In a Harvard Business Review article, the authors indicate that speed for speed sake can be futile. They go on to explain that strategically fast companies slow down to speed up, and those that did “improved their top and bottom lines, averaging 40% higher sales and 52% higher operating profits over a three-year period.” While slowing down may seem counter to the goals of manufacturing companies, the article makes a compelling case for slowing down at key moments. One such moment is the exploration and adoption of new technologies. In fact, the article highlights that “success is based on the ability to explore new technologies.” That’s where mobile quality management software comes into play. How you might ask?
Quality Management Software Wins
#1 It Enables Lean Processes That Harmonize With Quality Control
Effective quality control managers establish processes that optimize customer value with the fewest resources; this is the essence of the lean philosophy. However, lean principles can, at times, come into conflict with quality control. What seems like waste reduction under a lean lens might look like an audit liability under a QC lens. When a manufacturing company is pressured into meeting tough compliance standards, reducing waste, and creating a lean work environment—all at the same time—it can create a lot of conflict within the organization. Automated quality management software solutions ease this tension by eliminating paperwork and the complex tracking that accompanies it. When quality control actions do not generate time-consuming paperwork, they are more in harmony with the lean philosophy.
#2 It Supports Continuous Improvement
Customers’ needs should drive the business. This is especially true nowadays when consumers can go on sites like Amazon or Yelp to review products before they make a purchase. In fact, 90% of customers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. Therefore, it is important to keep customer satisfaction a top priority. Unfortunately, traditional quality management systems are often too slow for the swift improvements that today’s customers have come to expect. Quality management software, like TrackVia, allows for input and analysis of results in real time. Such a capability enables continuous improvement of products.
#3 It Increases Productivity
Ideally, employees should spend more time doing their primary jobs, and less time doing paperwork. Currently, many manufacturers use paper forms and spreadsheets to track quality. In the digital age, such reliance on paper or spreadsheets is no longer effective at achieving desired results—nor is it necessary. Quality management software allows employees to spend the majority of their time performing their primary work function, which results in increased productivity (and increased morale). Some may be hesitant to adopt new practices, but this hesitation will disappear once it becomes clear that embracing an automated way of tracking quality data will save them time.
#4 It Allows For Better Tracking
A critical element of a quality management software platform is the ability to track how a manufacturer is doing in regard to certain elements of quality control and production. Traditional quality management systems have poor tracking capabilities because these systems rely on spreadsheet reporting. These spreadsheets are difficult to update when data needs to be aggregated from various sources, which inevitably translates into outdated reports that become unusable for managing the QC process. Modern quality management software automatically merges data from multiple sources, allowing for better and more reliable tracking of past performance.
#5 It Increases Production Speed
According to Harvard Business Review, “simply increasing the pace of production often leads to decreased value over time… in the form of lower-quality products and services.” So, while production speed is crucial to generate revenue and meet customer demand, it can’t come at the expense of quality. Today’s quality management software provides reports powered by real-time data. As a result, reports can uncover areas that are hampering production speed, which allow quality control directors and managers to address issues immediately without sacrificing product integrity.
#6 It Ensures Compliance with Industry Regulations
Highly regulated industries have many standards to which they must adhere. It is difficult for manufacturers to keep track of and adhere to all aspects of those standards, especially when they have to rely on paper-based quality management systems. Often, a problematic part of the process will get “lost in the paperwork,” which lengthens the resolution time since QC managers are dealing with the ripple effect of the problem versus addressing the root cause. Such instances are eliminated by quality management software because the data can be plainly depicted in graphs, charts, and color-coded systems.
#7 It Reduces Costs
Production mistakes in the form of defective products or parts are costly and erode profit margins. QC objectives include reducing the cost of quality for that reason. Traditional quality management systems are slow to recognize these mistakes. Such delays in recognizing errors result in proliferation of defective parts, wasting money. Modern quality management software gives manufacturers the ability to recognize production errors more quickly. After all, time is money.
Many of the benefits of modern quality management software are synergistic; together they have the potential to make an enormous impact within a manufacturing organization. Strategically fast companies embrace this new technology because it safeguards their ability to deliver high quality products over the long haul. Conversely, companies that resist technological advancements in quality control erode the customer value chain.