Quality Improvement is one of the challenging and complex aspects for the healthcare industry that focusses on improving the patient experience since they need to align the industry changes with the different levels and processes of their organization. The best way to deal with such challenges is to leverage the established Quality Improvement approaches with improved technologies.
Quality improvement in healthcare is all about increasing efficiency, efficacy, and safety utilizing best-practices and methodologies. Hence, both qualitative and quantitative improvement has become critical in healthcare. The improvements will further lower the quality costs while allowing access to next-generation technology.
Impact of Quality Improvements on Healthcare Performance
Quality improvements have a direct relationship with healthcare performance. More and effective will be the quality improvements; higher will be the level of performance. The healthcare organizations that will continue with the traditional methods and approaches cannot expect any enhancements to the performance.
Quality improvements offer healthcare organizations an opportunity to replace inefficient systems and focus on more worthy things. For example – switching to digital records for patient health analysis. You can also use the software for record-keeping. For healthcare manufacturers, there are quality management software systems that allow them to manage product and process quality and mitigate quality issues by using standardization and industry best practices.
Benefits of Healthcare Quality Improvement
When we talk about healthcare quality improvements, we cannot ignore the following benefits:
- Enhanced visibility and readability of a patient’s health records.
- Store the medical history of the patient on a single platform using EHR.
- Generating better results.
- Reduced new healthcare initiatives time.
- Ensures expert consultation and analytics when required.
Hence, quality improvements in healthcare improve the quality of health services while keeping the costs minimum.
The objective of Quality Improvements in Healthcare
Quality improvements help healthcare organizations to achieve six main objectives including:
- Safety: Quality improvements, especially those led by technology, help healthcare organizations to provide the right healthcare to patients that can help them without any harm. But before upgrading to next-generation quality improvement approaches, they should be guided properly with the respective information to make efforts in the right direction.
- Effectiveness: The healthcare industry couldn’t afford risky improvements. They want services that can benefit them and the patients. They strictly refrain from the services that aren’t likely to be of any benefit or significant improvement in the care intended for people.
- Person-Centered Care: In healthcare, patient-centered care has changed to person-centric care. They need the advanced quality management systems that can help them serve individual preferences, coordinate and integrate care properly, inform and educate patients, physical comfort, emotional needs, involve family and friends, maintain continuity and smooth transition, and personalized access to care. This helps to align patient care with all clinical decisions.
- Timeliness: The appropriate quality improvements may help reduce the process delays, which sometimes become harmful for both the parties involved i.e. the one receiving the healthcare and the ones who are responsible to provide care.
- Efficiency: Efficiency in healthcare implies lesser waste – be it of equipment, medical supplies, ideas, and even energy. There is a need for quality improvements that can make processes efficient, keeping the product and efforts wastage to a minimum.
- Equitability: Healthcare should be provided without any biases on gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and geographical location. Quality improvements should be introduced keeping the same into consideration.
Now that you understood what objectives that the healthcare quality improvements help meeting, it’s not sensible to question the credibility of improvements.
5 Key Components of Quality Improvement Programs
Every successful quality improvement program is based on the five key components. They are:
- The problem,
- The goal,
- The aim,
- The measures, and
- The Analytics
No successful quality improvement will ever start without having a problem to resolve. A deeper understanding of the issue will help you to choose the right quality improvement initiative, which can effectively resolve the problem it is targeting. However, you can list every other thing as a problem. Be sure to list the problems that are concerned with quality care for the patients.
Identifying the goal that you want to achieve with quality improvement initiatives can be a challenging task for almost every healthcare institution. The reason is that every quality improvement has certain benefits associated that will be tempting at once. The right approach here will be that healthcare leaders perform a detailed analysis of target improvements concerning returns on investment and cost-effectiveness. There are certain questions that healthcare leader may ask their teams onboard to define the right quality improvement goals:
- Do the quality improvements align with the organizational improvement objectives? And, How?
- What are the biggest risks for patients with improvements?
- What volumes of variations the quality improvements could result in?
- How the entire improvement process will impact the cost-effectiveness?
- How will the effectiveness be measured for the improvements done?
There could be many more questions based on the objectives and stakeholders’ concerns with the significant quality improvements to decide the final goal to be met.
Determining the aims for different processes will help healthcare institutions to manage the goal achievement work into multiple manageable blocks. Each block can be handled by different people. It will help to attain the goal in a lesser amount of time and costs.
