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In our previous blog, we discussed the relationship between Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and the cost of quality. In this blog, we’ll take a look into how PLM is now, more than ever, being used to improve quality management across processes. Moreover, we’ll discuss how interoperability between traditional PLM and Quality Management System capabilities moves an organization towards a closed-loop quality management system.
From conception to disposal, PLM is a system for centralizing all data, processes, instructions, feedback, managerial and engineering notes, equipment/process change information, and more during a product’s life. PLM applications offered today automate workflows for the processes of design, manufacturing, testing, and service. Previously, we discussed an example of its capabilities with the Enterprise Bill of Process (eBOP). The eBOP is a way to manage manufacturing processes on a global level, taking a collaborative approach to process feedback, testing, and validation.
Companies typically have a component of quality management in parts of the PLM system. However, the presence of pervasive, standardized capabilities offered by an application such as Enterprise Quality Management Software (EQMS) is often lacking. LNS Research believes that measuring and monitoring quality as early as possible is ideal. Combining PLM capabilities with those of an EQMS system or just heightening the functionality of quality within an existing PLM system can have great impacts on overall quality.
Catching and resolving quality issues before they become a larger problem is a key for maintaining a low cost of poor quality as well as the overall cost of quality. Since the PLM process begins with a product idea, implementing a quality system or solution at this time is imperative for business performance. This can be accomplished by managing a quality system from within or leveraging system interoperability by using an EQMS. Regardless, the main idea is to have a standardized system in place that can capture quality issues and resolve them early on.
Notable points of integration are listed below:
The longer a company waits to monitor quality in a process or product, the more unattainable operational excellence becomes. We have seen a trend of market leading companies managing quality in a holistic manner, rather than in pieces, and pulling together various parts of the value chain. Tying PLM to areas like risk management, sustainability, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and manufacturing allows for feedback through the product’s life. Separately, areas of the value chain are only so effective, but when combined they can help to create a closed-loop approach to quality management that promotes continuous improvement.
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