The 4 Main Components of Quality Management Explained

What makes a good quality management system? Ideally, a quality management solution should have some basic qualities such as simplicity, efficiency, and flexibility. Here are four building blocks for a strong basis, but your QM system should also meet the unique needs and challenges of your industry.

Establish A General Direction

Link your QM system to the mission and values of your organization. Create an action plan that reflects these values through monthly, weekly and daily tasks to ensure that different processes and teams meet quality goals.

Define what your quality goals are, set some deadlines if you are rolling out a new strategy and plan on reviewing your general direction on a regular basis.

Quality should be a priority and should be part of your company culture. This means you might have some work to do to get management involved and to get every employee to see quality as one of their responsibilities.

Identify Relevant Quality Control Strategies

You need to establish a set of practices to test products and make sure your organization meets quality goals.

Here are a few common ways to make sure products and services meet quality standards:

  • Develop a set of relevant tests and determine how often employees will perform tests.
  • Schedule internal quality audits.
  • Provide additional training to employees.
  • Delegate tasks so everyone has a clear role.
  • Gather data on products returned for quality issues.
  • Set some objectives for supervising the assembly line.
  • Develop a company culture that encourages employees to feel personally responsible for quality at their workstation.

Let Everyone Know About Your QM System

Quality assurance is one of the elements that allow you to develop a positive image for your brand. Customers and shareholders want to know that quality matters to you and which actions you are taking to implement quality standards.

Make your ongoing QM effort a part of the story and values you share with your customers via different marketing campaigns. Talking about your testing process in more details would make sense for a B2B company.

Shareholders and partners will need more information. Document the entire QM process for transparency purposes and talk about how you resolved known issues.

Aim For Continuous Improvement

There is always room for improvement. This applies to your products and services as well as to your different processes.

Improve your QM system by looking at past solutions. Assess how much each quality problem cost your organization to get an idea of how efficient your QM system is.

Gathering data about the quality issues you run into will help you continuously improve your finished products. Schedule regular reviews of your findings and focus on addressing the root cause behind detected quality problems – whether you need to rethink the design of a product, find a new supplier for your materials or make a few adjustments to the assembly line.

You also need a dedicated quality team behind your QM system. The right QM software is another valuable building block for your QM system since it will allow you to implement your plan, gather data and help you make the right decisions for continuous improvement while improving communication.

How Does QM Hardware Differ from QM Software?

Generally speaking, software refers to code while hardware refers to physical equipment. The programs you run on your computer and the apps downloaded to your phone fall in the software category. On the other hand, your Smartphone, computer and Wi-Fi router belong to the hardware category.

The same distinction exists in the world of quality management tools. Quality Management Software allows companies to gather data and to streamline the decision-making process when an issue arises. Quality Management Hardware allows manufacturers to perform physical tests on products and on the assembly line.

What Do Businesses Use QM Software For?

QM software helps businesses implement a quality management system. Features typically include:

  • Gathering data from different processes to get a clear picture.
  • Integration with other systems (such as ERP solutions).
  • Automatically schedule tasks, reminders, and training linked to quality control.
  • Analyzes data to detect trends and issues with quality.
  • Turns QM into a seamless process and allows businesses to achieve continuous improvement.
  • Improves collaboration and communication, especially for companies that manage assembly lines remotely.

What Are the Uses of QM Hardware?

QM hardware mostly encompasses testing equipment. This field is rapidly evolving thanks to the Internet of Things. It is now possible to have connected objects on the plant floor. These smart objects can send data to a cloud-based system and receive instructions.

This is a game-changer for Quality Management. A smart machine can share data about each product in real time. Some businesses are also using portable data collectors to have employees perform checks at different steps of the assembly line.

Smart tools are another noteworthy innovation. ASI DATAMYTE has developed a digital wrench that accurately takes torque measurement and makes this data available in an accessible format.

What Is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 is the missing piece of the puzzle. This approach blurs the lines between QM software and QM hardware by developing integrated solutions for the smart factory of tomorrow.

Industry 4.0 tools allow businesses to collect data on their plant floor thanks to the Internet of Things. An advanced QM software solution can then analyze data from smart machines, connected tools, and portable data collectors.

Combining cloud computing and cognitive computing means that a QM system could make simple decisions on its own based on the data collected on the plant floor.

This approach considerably reduces the need for manpower and makes organizations more reactive, even if a business manages a plant remotely. This type of QM system will become more common as more manufacturing plants upgrade to connected machines and tools.

QM software allows organizations to get a global picture of their quality system and to respond to issues quickly. QM hardware is typically one of the solutions used to monitor quality, mainly through the use of testing equipment. The role of QM hardware will probably change in the near future as the Internet of Things and cognitive computing offer a new way to monitor what is happening on the plant floor.

ASI DATAMYTE Sold German Division and QDA Software Solution

PLYMOUTH, Minnesota, July 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — ASI DATAMYTE, the global standard in enterprise quality software and hardware solutions, today announced the sale of its QDA software platform and related operations to Alpina Partners (ALPINA), a private equity group located in London, UK and Munich, Germany. As a part of this transaction ASI DATAMYTE will transfer substantially all of the QDA related customer contracts, assets, vendor contracts and its related operations. The two companies will continue a deep bi-directional partnership to resell, support and service each other’s products worldwide.

ASI DATAMYTE will continue to support its global customers with data collectors, torque solutions, dimensional gages, quality management software as well as support and services for QDA. In addition, they are innovating a new line of products and service offerings.

“This transaction will allow both organizations to focus on their core businesses while also providing capital, resources and investment which will accelerate and deepen its position as the global standard for enterprise quality management,” said ASI DATAMYTE Chairman Joel Ronning.

ALPINA’s new company, QDA Solutions, will provide “Industrie 4.0” platform software integration with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Computer-aided Quality (CAQ), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems.

“This new strategic direction positions both of our organizations to offer leading-edge manufacturing solutions to advance the quality goals and efficiencies of our customers worldwide,” said ASI DATAMYTE president Rick Bump.

Raymond James acted as corporate finance advisor to ASI DATAMYTE with Winthrop & Weinstine providing legal advice.

About Alpina Partners
Alpina Partners (ALPINA) is an owner-managed, independent investment firm with approximately € 300 million in assets under management. With proven industry, technology and international business expertise, ALPINA focuses on helping small- and mid-sized businesses in Europe to implement growth strategies. ALPINA is supported by the European Union through the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Program (CIP). For more information, visit http://www.alpinapartners.com.

About ASI DATAMYTE
ASI DATAMYTE is the global leader in providing world-class software and hardware solutions and services for quality management and quality improvement. For decades, they’ve been serving assembly, manufacturing and laboratory operations worldwide in a broad range of industries, including automotive, aerospace, consumer products, defense, food and beverage, medical device, industrial, pharmaceutical, wind power and others. Headquartered in Plymouth, Minn., U.S.A., ASI DATAMYTE has offices in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Italy, Singapore, and India. For more information, visit www.asidatamyte.com.

Combat FMEA Fatigue: Discover the Top 3 FMEA Issues and their Solutions

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Harness the Power of Industrie 4.0 and IIoT

Harness the Power of Industrie 4.0 and IIoT

Industrie 4.0 is a network-based approach to industrialization. In manufacturing, it applies the “Industrial Internet of Things” (IIoT) to achieve ultimate smart control of factory lines. Implementing pervasive intelligence throughout your factory can push your automation to new heights, enabling autonomous machines and smart products to interact and achieve blazing efficiencies, on-the-fly “batch of one” customizing, ultra-transparent quality assurance, integrated communications and more.

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