Expand

Expand Quality – taking Your Organization to the Next Level

The third stage of the Quality Journey is Expand, and you are ready to take this stepOrganizations that reach this point in the journey have made a significant investment in quality and the systems needed to effectively manage all aspects. Notably, in this stage, suppliers take an increasingly important position as they have a significant impact on an organization’s overall quality. 

You’ve made great progress managing your local processes and are ready to take that next big step where you help drive a culture of quality across all teams. You are likely in a position where you have started to integrate your QMS with other enterprise solutions to drive efficiencies in your processes. 

You really are in a position where quality moves beyond just being an operational watchdog into a driver of growth and innovation as well as a significant return on investment from cost savings and revenue enhancement.

You really are in a position where quality moves beyond just being an operational watchdog into a driver of growth and innovation. 

Current State

In the Expand stage, you’ve gotten a good handle on your quality processes and employees across the organization are able to access appropriate documents. Managing quality polices in a document control system means your information is traceable and auditable. Authors of your policies can maintain them. You’ve reached a point where your team can update existing and create new quality policies and then track how everyone is getting trained on those policies. 

You’ve also seen the benefits of integrating other enterprise system: your ERP to help inform your manufacturing processes, CRM to track customer feedback, and HR to ensure all employees are getting the right level of access and training in your quality processes and standards. 

Organizations in the Expand stage have taken steps to go beyond the organization and include suppliers in their quality programs

To continue your growth, you want to make sure your suppliers can collaborate with you through your QMS. Shared access to key policies is a critical quality catalyst and ensures that your suppliers play an equal role in end product quality.

You’ve reached a point where your team can update existing and create new quality policies and then track how everyone is getting trained on those policies.
ETQ Quality Journey

Recommendations

For the Expand stage of the Quality Journey, recommendations fall into three key areas: 

  • Expansion of the QMS with more advanced capabilities 

  • Expansion of how suppliers work within your quality requirements

  • Communication throughout the organization of key metrics and actions through advanced reporting and analytics 

You want to make sure you have the ability to adjust workflows as your needs change. And make sure you have flexibility in setting up user security

Expand Basic QMS Capabilities 

First off, a QMS can provide powerful workflow and security. You want to make sure you have the ability to adjust workflows as your needs change. And make sure you have flexibility in setting up user security. You want to know that only the appropriate individuals can access the correct information. Being able to set up security based on user and roles is critical. But what about location? You want a system that understands that users in different locations need access to processes that apply to them – not to another location that might be in another part of the world. 

Another key area to explore is health and safety. Safety programs can directly impact the quality of your products and services. As you consider health and safety, make sure you capture this information in your risk register. And for internal reporting, audits and compliance, you will be able to produce documented incident reports. 

 

By having a single system to capture all quality and safety events, you have a single location where you can prioritize actions and perform more effective root cause analysis. Tracking findings over time ensures you aren’t missing ongoing problems. 

a QMS can provide powerful workflow and security

Supplier Quality

Now ia good time to think about expanding your QMS to include supplier quality management and collaboration as your suppliers are just as important to maintaining good quality as what you do internally. 

Being audit-ready takes on an expanded meaning when including suppliers. First, you need a way to track your supplier audits and any findings in your QMS. And when you are audited, your suppliers’ quality processes will be scrutinized. 

Therefore, if you haven’t already provided secure policy access for your suppliers, this is a step that will ensure best practices and improved supplier performance. Your suppliers need to be part of your processes; a full-featured QMS allows an integrated approach. Open the door to your suppliers and enable them to access pertinent information. 

Be prepared to hold suppliers accountable and have remedies in place for poor performance. Include them in workflows for supplier corrective actions. Working from the same basis can speed communications and let suppliers know what their responsibilities are. 

There are numerous processes where having suppliers involved can make you more efficient and able to address problems earlier in the product lifecycle: 

  • Reduce time receiving and inspecting incoming supplier deliveries. Integrate the process of receiving materials from suppliers and setting up inspection schedules based on supplier performance tendencies. 
  • Rate your suppliers, supplier scorecards 
  • Perform right first time inspections and charge back suppliers who impact your quality 

 

Perform right first time inspections and charge back suppliers who impact your quality 

Reporting/Analytics

Analytics is important at every stage of the Quality Journey, and the Expand phase is no different. Now is the time to support your leadership with more in-depth analysis of how quality is making an impact on your organizationAllow the entire organization to see these metrics – it helps drive a culture of quality when everyone is on the same page. 

When you’ve reached the Expand phase, you will likely be able to measure the ROI of your QMS across multiple processes. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to take on even more based on your impressive results. Quality management system investments can have such a positive ROI that management will see the value of continued investment. For even greater returns you should be thinking about how to harmonize your quality processes across multiple divisions and locations. If your company is investing in Quality 4.0 initiatives such as IIOT, you should be in a position to add tremendous value to the quality planning, design and delivery of those programs.

With your reporting and integrated quality analytics approach, you are helping the organization prevent, identify, mitigate, respond to and report on product quality issues in a consistent and efficient way. You are in a position now to drive a “quality mindset” with visibility, analytics, and the means to measure the overall ROI from your quality management programs.

Allow the entire organization to see these metrics – it helps drive a culture of quality when everyone is on the same page. 

Share your results with a colleague or download the report