New quality management software (QMS) implementation might be one of the most effective changes you can make–but it could also be your costliest. If your implementation goes wrong, you’ll be unlikely to receive a second chance. It’s absolutely imperative that you choose correctly the first time.
A good QMS can improve efficiency across the entire company, and provide lean solutions to assist in quality control management. A great system will help by providing the most relevant data in useable formats to the people who need it to the most. Especially in our day of lean initiatives, the right QMS is vital in streamlining operations among geographically dispersed locals.
What Truly Matters?
When evaluating your options, it’s important to consider whether you’ll want a system that’s Statistical Process Control (SPC) focused, or a fully integrated quality software solution that covers everything from quality planning to assurance to project management.
It’s also important to consider whether your new software will integrate well with existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and SAP or gaging/measuring equipment currently in place. Will there be tangible benefits to a software that seamlessly captures data from existing equipment and systems, or is this a feature you can afford to forgo?
How Does the Potential Software Company Relate?
It’s also worth investigating the potential software’s use within your industry and other industries. Is this company an innovator and a leader? Will they outlast their current software offering? Are they generic in their focus, or user-focused? Will this new QMS adapt to your needs, or will you need to adapt to it? Finally, pay close attention to the reporting capabilities of your new system. All the data in the world is useless if top management can’t quickly access real-time reporting.
Features to Look For
In addition to these important considerations, it’s also important to consider the features your new QMS will provide. These aren’t just bells and whistles; instead, they’re vital parts of the system you’ll be utilizing daily.
Examples of additional important features include:
- Mobile & Fixed Station. Are there full plant data collection options available, including fixed station and mobile collection? What is the flexibility to capture data from any location on the plant floor or remote sites?
- Local Cache. Will there be uninterrupted data collection and the ability to collect data when the network or database server is down?
- Flexible Row/Column Data Collection. Can you create data collection setups based on most efficient methods? Is there flexibility to set up data collection for optimal efficiency?
- Drill Down Reporting (Analysis). Can you filter data to a specific data set and gain new visibility into your data with specialized data filters? Are you able to analyze specific details in the report data at any point in the hierarchy (collector, setup, labels, or time)?
The implementation of a new QMS is important enough that considerable time should be spent analyzing your company’s needs and objectives, as well as the potentials benefits and features of your new software. Careful attention to detail here will result in the most favorable outcome–increased quality and better profits overall.