Whenever a quality improvement initiative is taken by healthcare institutions, there could be two scenarios – one with the results and one with the improvement. Understanding this difference is critical. You need to understand the baselines and actuals. This gives the healthcare systems a clarity when they are actually making improvements to the existing processes and when they are just intervening.
Analytics plays a key role in bringing out the clear insights in the highly confusing world of healthcare quality improvements. It allows easy assessment of care quality, care costs, patient experience, and most importantly the effectiveness of the improvements done so far. Right analytics help healthcare units to validate the measurements with smooth data sharing.
It won’t be wrong to conclude that quality improvements are powerful enough to transform healthcare and its functioning.
The Bottom Line
Though it’s not easy for healthcare institutions to cope and grow with the speed of quality improvements, it’s very critical for them to identify the right direction that can help them achieve the strategic improvement goals. The improvements help them become more manageable to achieve the desired outcome.
Since all the healthcare professionals have one aim to choose healthcare that they want to provide people the quality care. They truly are concerned about the improvements to every patient’s health and experiences. They even want to make it more affordable. But at the same time, it is important to keep the primary goal in mind. We all should make sure that every single quality improvement is aligned with the health improvement of people while reducing healthcare costs and improving the experience.
Therefore, choose the powerful quality management system like Qualityze eQMS Suite to attain the ultimate goal of quality improvements in healthcare in a streamlined, standardized, and compliant manner. Based on the most powerful and secure cloud platform i.e. Salesforce, Qualityze also ensures great flexibility, scalability, reliability, and safety.
Before winning the confidence of your customers, it is very important to win the confidence of your employees that the information they are referring to is accurate, appropriate, and adheres to regulatory standards. If they will not be sure about the basics, it won’t be possible for them to deliver the expected quality.
Though customer satisfaction is the key objective of any business, it cannot be achieved without employee engagement and satisfaction. Make sure you have the right document control and management system in place to provide your employees with all the required information to perform their job efficiently.
Having an appropriate document control system is ensuring the best practice to manage all the important business information and documents. Document control often reduces the errors in the documentation since it helps to create a streamlined process for reviewing the documents.
3 Important Reasons to Have Document Control
Any business requires appropriate and accurate information and documentation for an efficient decision-making process. It gives all the management people and stakeholders access to the organized documents, following which they can take a proactive approach to the business improvements. The top 3 reasons you should have document control are:
- It makes your quality data searchable by keeping it properly indexed.
- It reduces the errors and omissions in the documentation by setting up a formalized review process.
- It eases the document management by automating various tasks including templates creation for capturing information.
How does Software Help with Document Control?
Due to the efficiency that technology has gifted to our day-to-day functions including document management, most of the people are transferring to the electronic document management system from the traditional paper-based systems.
With the new and advanced software available for managing the critical documentation part, businesses have found an efficient and productive way to achieve operational excellence.
There are multiple ways in which electronic document management and control software can help you to process and manage critical business information documents. Some of them are listed below:
The software can help keep document revisions managed with version control
You cannot expect any document produced by a team member the final version. It goes through reviews from the other team members. Until there is one copy finalized to be published, you will have so many revisions of the same document. And, manually it is difficult to track them all. You need a good document management software that can help you track all the changes and store all the document versions at one place for quick and easy retrieval. The software also helps you track the details of the changes made and by whom they are made. Isn’t relying on a smart document management software a good idea? What do you say?
The software can help to automate document approval/review process
We all will agree that sharing the documents, getting them reviewed, and their final approvals are tedious and time-consuming tasks if performed manually. On the other, a document management and control software especially the cloud-driven software makes it easy for you to share the critical documents among your network easily and simultaneously. A cloud-driven document management system also provides you a centralized platform to collaborate with your team and perform a collective review process. You can also schedule the approvals and reviews well-in-advance, unlike paper-based systems.
The software can help to keep all the document records traceable
A manual document management system may not be effective and efficient in tracking details about all the documents stored, but an electronic document management system can help you access all the relevant details in a few minutes. Document tracking can be done within the matter of few clicks and you will get to know who the owner of the document is, who is responsible for the review, who will approve, etc. If you are concerned about the traceability of the documents, the software is the most efficient help you can get.
The software help to automate the document archival/obsoleting
In addition to increased traceability, you can also control the archival and obsoleting activities through advanced document management software. The manual process will require ample storage space to archive the documents and you will end up wasting a lot of paper when you will destroy the documents you don’t need anymore. So, it’s sensible to switch to the EDMS that not only saves you extra efforts of arranging folders and destroying records, but it also helps you schedule the archival and obsoletion for a document after its intended use.
