Delivering quality is the most important business objective for any manufacturing firm. If you have a great product but fail to maintain consistent quality, you are likely to lose success to your competitors’ hand.
Any business must value quality over quantity. This is the only best way to communicate with your customers and build lasting relationships with them. Also, a business’s performance and sustainability depend on the quality they deliver.
Even though quality wins, many businesses still think it is the volume of products they deliver that works for their success. This is often due to the short-term success that makes them unable to notice the harm they are making to the business for the long term.
Quality has become such a debatable topic for the manufacturing industry due to its significance in two important aspects – Product and Process.
Product Quality and Process Quality are the two sides of a coin. Both have an equal contribution in achieving customer satisfaction.
Process quality is all about ensuring proper and compliant processes to be followed for delivering a quality product. The processes should be streamlined and effective enough to ensure:
- Right processes are followed
- All the machinery and equipment are functioning well
- There is a backup plan for any damage occurrence
- All the inventory and stock are in check
- Variability ratio is not high.
Emphasizing on process quality has resulted in tremendous improvements like minimum product recalls. Many of the companies have already started the transformation with Industry 4.0. The investment in analytics and robotics has helped them improve organizational productivity and processes. Moreover, there is a dramatic decrease in costs of quality. Such an increased focus on process quality is totally worth for the quality milestones that manufacturing industry has achieved.
Product quality is all about delivering the conforming product that can serve its intended use. Any quality issue may be classified as the product quality issue since it will affect the functionality. For example, if there is a design error, it will ultimately lead to product failure. However, the cost of product quality issues is always higher than the process of quality issues.
And the real trouble is identifying the quality issues that need urgent attention. This can be done only with the help of a robust Enterprise Quality Management Solution like Qualityze that enables you to establish a compliant process of quality assurance while ensuring continual improvement. The biggest advantage is that you will be able to resolve product quality issues before it reaches to the customers and harms your brand image.
Benefits of Maintaining Product and Process Quality
Maintaining product and process quality could bring numerous benefits for the growth of your business and reduced operational risks. Some of the benefits include:
Building and keeping Brand Reputation Online
Since this is a digital arena, you need to maintain the brand image online. This internet-connected world has given your customers a superpower to make or break your brand with their reviews or feedback. If there is some negative customer experience, it spreads like fire. And, nobody wants that. Right?
You must make serious efforts to maintain your brand reputation online through regular engagement with your customers. You can also invest in a customer complaints management system for efficient and effective tracking and resolution of the quality issues your customers might have experienced.
It doesn’t really matter that you receive a good or bad review, what matters is how you handle it. Regular attention and response to your customers’ words may help you become trustworthy and a brand that cares for their customers.
Lasting Customer Relationships
Keeping customers satisfied is the critical aspect for building customer relationships that last. Delivering quality will increase brand loyalty in your customers so they will keep coming back. This will further lead to increased sales and revenue for an improved bottom line.
Additionally, the repeat customers will become a good source of marketing for your business as their reviews and recommendations will make way for new customers. This strategy works for every business if followed and practiced regularly. Valuing your customers can do wonders to become a trustworthy brand.
You must implement a quality management system to ensure continuous improvement in the product as well as process quality. It will help you maintain the consistency of repeat customers, new customers and a significant increase in revenue.
Gaining Competitive Edge
Gaining competitive edge doesn’t depend on one-time activities, it requires recurring efforts. You have to go the extra mile for continuous improvements. This doesn’t only boost brand loyalty, but also convey customers that they are investing the best quality. And, customers do appreciate such brand efforts for quality improvements.
By continuously striving for standards and best quality, you can also stand out from the crowd with your unique identity in the industry. The old saying “The Early Bird Gets the Worm” is a perfect fit for the industry leaders who innovate and set an example for others.
If you want to gain a competitive edge too, invest your time in identifying the new ways that upon implementation can make a value proposition. This will enhance your brand image too.
Learning from your own Mistakes
Every business strategy doesn’t work as expected. We may tend to miss certain aspects that often lead to failure. Such mistakes should not restrict you from doing something new. Besides, you should take away the learning for an improved strategy for the next time.
This is not applicable for mistakes only. Even if something works good for your business, you should learn from the aspects that made your strategy successful. Whether it’s good or bad, every result carries some learning for you.
Though we are all afraid of mistakes especially the ones that make us experience a downturn, we tend to come up with a solid plan to manage similar incidences in the near future. And, that’s something great about learnings. If you are ready to improve, you should be ready for learnings as well.
All these benefits demonstrate why quality matters for both aspects of manufacturing: Process and Product. However, ensuring quality and continuous improvements would be possible only when you have a powerful Enterprise Quality Management Suite like Qualityze in place.
