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Quality Management Software: Controlling for Continuous Improvement

The core principles of effective quality management are not new to your organization. To get where you are, you’ve spent plenty of time and energy implementing operational best practices. The rapid pace of software innovation though has offered a new opportunity to savvy manufacturers. Market leaders and innovative competitors alike are looking to accelerate business growth with software-based quality management optimization. Read on to find out about the range of quality management software available to you and how QMS can benefit your organization.

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The companies and representatives you sent our way were prompt and thorough… I definitely would recommend your company as a means to exploring options with qualified providers. — Bruce Conley
Your service saved me some very valuable time and hooked me up with some excellent resources. Thanks for providing this top-notch service. — Linda Vittori
Thanks! Having a service like this to help navigate the ocean of accounting software and help identify potential good-fits without having to delve through numerous bad-fits is of tremendous value! — Mark Carpenter

Seizing the QMS opportunity

Quality management software (QMS) offers an opportunity to enhance quality management across the enterprise. It’s no longer enough to have engineering, the production floor, purchasing, sales, and service working independently to improve quality. Distributed systems are inherently inefficient. They’re a structural impediment to achieving your quality goals. An integrated approach that allows data to flow between each area is required. QMS systems offer a comprehensive tool kit to analyze quality related risks, set quality objectives, implement workflows to achieve standards, and audit for optimal performance.

Strong QMS is assisting manufacturers in meeting some of their most critical business challenges:

  • Ensuring regulatory compliance. Manufacturers are often subject to an alphabet soup of regulatory standards (FDA, ISO, NERC, SSOP, HAACP, and more). The ability to demonstrate compliance is critical. Compliance can be required for permitting, an eligibility condition for bid consideration, or a business necessity to avoid penalties or other legal action. Managing for regulatory compliance is complex work. QMS systems provide the monitoring and reporting tools you need to simplify the complexity.
  • Analyzing and reducing risk. Errors, defects, unexpected service work, lawsuits, and recalls each pose a threat to the financial health of your business. Improved quality management offers a chance to mitigate these business risks and smooth out the variance in your financial projections. QMS systems offer not only the functional tools required to more effectively manage for higher quality and fewer problematic products. They also include analysis tools to quantify the financial risks related to quality exceptions. Identifying the cost of quality management improvements versus the likely impact of reduced financial liability is one of the more challenging business issues facing manufacturers.
  • Increasing customer satisfaction. There is no industry or business model where quality is not a key competitive differentiator. Your customers are continually evaluating your products for their reliability, ease of use, and simply how well they do what they are supposed to do. Every sale is, in effect, a promise. Whether or not your customers feel the promise was kept will in large part determine your ability to gain future business, upsell related products, and generate continued enthusiasm for your goods.
  • Eliminating inefficiency. Defective unsold products are waste. Unexpected or early service work is a drain on company resources. Scrap is, well, scrap. QMS systems offer you the transparency into your processes to help you create quality goods efficiently.

Key features and functions of quality management software

Quality management software systems offer a wide variety of functionality. Core functions and features often include.

  • Compliance control. QMS software systems provide a central management system for all enterprise compliance initiatives. Compliance control features include documentation, planning, scheduling, reporting, and auditing related to adhering to regulatory standards.
  • Quality objective definitions. Regulatory standards of course are not the only measure of quality that matters to your business. Defining your quality standards is the first step to achieving them. Quality objectives can be set across a variety of dimensions including cycle times, scrap/waste percentages, defect rates, measurement deviations, durability metrics, and more.
  • Risk analysis. Complex what-if scenario reporting tools are required to reliably analyze potential costs related to quality exceptions. Predicting failure and service rates, as well as their financial implications, requires flexible reporting tools.
  • Workflow management. Input determines output. Workflow management tools offer assistance defining all processes involved in manufacturing an end-product. Reminders, timers, and alerts are frequently utilized to reduce the reliance on human memory and improve quality. Corrective action assignments can be determined ahead of time and response patterns mapped.
  • Monitoring and reporting. Once workflows have been established and standards defined, processes still require continual monitoring. Self-report checklists and more automated means of gathering data each have their place in terms of triggering notifications when standards have been breached.
  • Corrective action management. Tools managing corrective actions include task assignments, reporting, and monitoring to ensure that the right response has been implemented when quality has deviated outside of pre-identified standards.
  • Parts non-conformance. Defining the dimension your parts are measured upon for non-conformance is an important part of quality management. Parts non-conformance functionality can be as simple as a database of standardized parts metrics. Or, it may include more sophisticated monitoring controls that integrate with operational equipment.
  • Approval management. At many points in your manufacturing process approvals may be required. A coordinated approach to submitting requests and managing approvals can save time, while ensuring consistent process reviews are happening along the way.
  • Customer complaint management. Engineering, operations, and internal quality assurance each have a role in reporting product issues. So too do your customers. Many quality management systems include fully functioning help resource tools to assist service personnel in quickly resolving customer issues.
  • Audits and inspections. Optimized quality management must include proactive measures. Assessing your operations requires scheduled auditing and inspections. QMS software packages allow you to define, schedule, and execute audits and inspections.
  • Document management. From compliance standards to internal workflow descriptions and beyond, quality management creates a tremendous amount of data. A document management system can coordinate the data management challenge, facilitate collaboration, and ensure easy access to important quality management documentation.
  • Reporting and business intelligence. Strong reporting tools are a cornerstone of any effective quality management software system. The ability for decision makers to easily reference key performance indicators and performance dashboards is a necessity to turn quality management data into actionable business intelligence.

