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/ Dhara Kothari

How to Optimize Your Investment in EQMS: Facilitate Clear Communication Between Systems and People

Industry information from service providers dictates that an EQMS is so vital to an organization’s optimal performance, that increased attention to fine-tuning quality ecosystems is directly related to increased profit.

An EQMS that is working hard for its company should empower management and every level of the organization by becoming a source of smooth operations and seamless integration while reducing the overall cost of quality. It offers different teams within the organization the power to generate numbers that pinpoint inefficiencies in your system quickly, as well as systems that evaluate and present findings in a language that communicates mutual importance. Instant results allow managers to take action where action is needed, which may be in integration of business-driving tools like web services, or to simply provide oversight and confidence in process performance during an audit.

Bespoke Solutions

Each approach in maintaining a system will be different. The goal should be to curate customized solutions for both current and projected challenges in business to gain results quickly. Once it has been determined where the system can work harder for you, and where you can get a higher return on your investment, target these areas proactively. The focus may be on any number of areas of improvement, including: performance tracking, system implementations, automated, web-based services, embedded analysis, integration, or any combination of these. Results can be achieved by focusing the approach on facilitating clear communication between systems and people.

Because a mature system significantly reduces overall cost of quality, work to drive your EQMS towards maturity quickly. To accomplish this, ensure:

  • Team support
  • A formal process for continual improvement
  • Use of relevant metrics
  • That a formal training program is in place

Team Support: Help Teams Manage Change

Whether it’s in implementing technology, increasing organizational resources or head count, any organization’s focus is profit. In evaluating internal quality, numbers should drive and encourage action so that team leads have a clear picture of where increased efficiency can drive business. Potential weakness in any system requires presenting numbers that are clear and communicate urgency. The entire team should be able to see the importance of streamlining processes; when everyone is on board and sees how efficiency in the system benefits every aspect of business and the rewards that come with it, quality goals can be achieved quickly. Your department is essential in helping your organizations teams reach their goals; automate and simplify data collection and numbers so that your company can focus on the brand unhindered by slow and outdated processes. An effective strategy is also your ally in garnering support for needs like expert consultancy, training resources or system optimization.

Teams within organizations can take a pro-active approach in gaining internal champions for the program by either involving key stakeholders, cross-functional teams, or other team leads help give voice for approval. Building awareness using facts, statistics, and documenting any inefficiencies or quality problems by quantifying them is one way to show how the bottom line can be transformed.

Application maps can illustrate how different departments operate in silos by using home-grown applications or patched together systems. Switching to an integrated system can help give greater visibility and escalation of operational quality issues.

Aim to commit the organization to a future that not only promotes business continuity, but the ability to manage change.

Continual Improvement: The Advantage of the Audit

Spending the necessary time and effort up-front in the audit stages is the most important step in ensuring the implementation strategy goes according to plan. This should include taking steps to set benchmarks, identify gaps, implement solutions, and measure the effects to ensure your organization can easily achieve improvement.  

As your organization makes changes, record them so that the standardization of business practices across divisions can be checked and evaluated. During an audit, use any uncovered gaps and opportunities for improvement. Important topics to consider are: whether the metrics being tracked are appropriate and related to business goals; do tools scale with business; are additional costs associated with implementation; and, do the systems support compliance activities?

Integrating quality processes with other business systems is important to advancing your system maturity, and ultimately increasing the value of quality to your organization. Integration will help you reduce error, keep processes running smoothly, and build a consistent language for reporting beyond the quality team.

Unlocking the Value of Quality Culture in Metrics

Establishing, maintaining, and interpreting quality metrics to determine risk factors, compliance, quality, or KPIs should become a top priority. When it comes to metrics, there is no set requirement on which ones an organization should track to measure their overall performance. Each organization should determine which metrics to track based on their unique operations, size and number of facilities, location, product niche, and existing business culture. The value of an individual metrics program may revolve around any combination of different factors, such as product data input points, manufacturing site performance, people metrics, and quality-system metrics.

Regardless of which metrics organizations choose to measure their performance, achieving a quality culture is important in assuring that data is accurate and reliable. An environment that requires employees to be responsible, accountable and reliable is vital to quality metrics because it allows organizations to continue to supply quality products to customers by ensuring accurate feedback from the system. Management should educate employees and provide the tools and environment where they can perform their functions in an atmosphere that encourages excellence and continuous improvement 

Establish Consistency through Training

Training is an integral part of an effective quality ecosystem because it makes clear to employees what business challenge it is trying to improve, and how they can be an important players in moving business forward. It affords employees the confidence to trust that the structures in place are there to help them win in every aspect of business.

Your organization may need to document and track your employee training program. These requirements ensure employees understand how to perform their duties within company and industry guidelines, but also how to exceed compliance by aiming for excellence.

Compliance and Efficiency Facilitate Excellence

The more inclusive and collaborative a quality strategy is, the more likely it is you will be able to implement the changes needed, and to maintain the standards your company aims to achieve. An innovative approach clearly outlines how an effective compliance system is crucial to a successful business strategy, but it also works to encourage a positive culture around compliance and a winning attitude towards the benefits of efficiency and quality production.