail
- Wasted time spent on managing document revisions
- Information silos make reporting difficult
- Difficulty training employees
Without an advanced quality management system in place, there could be a lack of continuous improvement, harming your business. Without innovation, a product may stagnate and drop behind competitors regarding quality and function. With continuous improvement, you will not only keep your customers happy, but you’ll be able to cut costs and increase production.
A business without an advanced QMS can also struggle with document control—things can quickly get out of date without a centralized place to manage documents. There’s also the chance that employees may operate as they see fit, leading to inconsistencies across locations, departments, and teams. An advanced QMS ensures long-term employees don’t take vital information when they leave and allows all workers to follow the same workflows and procedures without lengthy update processes.
The Need for Digital Transformation
A large part of digital transformation in manufacturing is the need for a QMS solution that makes the transition to digital as straightforward as possible while remaining flexible enough to meet the needs of your business. There are some clear benefits to a business that’s able to embrace this digital revolution, including:
- Cost savings
- Improvements in efficiency and productivity
- Enables the creation of new revenue streams
- Increases the ability to respond to market changes
- Improved competitive advantage through quality
- Drives a culture of innovation
- Improves communication and collaboration among distributed teams
Going digital brings these benefits (and more) by giving a deeper insight into exactly what’s going on within a business. For example, quality issues may once have needed deep detective work before tracing them back to a specific supplier, but with a cloud-native QMS solution, gaining this insight can be a quicker and more straightforward task.
Evaluating the Cost of Poor Quality
According to the American Society for Quality (ASQ), “poor quality in a thriving company will be about 10-15% of operations. Effective quality improvement programs can reduce this substantially, thus making a direct contribution to profits.”
The cost of waste, scrap, recalls, and failed audits start to mount, but the cost implications of poor quality also go beyond this. Businesses with poor quality may lose customers and suffer a drop in reputation, which can be a costly recovery.
ASQ states that while quality-related costs for most businesses are around 15-20% of revenue, some businesses could be hit even harder by the cost of poor quality, up to 40% under some circumstances. High quality, however, improves both total income and profit margins.
Embracing the “Paperless” Revolution
Going paperless is a large part of digital transformation. An advanced QMS solution makes the transition as painless as possible and leaves you with a whole host of benefits, including:
- Increased productivity by making things easier to find, reference, and update
- Lower operational costs thanks to reduced storage
- Effortless collaboration by bringing everything online and in the cloud
- Enhanced security and improved compliance with data protection regulations
- Increase environment-friendly credentials by reducing printing and paper in your business
Digital transformation is something every business should pursue eventually. Those who start the process now reap the most considerable benefits as they advance.
Steps for Evaluating the Best QMS
You’ll need an advanced quality management solution to support your digital transformation efforts. It’s essential to consider the needs of your business, but here are some things you need to look out for:
- Flexibility: This allows you to tailor the system to your needs.
- Cloud-based: Access for your workforce no matter where they are based.
- Extensive reporting: Going digital allows you to collect vast amounts of data, and your QMS must be able to analyze and report on that information.
- Application integration: Helps break down information silos and keep all data centralized.
- Regulatory compliance: The QMS should satisfy regulatory standards to simplify compliance and auditing.
- Scalability: A QMS needs to be able to scale with your business.
- Training: Look for providers who provide support to get your workforce up to speed.
With all that in mind, follow these steps to help you choose the QMS that’ll best fit the needs of your business:
- Step one: Identify the benefits of the solution you have in mind
- Step two: Outline the product’s must-have features
- Step three: Ensure your company goals align with your must-have features
- Step four: Review testimonials and case studies from existing customers
- Step five: Schedule a demo to see how the solution works in practice
Do this for as many solutions as you have on your shortlist. Take a look at our decision criteria checklist for more. For more information about advanced quality management, download our digital book, Advanced Quality Management For Dummies.
How do you evaluate the effectiveness of a quality management system?
Start by creating a benchmark for the areas you’d like to track. From this baseline, you can measure a new quality management system’s impact on these KPIs.
What are the 7 key benefits of a quality management system QMS?
There’s a range of benefits, but the seven key ones are:
- Improved quality
- Evidence-based decision-making
- Reduced costs
- Improved profit margins
- Increased efficiency and productivity
- Reduced waste
- Increased compliance
What is an effective QMS?
An effective QMS has a clear positive impact on your business. These systems tend to be flexible and easily integrated with other applications. Those benefits help reduce costs, improve compliance, and give greater visibility into the business.