The software help you create secure space for the regulated documents
We all will agree that a software renders us a secure place to keep all the regulated documents including SOPs, Policies, etc. safely. With the admin rights given, you can ensure safety for your business-critical documents that cannot be expected in the manual documents. An electronic document need not suffer any natural wear and tear unlike paper-based files unless you delete the document from the system permanently. Would you still risk your important information when you can keep it safe on the software?
The software help you control documents with access rights
This is quite a real deal. You just cannot save your documents from the unauthorized people in the manual systems regardless of how hard you try. Intentionally or unintentionally, your paper-based files are always vulnerable to unauthorized access. This could lead to serious business issues including the leak of important information or credentials. But, you can completely forget about this issue with an electronic document management and control system like Qualityze that allows you to control document safety with access rights. You can make the document accessible only to the authorized people that too with different rights for reading, editing, sharing, and deleting. Isn’t that actual document control you are looking for?
The software help to establish effective communication for document changes/modifications
An EDMS especially the cloud-based systems offer you and your team a centralized platform to collaborate and communicate on the changes or upgrades required for a particular document. This will save everyone’s time and also to avoid any sort of delays with document processing and release. Make sure you invest in a cloud-based document management system to stand the test of time wherein you need to upgrade with the ever-changing technological environments.
Hope all the benefits discussed above have given you a clear demonstration on How an EDMS can help you with the document control and management since it is the key for successful quality management process and system.
Hence, choose the right EDMS software for your business requirements to keep the important documents and information securely accessible. Such a proactive and organized approach will help you to win any auditor’s confidence in your business and attain all your key objectives.
Right Electronic Document Management Software to Rely On
Undoubtedly, there are multiple options to choose on the web when you lookout for the best document management software online. This makes the selection of the right software a bit tricky and time-consuming.
In this post, you will get the resolution for that problem too. You need not crawl through different websites or do any comparison to find the right EDMS solution for your business. The best solution to help you with the document control and management is Qualityze Document Management Solution. It is listed among top 10 document management solutions in many reputed and reliable sources including SoftwareWorld.
Do you want to streamline the document control and management process in a matter of few clicks? Qualityze EDMS is the best pick!
For manufacturers, it is quite common to encounter quality issues in products and services repeatedly. This may result in numerous problems. Some of them can be directly reported by customers while some may be identified by an internal audit team. In any case, quality issues may hamper the brand reputation and customer loyalty.
That’s the reason; the method of 8 disciplines was introduced to manage the quality issues by addressing their root cause and preventing the recurrence.
What Exactly is an 8D Problem-Solving Method?
8D is commonly referred to as “8 Disciplines” or “8 Critical Steps” for solving quality problems. It is a team-oriented method of managing quality issues, which is highly disciplined and effective. Based on the teamwork, this method offers stepwise guidelines to identify the root cause, define and implement the segregation actions, and finally develop and implement CAPA to mitigate the problem lastingly.
Benefits of Implementing 8D Problem-Solving Approach
8 Disciplines are an effective approach especially for manufacturers regardless of the industry they serve. It drives multiple benefits such as:
- Identification of real factors that led to the problem.
- Address the potential causes that could result in an undesirable situation or challenge.
- Allowing the team to perform a detailed analysis before making any conclusions.
- Preventing the recurrences of similar product and process quality issues.
Steps Involved in 8 Disciplines of Problem Solving for Improved Product Quality
D1: Team Building
You should create a separate team to resolve the quality issues and improve the overall implementation process. All the team members should be competent enough in terms of skills and knowledge to perform the duty assigned. In addition to the competency of the team, it is very important to understand the number of members required to efficiently manage the quality issues.
D2: Stating the Problem
Make sure you state all the details of a particular problem clearly and thoroughly to validate and verify the problem from all the possible resources including who, when, where, etc. It is also called the 5W2H methodology. It includes all the details like:
- (W)ho reported the problem?
- (W)hat is the actual problem?
- (W)hen exactly the problem started?
- (W)here it happened?
- (W)hy it is happening? (Complete Explanation Required)
- (H)ow often the problem has occurred? (To Understand the Pattern)
- (H)ow much quantity of products is affected?
Hence, stating the problem simply won’t work. You will have to describe it for creating and implementing an appropriate action plan.
