Having a good quality management system in place really isn’t optional. In some instances your industry is regulated by the government. But even if that isn’t the case, it’s just good business practice to be able to easily track product development throughout the manufacturing cycle to ensure the best possible output. Not only does this save you money in the long run, but it gives your customers the peace of mind they need to make buying decisions.
Complying with Government Regulations
In years gone by, government regulations have been more reactive than proactive. The focus was all on recall traceability to minimize public safety issues. This was true in food manufacturing, medical device manufacturing, chemicals and pharmaceuticals manufacturing and even in aerospace. A product was found to be defective or contaminated, a recall was issued, and it was up to the manufacturer to identify the lot or batch that the defective products came from.
While this is still a very important aspect of quality management, it is purely reactive. More and more, laws are being designed to mitigate product defects and contamination at the source – i.e. the manufacturer. More regulation means more processes that need to be tracked and recorded. More data needs to be accurately kept. Too many companies are using spreadsheets and hand written logs to track things. Not only is this time consuming, but it leaves more room for human error throughout the process. Having a quality management system that integrates directly with your ERP software not only reduces human error, but it saves you time and money in the event of an audit.
Quality Management is a Good Idea for Everyone
There are several industries that don’t have to answer to a government agency. That doesn’t mean that having an integrated system of checks and balances should be an afterthought. It is important to track your tools and machinery, knowing when they need to be serviced or replaced. A mis-calibrated machine could result in an entire batch of product being thrown out at a tremendous cost. Having an integrated quality management system can help with new product development, bringing products to market faster and at a lower cost. Ultimately though, a quality management system is your secret customer service weapon. Having a customer base that trusts your products leads to repeat business and large orders, ultimately, making you more money.