Qualityze is a suite of 8 robust components including Non-Conformance, CAPA, Document, Change, Training, Supplier Quality, And Complaints Management Solution that enables you to establish a closed-loop quality management system for improved quality and reduced operational risks.
So, manufacturers, take the lead for quality improvements in your process’s and product’s quality before your competitors and become the trend-setter.
Maintaining supplier relationships has become more critical than ever. Though an organization depends on suppliers for the production, it doesn’t mean that all the flaws in the supplier processes should be ignored. There should be stringent processes to manage supplier quality while fostering a culture of continuous improvement for mutual benefit.
One of the best ways to ensure supplier quality is by conducting regular audits.
How Do Auditing Suppliers Help?
It’s not the supplier who pays the cost of poor quality delivered to the customer, it’s you and your brand. Moreover, the loss is not limited to money. It may spoil the reputation since a negative review catches attention more than a positive one.
Conducting regular audits may help you prevent such incidences. There are some more benefits of conducting audits on a regular basis including:
Cost savings is the one to top the list of benefits since every manufacturer looks forward to reducing the cost of quality. It can only happen when you lower the risks and product rework. And, audits are the best way to mitigate operational risks and recalls.
Auditing helps you ensure that your suppliers are complying to SLAs, taking appropriate corrective and preventive actions against recurring problems, and making a proactive approach for potential issues to save time and costs in the future.
Keep your audit management system and supplier quality management system in synchronization to avoid any unnecessary overhead expenses due to supplier mistakes or failures.
Having a robust audit management system helps you ensure that all your suppliers are following regulatory standards since every supplier who promises the quality may not practice it in real. Auditing helps you understand the actual proposition of what they say and what they deliver.
Regulatory standards are getting stringent of all the time considering the customers’ demand for quality. This is why; it has become even more important to audit your suppliers based on the changes introduced. Regular audits help to ensure that your organization believes in standardization.
Hence, if a particular component is defined with weight and power dimensions to fit in a product, it should be followed precisely without any assumptions to avoid any quality issues.
If you don’t follow a regular auditing process, you won’t be able to know that you are receiving the products with consistent quality without compromising the industry standards. This also weakens your vision towards continuous improvement.
You must have a supplier quality management system that allows you to keep a check on supplier’s performance as per industry best practices and maintain the continuous quality improvement cycle.
Auditing also helps you to strengthen your relationship with your suppliers. You can also get amazing opportunities for better partnerships that may offer you fair price and knowledge-sharing.
Now that you know the benefits you can leverage by auditing your supplier performance, you must take a step forward to integrate a robust supplier quality management solution in your quality management system.
With every process so streamlined, you can avoid many cost-extensive experiences including production downtime, delays to market, and most importantly failing customer expectations.
However, implementing audit processes brings along one more responsibility for you i.e. audit follow-up. You can use an advanced audit management solution lie Qualityze to help you with end-to-end audit lifecycle from planning till execution and follow-up. Such software also enables you to schedule the audits and their follow-ups in advance to ensure consistency of processes even if you are not physically available.
Investing in an advanced solution may sound like a huge investment, but this will surely be the one-time investment that will boost your organizational productivity and efficiency.
Features to Look for in a Supplier Quality Management System
Here are some features that you should look for while investing in a supplier quality management solution to complement your quality management system:
- Centralized Supplier Database
To track all your quality supplier records in a validated system with a detailed audit trail for a regulatory environment.
- Supplier Risk Assessment
To assess the risks associated with a supplier for better decision making when it comes to supplier selection. It is calculated based on active parts in the supplier profile.
- Electronic or Digital Signature
To include an electronic signature for every action and decisions performed. It generally includes the name of the signatory, the date and time of signature execution.
- Outlook Email Approval
To enable the approver to approve the application without having to sign in. He/she can simply reply with words like ‘APPROVE’, ‘APPROVED’, ‘REJECT’, or ‘REJECTED’, as a response.
To record supplier life cycle. Every Supplier record has a timeline of an event which tells the user what happened when. In other words, a very high-level audit trail that allows the user to quickly understand the sequence of activities that occurred in the life cycle of a supplier record.
Always remember a quality product starts at selecting the right suppliers as they play a vital role in bringing your product to market. In today’s dynamic and competitive global marketplace, having an effective supplier management process that identifies suppliers that can help you to meet your quality standards is a critical strategic necessity.
Additionally, your supplier quality management solution should enable you to:
- Track and Manage Supplier Qualification Process
- Maintain Supplier Records
- Manage Approved Supplier List (ASL)
- Prepare and Share Scorecard
Bottom Line : You must not ignore supplier audits!
