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Why Your Business Needs Quality Management Software

Laura Bulmer Author: Laura Bulmer

Quality management software helps organisations maintain the quality of the products they produce as well as ensuring customer satisfaction.  The software assists employees in managing processes, procedures, documents and resources that are all required to streamline manufacturing operations.

Quality management software is used to flag and implement corrective and preventative actions in a production process and report on any issues found.  It is used to to enforce and maintain quality standards that are based on customer requirements or industry regulations. 

For any manufacturing business, quality management sits at the heart of all processes and having the right software in place to manage this will ultimately increase profits and customer satisfaction.

6 Quality Management Challenges In Manufacturing

Manufacturers face a wide range of quality management challenges in today's complex and competitive business environment including cost management, environmental aims, regulatory compliance and data risks.

1. Global Competition

There is a pressure on manufacturers to constantly innovate, improve efficiency, and deliver high-quality compliant products at competitive prices.

2. Rapid Technological Advancements

Adopting new technologies such as automation, robotics and artificial intelligence tools can be costly and complex but can increase profits and employee job satisfaction.  It’s imperative manufacturers find the right solutions and providers.

3. Cost Management

Manufacturers face constant pressure to reduce costs while maintaining product and compliance standards.  Factors such as raw material prices, labour costs, energy expenses, and regulatory compliance can significantly impact profitability.

Manufacturers need to employ efficient production processes, optimise their supply chain, and explore cost-saving opportunities.

4. Regulatory Compliance

Manufacturers have quality management teams and systems in place to ensure they comply with a wide range of regulations and standards which can vary across different countries and industries.

Ensuring compliance with environmental regulations, health and safety standards, product certifications, and intellectual property rights can be challenging and time-consuming.

5. Sustainability And Environmental Concernsmanufacturers_carbon neutral

Increasingly, manufacturers are under pressure to adopt sustainable practices, reduce their carbon footprint, and minimise environmental impact. 

Meeting sustainability goals may involve investing in eco-friendly technologies, implementing waste reduction measures and ensuring responsible sourcing of materials.

6. Data Risks

As manufacturing processes become more digitised and connected, cyber security threats pose a significant challenge. 

Manufacturers need to invest in robust cyber security measures to protect their intellectual property, sensitive data, and operational systems from cyber attacks and data breaches.

Quality Management Software And Document Management

A document management system (DMS) is a dedicated piece of software that digitally and securely houses all your critical business documents in a central location.

DMS & QMSFor quality management, a document management system will often sit alongside and/or be integrated with quality management software to mitigate and manage all the challenges we outlined above. 

It helps to remove data risks, assist with environmental aims, provide document compliance and help organisations stay ahead of the competition through process improvements.

The document management system is the central document pool for all the correlating documents involved with manufacturing processes.  This includes standard operation procedures (SOPS) change requests and product specifications, as well as financial documents and contracts.

For quality management leaders, the DMS requirements are mainly focused on secure document storage with bespoke rules around document access and control, version history and transparent workflow approvals for signing off authorisations. 

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ISO Regulations

Quality management teams regulated by ISO have strict guidelines to adhere to.  ISO Clause 7.5 discusses how to handle “documented information” and states organisations need a system that provides the following:

  • Clearly identifies each document – e.g. document name, date, author, etc.
  • The changes are controlled and identified
  • Enables the reviewing process of documents and their approval
  • Enables distribution and access to the documents
  • Makes sure the documents are available to everyone who needs them
  • Ensures their confidentiality (i.e. that only certain people are allowed to see the documents) and their integrity (i.e. that only certain people can change the documents)
  • Allows different document formats – e.g. PDF, text, spreadsheets, JPEG
  • How the documents are stored and preserved
  • Retention rules and disposal

These quality standards need to be achieved for both a company’s internal documents and external documents when looking in particular at compliance with ISO 9001.

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Improving Quality Management Procedures With DocTech

With the abundance of regulations and challenges manufacturers face, having a quality management system to control the processes that are integrated with a document management system to house the related documents is a winning combination.

Document Indexing

Our document management software provides document indexing, creating fields that are used to search for information such as name, author, date created/stored and document type.  Importantly, it also includes extra identifiers such as the status of each document, the date for renewal as well as the last edited or accessed by. 

Task Reminderstask reminders_DMS

The system not only securely stores documents but also helps with the admin. For example, if you store a policy with a 12 month check in place, the system will provide a task in nine months to remind you look at it and get it updated.

Track Changes

While quality management teams can identify changes in documents handled manually by using 'tracked changes'  in MS Word, our document management software enables users to revert the changes to use older versions of the document if required.

Critically most users will only see the latest version of a given document ensuring consistency and avoiding the errors of working from an out of date document.  Any changes that are made will be recorded in the back end of the software for transparency.

Automate Approvals

The software can 'push' documents with task in the software and/or via email to multiple users via bespoke document workflows to obtain approval or as a way to confirm they have read it.

Restrict Access

For confidentiality, a quality manager can define which level of access each user has. This can be done on a role level for ease of admin.  To preserve the integrity of files they can be made read-only or so that they don't appear at all to most users.

If your quality management system needs the extra functionality that an integrated document management system can provide, get in touch with us to understand how we can help.  

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