D3: Define the Interim Containment Action
Once you have tracked all the details of the problem occurred, you need to identify the appropriate containment measures to prevent the problem from becoming continued adversity. The focus should be on the main issue rather than the symptoms. You can discontinue production, in case of defective products, to prevent any harm to customers.
D4: Determine the Root Cause
Kickstart the process by listing all the potential causes to determine the root cause of the problem. You can test and check every probability to identify the actual cause of the problem. Then, you can proceed to define the relevant corrective actions. The most commonly used method is 5M1E. These 6 elements are reevaluated every time a disturbance in the product quality is observed. The six elements are Man, Machine, Material, Method, Measurement, and Environment.
However, you can use multiple tools in the process of identifying the root cause of the problem. Some of the commonly used tools are Pareto Charts, Affinity Diagram, Brainstorming Session, 5-Whys Process, Fishbone Diagram, Fault Tree Analysis, Statistical Analysis, ANOVA, DOE, Regression Analysis, Hypothesis Testing, GR&R, Flow Charts, Audits, and FMEA.
D5: Define the Permanent Corrective Actions
Define the scope of improvements with a list of all the possible solutions. You must remember it is not about mitigating the issues for once; it is about implement the corrective actions that can resolve the issue permanently. You must focus on long-term corrective measures to avoid recurrences and other respective problems. Moreover, you should verify the improvements done if they are effective enough.
D6: Resolve the Issue and Perform Effectiveness Review
Once you have implemented the 5th Discipline and eliminated the root cause of the problem, verify the result. It will help you understand the effects of the solution implemented on the production processes. Remember that the effectiveness review is not a one-time activity; it should be an ongoing process to drive continuous improvement.
D7: Prevent the Recurrence and Standardize the Processes
The problem once resolved shouldn’t occur again and you have to ensure that in the Discipline 7. For this, you need to standardize all the processes, systems, and procedures. You can use a quality management software system to do standardization right. This will further help you to identify the changes required at every level or stage and maintain the continuous improvement cycle.
D8: Appreciate your Team
If all the disciplines are followed and implemented rigorously and you have noticed improvements, it’s time to appreciate your team for their sincere efforts. Also, plan the future activities in orientation with continual improvement to improve your business bottom line. Keeping your team involved makes them feel an important part of the process and they are likely to contribute best efforts.
Truth be told, the 8D process is quite an effective method than all other problem-solving methods. Implemented appropriately, all the process and problem-related quality issues can be easily implemented.[Bonus Tip: Don’t keep appreciation discipline limited to say thanks to your team. Communicate with them openly to understand their needs whether they need any training or any other assistance to match the competency required to perform the jobs and duties assigned. It may work as a permanent corrective action as well.
You can also implement a training management system to manage their training needs effectively and efficiently. It is preferable to go for a cloud-based training software like Qualityze that offers them a flexible way of learning new skills regardless of the geographical locations they are placed at.]
Besides all the important steps we have discussed above, you should know three important things about the 8D process and report that will be of great help in the long term.
- The 8D report is not for your customers. It is just for you to identify the root cause of a problem, resolve the same, and prevent the recurrence. Customers will evaluate everything with the quality delivered to them. However, you can keep and maintain the records to prove that you hear the customer complaints and concerns seriously and addressed them at earliest. It works as evidence for FDA visits.
- Implementing the 8D problem-solving approach is possible when the organization’s top management encourages it with complete authorization and commitment. On the other hand, the involvement of all other team members is equally important. Make sure you have established standardized quality management systems, processes, and procedures to bring the entire organization together to meet the business quality objectives.
- Always prepare a valid 8D report since it will help you improve the product quality and build more customer confidence in your brand. It is key to achieve customer satisfaction. Hence, record the entire process step-by-step to make most of the results you get.
Hope this post has helped you understand the benefits of implementing the 8D problem-solving process for your business. You can automate and standardize this approach using Qualityze Enterprise Quality Management Suite.
If you want to know how our software can help, get in touch with our customer success team at email@example.com or call us on 1-877-207-8616.
Having a well-structured and organized corrective action and preventive action system is vital for any organization to support its improvement activities while meeting compliance and quality requirements. But, it’s no less than a challenge to establish a compliant CAPA system and process especially for highly regulated industries including Lifesciences.
A CAPA management system strengthens your quality management strategy to ensure that none of the quality issues get repeated.
Let’s quickly look through the definition of CAPA
A Corrective Action Preventive Action system refers to the process of investigating and resolving the root cause of the identified nonconformances. The main objective of the CAPA is to prevent the recurrence of a similar problem in the near future. It is applicable for every industry including lifesciences, manufacturing, healthcare, nutraceuticals, etc.