Supplier audits can help you identify many improvement opportunities for your organization. It helps you maintain the reputation, win new customers, and ultimately take your business revenue to a level higher. Make sure you regularly perform the supplier audits to ensure compliance while monitoring the supplier performance. You will tend to receive excellent support from the suppliers associated with you.
One of the most recommended solutions is Qualityze Supplier Quality Management Solution. It is a perfect fit for all the organizations who don’t want to miss improvement opportunities due to supplier failures. Most importantly, the organizations that believe in associating with suppliers for mutual benefit, which is much more than money.
Most of the leading organizations have realized the fact that business success depends only on happy and satisfied customers. And, customer satisfaction can be achieved only with Quality. it has become insanely significant to encourage a culture of quality in the organization through streamlined processes.
Quality is referred to as any product or service being suitable for the purpose it is intended to serve while keeping it up to the customer’s expectations. Since quality may vary for different people based on the specification quality while the producers or manufacturers measure it with the degree of conformance and any support person may measure the quality in terms of reliability and sustainability.
Higher will be the conformance; higher will be the quality, reliability, and sustainability of the product.
With the increasing competition, ever-changing customer requirements, and evolving business landscapes, it has become important for businesses to have a robust quality management system in place to enable their quality teams managing end-to-end quality from anywhere around the globe.
What’s a Quality Management System and the Value It Offers?
A Quality Management System refers to the guidelines and procedures that should be implemented and improved for flawless quality management processes while driving a culture of continuous improvement.
As far as value contribution is concerned, a quality management system is a worthy investment to realize the true potential of your existing resources while keeping the operational risks and quality costs to a minimum.
A Quality Management System is important for any organization since it helps to attain business objectives while meeting:
- Customer Requirements
- Internal Requirements
- External Requirements
Benefits of Implementing a Quality Management System
Implementing an effective quality management solution can help any organization to leverage multiple benefits including error and waste reduction while building a culture of quality to encourage standardization and effective documentation throughout the organization. It further leads to customer satisfaction and achieving organizational goals.
Once you will have such managed processes and procedures, you can also maintain consistency and compliance to market your products and services even more confidently.
How to Implement a Quality Management System?
Implementing a quality management system is critical for an organization’s success, but it requires you to follow certain steps to avoid any operational issues.
For the successful QMS implementation, you need:
Commitment from the Management Team
First and foremost, your management team should be committed to implementing a quality management system since motivation drives from top to down. Senior management can set a perfect example for all other employees while helping them realize the benefits of quality management for the organization.
A Dedicated Team for QMS Implementation
You need to designate a dedicated team to understand and fulfil the needs of a QMS implementation process. This team will essentially bridge the gap between the senior management and ISO 9000 certification body. Moreover, the implementation team should represent every department.
To Create Awareness about ISO 9000
Organizing the awareness programs, surveys, and presentations will demonstrate your employees the advantages of implementing an ISO certified quality management solution in their day-to-day operations. Most importantly, it will encourage them to put maximum sincere efforts for successful QMS implementation.
Relevant Training Programs for Employees
Implementation of a quality management system cannot be successful unless your employees understand the process flow and procedures. It can be done only through effective training programs. Be sure to include all the quality management concepts in training including its impact if consistency is not maintained.
To Understand Your Organization’s Status
Your quality management system should be aligned with the standards and the guidelines defined in ISO 9000. Hence, you need to observe your organization’s status by comparing the existing quality processes with ISO requirements so that you can identify the improvement areas and can work on them.
To Document the Implementation Plan and QMS Process
Keeping your QMS implementation plans and processes documented is one of the key requirements to comply with ISO 9001. Make sure you document all the important processes, instructions, SOPs, etc. You can get a good electronic document management system to create and store all your controlled documents.
To Keep your Controlled Documents Managed
Not only documenting the processes and procedures will work, you have to manage them on a regular basis. You can use Qualityze Document Management Solution to manage all your controlled documents – be it storage, modification, version control, or deletion. No more chaotic paper-based files.
To Implement the Quality Management System
Once all the documentation part is covered, you must implement the quality management system. You can ensure effectiveness and efficiency with the use of a closed-loop quality management solution like Qualityze to manage all your quality requirements without any hassle.
To Perform Regular Internal Audits
Your job is not limited to the QMS implementation, you should establish a regulated internal audit process to ensure that all the processes, procedures, and guidelines are properly followed. Unlike traditional audit systems, the next-generation audit management solution serves the purpose quite productively.
To Review and Assess the Audit Findings
As we have already discussed the productive benefits of implementing next-generation audit management solution. Reviewing and assessing the audit findings is yet another advantage that you can leverage with an audit management solution by standardizing all the related processes across the organization.