QMS integration considerations

Quality management software incorporates information from across the enterprise. Very often, QMS systems are found within larger enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

Because QMS systems typically operate best when they are taking a holistic approach to the enterprise challenge of optimizing quality, you may need to manage integrations with other information systems, such as:

  • Supply chain management. SCM systems manage the provisioning of goods from suppliers through to the customer. Relaying information regarding quality issues stemming from certain suppliers is an important piece of the quality management puzzle.
  • Customer relationship management. CRM software programs provide a coordinated approach to capturing customer specific information. Order histories and other customer interactions are logged to CRM programs. The ability to flow quality issue information from CRM software to QMS programs is important. It can assist in ensuring that quality issues addressed post-sale are being addressed both in terms of service work and process improvement.
  • Material resource planning and production scheduling. MRP software manages the materials required for production and the processes that go into the manufacturing operations. Importing quality related information from the QMS to the MRP system will help create more accurate manufacturing plans and forecasts.

Taking the next steps

If you are at the point where you are ready to find which quality management software options are right for you, we can help. Through a brief phone call, our software specialists will look to better understand your business and software needs to help you locate a handful of solutions that can address the issues you are currently experiencing. Get started today!

Popular Quality Management Software Products

Looking for great quality management software options? Below you can check out a list of the products most commonly considered by others searching for quality management software. The list on this page is based on many years of real software matches. But everyone’s needs are different. Browse for fits with your specific requirements or let us help you identify your top options.

Which software is right for you? Get quick and accurate recommendations.

What if you could simply tell someone about your software needs and they’d find your best choices? Look no further. We’ll listen to your needs and find your top software matches. That’s it. There’s no pressure, no cost.

The companies and representatives you sent our way were prompt and thorough… I definitely would recommend your company as a means to exploring options with qualified providers. — Bruce Conley
Your service saved me some very valuable time and hooked me up with some excellent resources. Thanks for providing this top-notch service. — Linda Vittori
Thanks! Having a service like this to help navigate the ocean of accounting software and help identify potential good-fits without having to delve through numerous bad-fits is of tremendous value! — Mark Carpenter
  • SAP Business One by SAP

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  • ALERE Manufacturing by TIW Technology

    ALERE Manufacturing is designed specifically for order driven and make-to-stock manufacturers. It includes all the day-to-day functionality that you might expect in a sophisticated manufacturing package. What you might not expect are the carefully...

  • Orienge Quality Management by Orienge

    The solution allows quality specialists to plan and carry out internal audits, detect and deal with inconsistencies, take corrective and preventive actions, analyze consumers’ satisfaction, provide objective data for analyzing the system...

  • MQ1 by CEBOS

    Our MQ1 technology is a suite of enterprise-wide quality management software. From the plant floor to the boardroom, CEBOS’ quality management software system enables organizations to save thousands of hours complying with management standard...

  • MISys Manufacturing by MISys

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  • JAMS(JAAS Advanced Manufacturing Software) by JAAS Systems

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  • Sage ERP X3 by Sage

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  • BatchMaster ERP with SAP Business One by BatchMaster Software

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  • BatchMaster ‑ Process Manufacturing ERP Software by BatchMaster Software

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  • Infor VISUAL Jobshop by Infor

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  • Horizons Manufacturing Suite by Horizons International

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  • Infor SyteLine by Infor

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  • Visual Ledger by Aboard Software

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  • ManuDyn Cloud 9 by ManuDynUSA

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  • SYSPRO 7 by SYSPRO

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  • Vicinity ‑ Process Manufacturing Software by Vicinity Manufacturing

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  • QAD Enterprise Applications by QAD

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  • MISys Small Business Manufacturing (SBM) by MISys

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  • Financials, Distribution, Manufacturing and Planning ‑ R4 Enterprise by Royal 4 Systems

    As a Total Solution, R4 financials complete your operation. R4 back office financials delivers a multi-entity, multi-currency and multi-lingual enterprise resource planning system. This system fully integrates AR, AP, GL, and other financial...

  • SmallMfg Inventory and Accounting by TechnoResources Inc.

    Smallmfg is a fully integrated, multi-user, manufacturing and accounting system. The intuitive user interface makes it easy to use and understand, while behind the scenes the program utilizes powerful algorithms. If you manufacture products we...

  • Chempax by Datacor

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  • glovia by Glovia International - ERP

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  • JobOps by Synergistic Software Solutions

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  • Catalyst Manufacturing by Catalyst Manufacturing

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  • ISOlution by Intera Systems

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  • Ross ERP for Chemicals by Aptean

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  • Infor EAM by Infor

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  • PackManager by Nulogy Corporation

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  • WinSPC by DataNet Quality Systems

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  • Virtual Process by Virtual Process

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Your Quality Management Software Recommendations

Ready to find out which software solutions are best suited for your needs? Great! Understanding that you’re motivated to find quality management software gives us a great start. We’ve helped companies of all shapes and sizes meet their quality management software needs. With a bit more information about your unique requirements, we’ll narrow down to your top options. Let’s get started!

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