CAPA is a combination of two different terms i.e. Corrective Action and Preventive Action. The basic difference between these terms is Corrective Action is applicable for the problems already occurred whereas Preventive Actions applies to the potential causes of the problem.
An effective CAPA system not only helps to limit the problem occurrences recurrently, but it also helps you to study the trends of such occurrences to make informed decisions. This is the reason, CAPA is referred to as a significant component for a successful quality system that can effectively address the nonconformances.
Planning and Implementing a Corrective Action Preventive Action System revolves around Deming cycle i.e. Plan, Do, Check, Act.
The effective process starts with the planning. If you want to establish a successful CAPA system, you must plan the resources and various other requirements you might need in the process. Preparing a plan beforehand helps you understand exactly how you should proceed.
All the requirements should be rigorously assessed so to avoid repetition of steps or performing an unnecessary step. Executing the planning step right ensures that you have a direction to follow in order to achieve your business goals.
Planning should include duties that need to be assigned to different team members for successful CAPA implementation until its completion. For example – identifying the valid nonconformances, defining the action plan, implementing it, verifying the effectiveness, and many other tasks that are generally performed under a CAPA system to manage the quality issues with accuracy and efficiency without any impact on the ongoing processes.
This is commonly referred to as the development and implementation step wherein all the planned activities get conducted. The primary process in this step is to formally document the policies, procedures, work instructions, SOPs, etc. that are mutually decided and assigned. The documentation is critical to establish a compliant process and system.
The next process of this step is to start implementing the things as documented. It might require you to provide training to your employees. It will make them even more competent for the job and responsibilities assigned. The training can be provided through online programs, on-job practice sessions, or team meetings as suitable.
For example – if you are going to have an electronic audit management solution, you will need to provide training to your employees – how it works and can be integrated with the existing resources.
Post training, the actual implementation should take place so that your employees can use the new skills and knowledge they gained in the training and demo sessions. Implementation brings the new system in function so that your team can manage the day-to-day CAPA operations effectively and flawlessly, unlike the time-consuming manual processes. So, are you ready to streamline your CAPA system with a smart mechanism?
In this step, you can evaluate and assess the effectiveness of the corrective action and preventive action system you have implemented in your organization. It helps you identify the improvements as well as impact soon after the implementation so that you can realize what’s working for your organization? And what’s not?
The effectiveness check step also enables you to check whether all the compliance and industry standards are duly followed. Most importantly, you need to ask why at every step. It will help you understand the newer improvements so as to drive the culture of continuous improvement in the organization.
You must remember to keep the process iterative so that you don’t miss any improvement, which can help your organization attain business operational excellence within minimum costs of quality.
Therefore, the effective review (check) process is mandatory for introducing more improvements to the process that will help to maintain continuity and sustainability.
No real-world plan can be flawless as they say, “To err is human”. This step is a guide to help you manage the glitches, loopholes, or technical issues that you identified in the effectiveness review step by implementing the right action plan.
Since the objective is to ensure continuous improvement, you must design your CAPA system around Deming cycle of Plan, Do, Act, Check.
Setting up such a process manually will be daunting and time-consuming. The best solution here is Qualityze CAPA Management Solution that enables you to perform all the four steps while meeting the compliance and regulatory standards.
With Qualityze, all your CAPA activities including verification and validation of the quality issues identified, investigation of the root cause, implementation of right corrective and preventive action, and documentation of the problems, potential risks, and relevant solutions is as easy as few clicks.
Through its intuitive and configurable interface, Qualityze CAPA management software helps streamline, standardize, and automate the implementation of CAPA process across your organization, while analytics and reporting tools contribute to continuous improvements by offering detailed data, trends, and insights.
To Sum Up
CAPA system is essential for any organization that relies on an objective of continuous improvement. Make sure you establish an effective one with Qualityze CAPA Management Solution to prevent the recurrence of the quality issues once identified and resolved.
If you’re seriously interested to make your quality management and CAPA management processes compliant, you must think of getting Qualityze today!
The manufacturing industry has witnessed a massive change due to continuously evolving regulatory requirements and complex operational structures. They need to develop quality supply chains throughout the business to attain the goal of customer satisfaction.
The most common problem that manufacturers face is identifying a quality issue before it’s too late to recover. The reason is time-consuming activities like spot checks, creating methodologies to keep a check on quality issues, identifying them, and creating reports.
