Quality Management 101
By Johnny Nugent
What is quality? Merriam-Webster has several definitions of quality including an inherent feature, a degree of excellence, and vividness of hue. Although 'a degree of excellence' comes close, quality in the manufacturing ERP world is a bit more complicated than that.
What is Quality in Manufacturing?
The goal of quality in manufacturing is to ensure that every single product conforms to a set of specifications. Quality Management is a tool to help manufacturers meet this goal. Manufacturers may choose to invest in a free standing Quality Management System (QMS) or an ERP system with a robust Quality Management module.
What is ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 is the international standard for QMS. Manufacturers use this standard to show the ability to provide goods that consistently meet regulatory requirements.
Components of a Strong Quality Management System
Closed Loop Corrective Action (CLCA). The closed loop corrective action function keeps teams of problem solvers aware of changes and the overall status of an issue. The CLCA can also be used for identifying potential problems and assigning the best team member to lead the resolution efforts. Problems are typically tracked in a database where they are serialized, dated, and given a detailed description. Points of contact are assigned, corrective actions taken, solutions, and level of importance are also part of the CLCA.
Non-Conformance Reporting (NCR). This critical area of quality management covers the oversight of the area of manufacturing that ensure parts, processes, and regulatory standards are met. When a process misses the mark and falls out of conformance requirements, companies need a resilient reporting system to identify, track and report non-compliance. Robust NCR systems can detect trends in non-conformity that aid in rapid correction of process deficiencies.
Quality Analytics. This function takes the lead on activities that will make your product and services better. Specifically, a focus on unique ways to incorporate quality techniques as applied to the measurement, collection, and analyzing of data. Quality Analytics is designed to elevate your organizations quality performance. This component of Quality Management is taking prominence due to its potential to increase consumer value and to give an organization distinct leverage over its competitors.
Benefits of Quality Management
Cost savings is one of the main benefits of Quality Management because the cost of poor quality is so high. Poor quality can result in costs such as wasted materials created by inefficient manufacturing processes, rework on defective products, analyzing procedures to identify what went wrong, field support, returns and repairs, warranties, and lawsuits to name a few. Poor quality can also result in employee turnover, customer dissatisfaction, and brand damage. In the end, most companies will find that they cannot afford to not invest in the proper QMS for their business.
An ERP system with a robust Quality Management component is the key to becoming ISO 9001 compliant. Reach out to us here to see if Visibility's solution can meet your company's quality management concerns. Click here to download Visibility ERP's Quality Management Data Sheet.