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While the general best practices and management systems behind quality management have remained consistent for decades, the systems and solutions used to ensure the production and delivery of high quality products and processes across the value chain have changed drastically. Systems that once seemed ideal have become obsolete and unable to address the rising complexities of today’s markets.
Companies initially developed spreadsheet management systems, which were used to manually monitor and analyze quality data. With developments in technology, there was a movement toward companies either implementing point quality solutions, many of them home grown or quality specific modules in ERP systems to manage quality. In both cases, the vast majority of companies failed to meet the business and technical requirements of global manufacturing companies.
As a result, many organizations now have a disjointed and broad set of systems that don’t easily communicate with one another. Improvements with these systems are often localized, lacking the global visibility needed to truly manage quality. With the need in the market, a new software category has emerged, Enterprise Quality Management Software (EQMS).
EQMS is an emerging enterprise software category that manages content and business processes for quality and compliance across the value chain. It can be viewed as a quality management platform with an integrated with IT architecture and data model that facilitates cross-functional communication and collaboration.
The solutions market for EQMS varies by functionality, industry, technology delivery platforms, company sizes served, and numerous other characteristics. There are, however, a set of typical capabilities that most vendors offer and/or are heavily investing in. These include:
EQMS can be used for many reasons, including the management of compliance, facilitating the investigation of adverse events and the proceeding corrective actions, managing risk, and, among many others, integrating complaint management into the quality management process. A more extensive list of these functionalities is provided below:
Modern IT architecture offered by EQMS enables organizations to close the loop on quality management. EQMS’s functionalities help to integrate quality management into end-to-end business processes across the value chain, from product ideation through distribution and service. A more specific description of EQMS’s closed loop capabilities is provided below:
Internal Quality Processes (Engineering, Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Service)
External Quality Processes (Suppliers)
Compliance and Risk
With the amount of resources needed, implementing an EQMS can be a daunting undertaking. However, with the proper planning, it can be incredibly beneficial to an operation. The list of goals that typically accompany an EQMS implementation includes:
EQMS will continue to surface as the leading solution for managing quality. Through our experiences and the creation of the industry's first solution selection guide for EQMS, we've had the opportunity to fully analyze the market. The convergence of disparate, specialized solutions will undoubtedly continue, with out-of-the-box solutions getting stronger and stronger. We're also seeing a lot of opportunity and investments being made in Business Intelligence, Mobility, User Experience, GUIs, Cloud Computing, and the development of app-based programs. In the future, we will touch more on these advancements.
You might also be interested in:
EQMS: Understanding the Drivers behind Global Adoption
Top Integration Points for Enterprise Quality Management
Closed-Loop Quality Management in the Consumer Products
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