What could be the next actionable step here?
Manufacturers should invest in a powerful supplier quality management solution to identify the best suppliers based on the costs, quality, and value they deliver without affecting the frequency of the monitoring and reporting activities.
You must be wondering why supplier quality management is such a critical aspect for the manufacturing industry. Let’s quickly look at the reason before any further discussion.
Why Managing Supplier Quality is Important?
Manufacturing business heavily relies on suppliers for the production of their goods and services. They should have a process formulated to manage, monitor, and improve the supplier’s performance to serve customers’ requirements on time that too with the expected quality.
This is why; you should have a supplier selection process. You cannot just rely on any supplier to deliver the desired quality components. The selection process may take time based on the criteria you have, but it’s a total worth to attain your business quality objectives.
Managing your supplier quality well may become one of the key differentiators from your competitors.
How to Ensure Strategic Supplier Quality Management?
If you are also looking to stand out from your competitors, make sure you implement the below-mentioned supplier quality management strategies in your business:
- Be sure to have an integration-enabled and centralized system for hassle-free management
One of the most common problems with supplier quality management that almost every organization (Be it small or large) faces is widespread and disconnected IT infrastructure. This leads to disparate data sources in financial, designing, engineering, and many more aspects that may result in inaccurate evaluations and uninformed decision-making.
The industry leaders are thinking about implementing a centralized and integrated supplier management system wherein they can collaborate and communicate for all the important functions from designing till delivery. This implies the need for a closed-loop quality management process. Hence, you should look for a supplier quality management software that can integrate with different third-party applications including ERP to fetch more effective data that can transform your QMS into a quality decision-making engine like Qualityze.
Adopting the next-generation solution is the key to achieve quality without wasting any time or efforts in managing disparate and disconnected data and IT systems.
- Create a standardized evaluation criterion for supplier’s scoreboard
As they say, “Risk is the price you pay for Opportunity”, make sure you take a calculated risk in terms of supplier management because more suppliers imply more risks. Once you have created a supplier risk scoreboard, managing and understanding the critical things becomes important to mitigate the risks. The process becomes even more difficult to handle when companies are associated with many suppliers. Curating the accurate scorecards after evaluating their past and current performance requires a more efficient evaluation system.
This is the reason; the companies need to establish a standardized evaluation system to prepare error-free supplier scorecards. Implementing the advanced supplier management solutions could be the perfect way to establish and communicate a standardized evaluation criterion throughout the organization even if you have geographically dispersed teams.
Every organization needs to understand the significance of having a centralized and standardized system to lower the risks associated with the existing and new suppliers.
- Curate a list of KPIs for your Suppliers for Improved Performance
To avoid any sort of confusions, every organization must define some KPIs and metrics to measure the supplier performance. A pre-defined list can be used across the organization as we already discussed that standardization and centralization may work wonders for any organization.
The standardized process and metrics will help the entire organization to work in the same direction, which will be beneficial for long term business improvements. You may define the process to be followed to identify or to manage identified nonconformances, product classification metrics for noncompliance, and much more.
Having a supplier management software solution can help sort the entire job for you by enabling you to create a list of KPIs on a centralized platform that can be used throughout the organization.
- Ensure compliant processes and regular audits
For a regulated environment, it is important that all your processes are compliant. This also requires effective audit processes in place to ensure that all the compliant friendly activities are being followed. Every organization must conduct supplier audits to make sure they are following all the guidelines instructed by regulatory authorities.
Establishing such crucial processes become easy with a supplier quality management solution along with a formal audit process. The better approach could be an eQMS solution that gives you the flexibility to manage supplier as well as audit management processes under one umbrella. Having such a powerful solution is a need of every manufacturing company to have regulated processes.
- Transform with the Newest Industrial Revolution
“Change is the only Constant” – this applies to every industry including manufacturing. The leaders have already initiated transformation with the new industrial revolutions including Industry 4.0. Also, Industry 5.0 is emerging. Such industrial revolutions help organizations to cope up with the ever-changing business trends and environment.
Every organization should stay updated with the newest trends and industrial revolutions that can help improve their internal operations while serving customers with the best quality products. For example – analytics can help manufacturing organizations to understand the patterns and conditions of the industry better and plan their processes accordingly.
Implement all the five strategies discussed above to experience the change in your supplier quality. Having regulated processes, advanced solutions, and right people in place could help you avoid huge overhead expenses especially the product rework while keeping the supplier quality checked.
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.
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.