As we get back into our daily routines after holidays and travel, it is time to reflect on our recent ETQ Quality Vision 2023 conference. Being part of the larger HxGN Live conference — but still being able to focus on topics important to our customers — allowed us to bring the best of both worlds to attendees. It was great to get everybody together for the first time since our conference in March 2020 in Miami and it has been quite an eventful three years since!
Event attendees took advantage of a broad set of presentations featuring both ETQ staff and dozens of customers like you who shared how they use ETQ Reliance to add value to their organizations. In addition to learning from the sessions, attendees mentioned in our post event survey that they made great new connections that they will be able to leverage in the future.
Starting with the opening keynote address from our CEO, Vick Vaishnavi, we saw the vision for the next five years in which quality sits at the heart of a business decision-making resource powered by data from across the manufacturing spectrum. Vick’s keynote was followed by a discussion of the solution roadmap and advanced technology that will get us there. It was amazing to see both Jamie Fernandes and John Taylor receive audience applause for their strategic and tactical directions. Many customers wondered how best to use AI for quality management – an excellent question that we will explore in the near future. Jamie also discussed how ETQ and Hexagon are working closely on future capabilities – this was a question a lot of attendees had when they walked in the room.
A key discussion from Vick’s keynote was around the areas where customers see clear and measurable business value working with ETQ, including improved supplier quality, reduced cost of poor quality, driving compliance at scale, accelerating time to market, and improving decision velocity.
Even before the conference officially began, we had a day of training, with over one hundred customers diving into how to use and configure the system. Students ranged from those just starting their quality journey to QMS and EHS “veterans” with years of experience. These always popular sessions were a hit again this year — one customer even told us the trainers were “awesome.”
We presented sessions covering most of the capabilities of ETQ Reliance. Many of these were customer panels where different users discussed their specific use cases, ranging from supplier quality to safety management, harmonization, new product introduction (with a focus on FMEA as presented by ETQ partner Sandalwood), and managing nonconformances.
Comments we heard from customers included: “[I] enjoyed learning how other customers are using ETQ Reliance” and “This was my first ETQ conference, so I think the sessions stimulated my ETQ thinking.”
And one of the can’t miss sessions of the conference was “Tips and Tricks,” where Shiladitya Sahu presented a broad range of ideas customers can use to take better advantage of their investment in ETQ Reliance. Even highly experienced users found new ways to use the software, and one customer called the session “outstanding.”
Beyond the product, we also explored broader business concerns, with sessions on the culture of quality, the quality journey and the paths various customers take to achieving optimal quality and return on investment. Understanding how quality impacts the business helps all of us drive value in our organizations.
We also heard from outside organizations. PwC gave us insights on the best ways to harmonize data that exists across an organization, including how and where to start and expand your effort to maximize the use of the data that the manufacturing ecosystem generates daily. Dave Ryeson of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) followed up on his insightful discussion from 3 years ago on research into Quality 4.0 with the recent research on Maintenance 4.0. More than a few attendees saw the direct link between maintenance and quality – essentially, if lagging maintenance in your infrastructure creates problems, quality will suffer.
Finally, a highlight of ETQ Quality Vision 2023 were the Innovation Excellence Awards. We had a broad range of customer submissions that detailed some unique, creative and impactful applications of ETQ Reliance. This year, the winner was Trane Technologies, with a supply chain quality innovation for recovering costs driving significant ROI and savings. The runners up were Nutrien, who integrated ETQ Reliance with the US Department of Transportation for commercial vehicle safety, and Varian, who developed a Field Actions application for maintaining global compliance. Congratulations to all our innovators who have taken ETQ Reliance to new levels.
Beyond the ETQ sessions, attendees had time to explore the broader world of Hexagon. There were hundreds of sessions that showcased the amazing technologies Hexagon is bringing to market, and “The Zone” was the place to see all these products in action. ETQ featured prominently in the Manufacturing Intelligence booth, and our partner Augmentir presented a demo on how the Connected Worker becomes the new front line in maintaining product quality by showing how a machine worker could enter a quality event in ETQ Reliance.
If you were unable to join us this year, we are sorry we missed you, and we would be happy to share the many details presented. If you made it to Las Vegas, we hope you enjoyed yourselves, not just during the sessions, but also at the evening events. Based on the feedback we have heard from customers, we exceeded expectations, and we also received some great ideas for our next conference. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our next conference!