One of the recent advances in quality control management has been the introduction of quality control management software. Software, such as the QIMAone platform, provides simplified and more advanced systems through which quality control can be managed digitally.
The key benefits quality control management software offers to QC teams are:
Improved visibility over the supply chain and a direct feed for new reports and information
Access to organized supply chain data and analytical tools
Increased control over how inspections and quality control procedures are carried out. Also, over what information is reported to QC managers
An improved ability to make informed decisions on quality control management issues
Improved access to the supply chain to take corrective action
Data is what underpins this software, right from when you receive supply chain information to when you make decisions to manage QC operations. Data translates into action in the supply chain. Understanding how supply chain managers can use software and data to make decisions is key to success.
Some of the main ways that supply chain management software is used are as follows:
With supply chain management software, quality control teams can manage their supply chains through one single, paperless platform. This is rather than going through multiple processes and multiple lines of communication.
This provides a much-simplified basic approach to quality control management.
As well as having information displayed and relayed on one platform, data arrives in real time. With inspection results uploaded immediately following an inspection, for example, QC managers have access to information from the supply chain as it’s gathered. This allows for the most agile decision making possible.
QC teams can have a high level of control over how inspections and other quality control procedures are carried out. They can also have more control over how information is reported.
Inspection procedures, for example, can be detailed to inspectors on a mobile app that they take with them to an inspection. Inspection requirements can be set out in a high level of detail, allowing teams to completely customize inspection procedures. QIMA provides a wide range of product specific inspection checklists that can be used. Alternatively, it’s possible to adapt these or create a completely new one from scratch.
It's also possible to update and adapt inspection procedures, with changes implemented immediately. If, for example, you uncover a new quality issue with a product, you can introduce a new inspection procedure to identify it.
As well as giving you control over how inspections are carried out, QC management software can give you control over how your inspectors report information. By having inspectors report information through the same format and the same channel, you can avoid certain problems. Problems you can avoid are:
Information being missed
Mistakes being made
Information being unclear
Information being reported in a range of different formats
QC teams can track key performance indicators to assess the best and worst performers in their supply chain. This allows for a higher level of control over how different suppliers are used. Software helps to diagnose issues through the increased visibility it gives into sources of uncertainty, volatility and variability.
Following on from this, where they are required, buffers can be created to reduce the effect of the issues that are identified. Alternatively, suppliers can be selected based on performance.
According to a survey by Geodis, the most commonly monitored key performance indicators are:
Daily performance (40% of respondents)
Cost reduction (35%)
Inventory turn (28%)
Production and lead time (27%)
Return rate (25%)
Return on asset (22%)
Analytical tools can be used to assess risks in the supply chain. By having insights into the risk of failure that different factories pose, risk management processes can be improved. Potential problems can then be avoided.
You can also introduce targeted management initiatives for new or underperforming suppliers. Where suppliers are underperforming, detailed, evidence-based feedback can be provided, and clear information can be given about where improvement is required. Stricter controls can also be placed on higher risk orders.
With buyers, inspectors and suppliers all operating from the same QC platform, information is shared. This encourages all the stakeholders in supply chain quality management to collaborate more effectively.
Quality control management software is often as helpful to inspectors and suppliers as it is to buyers. Inspectors benefit from easier information sharing and procedure management. Suppliers benefit from having access to more information.
Communication can be even more effective with instant feedback and live chat channels.
Where buyers wish to further improve relations with suppliers, they can do so by providing developmental training and education. On the QIMAone platform it’s possible to access a library of E-learning resources for training and educational purposes.
QIMAone is a supply chain management software created by QIMA. Some specific advantages that QIMAone brings include:
Continuous product quality improvement thanks to corrective and preventative actions in collaboration with suppliers
Better visibility over product quality and supplier performance thanks to actionable insights and supply chain mapping
Productivity gain for backoffice users and inspectors thanks to reporting automation and standardization
More resilient supply chain thanks to a risk-based approach combining self-inspections done by the suppliers and QIMA third-party quality control in case of integrity.
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