To Get Certified and Registered
Once you have implemented a quality management system, it’s time to get registered and certified. Your implementation team can send a formal application to take the certification process forward. However, the validity of certification is only for three years. The certification bodies then will conduct regular audits for the renewal process.
To Foster Continual Improvement
Even when you gain the certification, you must try to improve the existing processes to leverage the benefits of the QMS implementation continuously. Also, continual improvement is a key aspect of quality management guidelines as specified by ISO. Continuity keeps sustainability.
If you follow the above-stated steps for QMS implementation, you will likely to attain your business goals with operational excellence. And, an Enterprise Quality Management Solution like Qualityze can make it easy for you to implement, manage, and maintain a quality management system.
Qualityze is built upon the world’s most secure and reliable platform, Salesforce.com, which enables your quality teams to manage end-to-end quality from anywhere around the globe. It also comprises features like Alerts, Notifications, Electronic Signature, Audit Trails, Reports, and Dashboards.
The Bottom Line
Implementing a quality management system is critical for every business to meet the quality expectations of its customers while meeting compliance and conformance. With an eQMS like Qualityze, you can establish a streamlined process and procedures to manage all your quality requirements as well as risks effectively and efficiently.
If you want to make the process of change implementation smooth, put fewer efforts, and assist your employees, you must establish a streamlined process that makes the change management easy without facing any resistance.
As we all know that the business environments are changing very rapidly, and effective change management process has become the necessity. There should be effective communication in the organization because it is critical for making a change successful. But nowadays, it has become quite difficult to analyze the right communication approach based on organizational culture.
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Do you often feel confused with the usage of terms Nonconformance and Noncompliance? If yes, you are not alone.
Since both the terms are used interchangeably, the confusion is the common outcome. In this post, we will understand the differences between the two, which may initially seem trivial to you. But once you will get to know how these processes work for attaining the goal of product quality, there won’t be a room for confusions anymore.
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Modern organizations that want to get maximum returns from the investments need to focus on creating a human capital difference through effective training and development programs for their employees. As they say, the workforce is the most valuable asset for any organization. You should unleash the real potential of this asset to become a great organization from a good one.
The organizations who have already invested in advanced training solutions tend to achieve both short- and long-term business objectives since their employee engagement rate has significantly increased. Even the employees nowadays understand the need for continuous skill improvement and learning to be competent. This is the reason training has become the buzz word in nearly every industry.
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Designing a product that serves its intended purpose is critical for medical device manufacturers, as it could have a great impact on a person’s health- for that matter even life. You can still manage your tasks if your internet modem is not working as it should be, but can you manage to breathe if your inhaler is insufficient to provide you the medication when you are already struggling to breathe. The worst scenario here could be a risk to your life, which is not acceptable at all.
Credit goes to the technology advancements, the medical industry has better and improved solutions to sustain lives and offer quality care like never before. When a nonconformance is identified in a medical device, it needs urgent attention. You need to investigate its root cause, resolve the issue as soon as possible, and most importantly, prevent its recurrence in the near future. You must have an effective CAPA process or CAPA management software to ensure timely correction or prevention of the product issues that may have frightening consequences.
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In the era of digitization, every industry is experiencing transformations more than they ever expected including the highly regulated industries including healthcare and lifecsiences. It cannot be denied that such industries need to adopt the next-generation quality management systems to assist the critical quality processes and procedures since customers are aware and concerned for quality products more than ever. Attaining quality is not important with respect to customer expectations, but also to comply with the compliance and regulatory requirements.
In the quality domain, it’s a common belief that sooner a nonconformance gets identified and resolved, lesser will be its impact. The advent of technology and cloud-based solution for quality management have made this belief even more actionable. The quality professionals can now have deeper insights and can make informed decisions with the use of closed-loop quality management system.
Especially when the next-generation solutions are making their way at such a faster pace – from designing, manufacturing, distribution, and marketing – industry leaders prefer to bring together the prominent data resources and systems that can form a closed-loop quality process between the key processes and the teams.
With such closed-loop processes, you can facilitate improvements in the existing quality management system for driving continuous improvement while reducing the overall quality issues and costs. Let’s first understand the term quality management system and closed-loop quality management in detail before moving to the discussion on its significance.
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With the increasing popularity of analytics and big data, business owners are becoming aware of the significant role that data management plays for an organization. Credit goes to factors like forecasting customer expectations, product management, availability, improved customer services, and competitor’s analysis, data quality management is a critical function for any organization.
One important condition applicable here is that the data should be complete, accurate, and consistent to help businesses make informed decisions. It won’t be wrong to say that modern businesses cannot afford to ignore data quality management.
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