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Social media makes it easy to voice opinions in a blink.
As a result, a product’s bad quality has catastrophic outcomes on the brand’s image. If a customer is dissatisfied with a product, they can quickly share their experience on Facebook or Twitter. Such posts grab numerous eyeballs and spread like wildfire. Poor quality also results in low customer ratings on eCommerce sites, such as Amazon, which impedes online sales.
To build a successful brand, you need to establish a foolproof quality management process. This process will help you identify quality issues, amend the issues, and inform employees about the best practices for quality management. However, manually managing all these steps isn’t easy. It involves a lot of documentation and paperwork.
To implement a foolproof quality management process, you need a quality management software (QMS). The software automates all the steps, saving you time and ensuring that your products adhere to the quality standards. It also stores documents in one place and allows users to approve the paperwork online.
To help you select the right quality management software for your business, we’ve compiled all the essential information in this guide. Here’s what we’ve covered:
QMS is a tool that helps manufacturers implement and manage quality standards in their processes and products. It lets you manage the following quality-related aspects of the manufacturing process:
Compliance: Manage the requirements for different quality standards such as ISO 9000 and ISO 9000:2015.
Audits: Perform periodic inspections of products and processes to ensure that all the standards and regulations are met.
Corrective and preventive actions (CAPA): Create a course of action if an audit or customer complaint flags quality and process issues. These steps could include conducting training and selecting a new supplier.
Regulations: Create policies and regulations to ensure that you meet all the quality standards.
Approvals: Administer and manage the approval process for different steps in quality management such as conducting audits, organizing compliance training sessions, and approving the CAPA.
The first step to selecting the right QMS for your business is understanding the deployment options. Based on our research, here are the main deployment options for this software:
Cloud-based deployment: These solutions are hosted on the vendor’s servers and accessed using a web browser or mobile application. The vendor usually has a subscription pricing model, where you pay a fixed monthly or annual fee (per user) to access the product.
On-premise deployment: Unlike cloud-based systems, on-premise systems are hosted on an organization’s own servers and accessed via a desktop application. These systems usually charge a one-time, per user license fee. You may also need to pay extra for software upgrades, advanced features, and integrations.
GetApp recommends cloud-based systems for small and midsize businesses. As the vendor is responsible for server maintenance, you don’t need to purchase servers or network equipment nor hire IT staff to maintain the solution. These systems are also scalable and allow you to add/reduce the data storage capacity by upgrading/downgrading your payment plan.
Key questions to ask your vendor before you buy: Does your product offer a mobile app? What features are available in the mobile app?
After checking the deployment options, the next step is to learn about the common features of this software. This information will help you shortlist products based on your quality management needs.
According to our research, here are the common features of a QMS:
Document management: Lets users store, manage, and access compliance-related documents. Some products also store the historical versions of documents, so that users can track changes. However, the tool ensures that users have access to the recent versions with all changes updated in real time.
Document management in Genebra
Audit management: Lets you create and manage the steps in an audit workflow. These steps can include audit approval, auditor selection, and reporting. It lets you manage different audit requirements such as internal requests, external, FDA, and ISO.
Audit management process in Qualityze (Source)
Corrective and preventive action (CAPA) management: Identifies process-related risks by analyzing issues and customer complaints. Proactive inputs on process risk areas help you develop training ideas to inform employees about potential risks and process changes.
CAPA management in ComplianceQuest
Supplier management: Allows manufacturers to implement and manage quality standards for vendors. Users can schedule audits, approve/unlist vendors based on performance, and communicate the corrective actions as well as points of improvement.
Supplier quality management in QIT Consulting QMS (Source)
Change control management: Allows you to create and manage tasks to achieve the desired changes in a process or product. The steps can be assigned to different employees across different teams.
Change control management in Qualityze (Source)
Training management: Lets you create and administer training sessions to inform employees and suppliers about corrective and preventive actions. It tracks session attendance to ensure that all employees are aware of the latest regulations, policies, and guidelines.
Compliance training in eCAP (Source)
Key questions to ask your vendor before you buy: Does your product offer all the common features mentioned here? Besides these features, are there other features that will be useful to my business?
*Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations, obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.