Some companies may already have a “Quality” policy in place, but it may be unstructured or inadequate. Others may not have even started the process of creating a quality culture, but they are mindful that it is a necessity.
The reality is that many businesses, particularly in highly regulated industries like manufacturing, need to build a quality culture.
While you could theoretically do everything by hand, you’d be better off looking for good manufacturing Quality Management System (QMS) software.
QMS that drives Continuous Improvement
QMS software centralizes information, manages access, and keeps track of revision. This is great for auditing and record keeping, but not so much for continuous improvement.
A traditional QMS software maintains processes in the same way as museum objects are stored: safely, securely, and with a complete record history. This technique may be appropriate for specific file types, however any documented procedure, known as Standard Work, is unique. We can’t treat manufacturing processes like artifacts if we want to enhance them over time. Standard Work demands companies to improve their documents and procedures on a regular basis.
4 essential elements to look for in QMS software
1. Document Management
Companies must be able to keep, maintain, and manage all documentation linked with product and quality records to satisfy the expectations of highly regulated standards. This contains product specifications, assembly and work instructions, standard operating procedures (SOPs), quality policies, and training records, among other things. Document management enables centralized storage of documents, as well as the creation of audit trails and revision control.
Azumuta feature: It’s simple to develop and manage all visual work instructions, training materials, and technical writing resources in one central place with our software. Azumuta makes it easy to centralize and standardize all of your documentation. Our intuitive interface is designed for the entire production team, for the creation of processes and procedures and is accessible at any given time.
2. Regulatory Compliance
QMS software should assist companies in adhering to ISO, OSHA, FDA and other essential industry norms or standards to reduce compliance risks. It should be able to make closed-loop corrective and preventive action (CAPA) procedures possible, allowing for faster resolution of issues and the prevention of future nonconformance. Product and quality records, such as SOP’s and training records, also should be completely controlled and traceable using a QMS.
Azumuta feature: With our tool, companies can digitize compliance procedures and manage documentation through product traceability. As a result, you can improve quality standards and meet ISO requirements using our paperless process validation system to accelerate compliance. This way companies can easily manage ISO certifications and other safety programs and requirements.
3. Feedback loops
Allowing your staff to submit feedback or recommendations is the first step in becoming a lean company. The continuous improvement lifecycle cannot begin without this. The most important feedback comes from gathering insights from the activities on the shop floor (gemba walk).
Azumuta feature: Companies can integrate a feedback loop between shop floor operations and supervisors for process improvement. Frontline workers can improve ideas or report problems directly within any step of a work instruction. Follow up on issues in a structured way with our improvement boards, via the PDCA principle or a workflow of your choice.
4. Training & skill management
To show compliance with FDA, ISO, safety, internal processes, and other regulatory standards, companies must maintain employee training. Having a system in place to design and track employee training programs, assign training records, and generate progress reports simplifies audits and lowers compliance risks.
Azumuta feature: Transform your standard work instructions into online technical training. Follow and track the training and skill level of each employee very closely and see who has been trained on the most recent version in real-time.
Ensure that employees are always being onboarded, cross-trained, and reskilled to the most recent standards.
Choose the right QMS tool
Selecting the correct QMS is a key choice for industrial companies during the earlier stages. While your company may merely require document management and training today, your demands and requirements are likely to expand in the future. The ideal QMS should operate as a complete system for people, processes, and technology at every stage of the manufacturing process.
Choosing a quality management system is a big decision that may impact your capacity to obtain certifications, pass audits and product checks, sell your company, or expand to new markets. Book a free demo with one of our industry 4.0 experts and see how Azumuta can optimize your current quality management policy.