Regarding quality, how can you go from one critical, 13 major, and 35 minor findings to zero critical, two major, and 14 minor findings?

Paul Smith, Group Quality & Regulatory Affairs Director with med device company Owen Mumford presented their company’s success with ETQ at the hexagon Live 2023 event.

Differing country regulations, inflexible software, and thousands of SKUs are a recipe for disaster when trying to achieve a true quality culture. Large businesses face mountains of CAPAs, legal requirements, complaints, and non-conformances that they must consistently track to achieve quality standards. However, small businesses face just as daunting quality struggles. Paper records, culture changes, and similar regulatory constraints can cause disruption regardless of company size.

At the ETQ Panel during the Hexagon Live event, I looked into how a high-performing QMS software, like ETQ’-s Reliance, paired with helpful insights and direction from the team, can diminish concerns to properly manage quality.

Accountability is achieved by focusing on top management’s support and propagating it throughout the organization. Every owner of a quality metric must be accountable for their actions and ensure that corrective measures are taken by the proper due date. With a QMS solution as robust as ETQ Reliance, transforming entire decades of a quality journey into digital, powerful data is entirely achievable.

Companies that utilize ETQ’s platform have seen, time and time again, fewer complaints, a reduction in audit findings, and even improved customer perception. I have been impressed by ETQ’s ability to incorporate itself into a business, target its needs, and deliver. No matter how many SKUs, employees, or other quality metrics your company needs to meet, incorporating a robust QMS system like this one is highly beneficial.

How can we integrate quality easily into business needs?

My last post about ETQs QMS platform, Reliance, concluded that quality touches every part of the product lifecycle. With that importance in mind, how can we make that possible and adaptable? Instead of being a standalone department, Quality tends to have a hand in every part of the process, from sustainability, to design, manufacturing, and even customer relations. This prompts the need for a QMS system to assist these departments and manage quality expectations throughout the business, not just checking products before they go out the door. 

Let’s talk about the ETQ Reliance QMS platform, which attempts to solve this problem by developing a robust integration strategy that can work with systems such as CRM, PLM, ERP, MES, etc. ETQ Reliance also addresses the full range of quality management needs with their ignite, accelerate, expand, and transform model. With this model, ETQ Reliance can assess your specific business needs, apply their solution, and then help you progress to the level of transformation if applicable. Offering 42 ready-to-use applications in 8 application sets, ETQ will meet your company where it is and build upon it according to your needs. Not to mention, by utilizing one cloud-native SaaS platform, this QMS system works for you, streamlining work globally across divisions and departments. 

Between technological improvements and labor shortages, having substantial levels of cross-functional teamwork and collaboration is becoming more critical. In a manufacturing setting, if my quality department can easily communicate with the production team and their needs, that feature is beneficial. Now, if there was a QMS system like ETQ Reliance that not only can integrate into other solutions but be customized to fit our particular plants needs, that would be invaluable. 

What parts of the product lifecycle does quality touch?

This question was in the back of my mind when I recently attended a briefing with ETQ on their quality management system. After a deeper dive, it’s apparent that quality affects almost all parts of the product lifecycle. 

Between raw materials, spare parts, audits, or even getting the product into the hands of the consumer, quality must touch a product throughout its lifecycle for legal, commercial, and sustainability metrics to be achieved. Keeping a historical trail of every safety concern, training document, serial number, CAPA request, and supplier is of utmost importance to any quality department. Yet this list is incomplete. At worst, quality departments today see themselves drowning in 3-ring binders, file cabinets, and hard drives. At best, some companies may be working to keep up with busy share files, check-in, check-out systems, and Excel sheets.

Switching to a Quality Management Software like ETQ Reliance will streamline this process. With a product lifecycle history becoming more critical, why not pair that with a solution that fits business needs? ETQ Reliance works for any industry and can handle thousands of suppliers, audits, and more. With all quality questions and answers in one easily managed place, businesses can see themselves preventing quality-based disruption. Also, ETQ offers their QMS solution, Reliance, as a SaaS solution, which I’ll explore more in the next post. 

What’s My Take

As for my thoughts, quality departments often manage to execute with traditional methods. While this gets the job done, the department’s efficiency is completely dependent on making it through the next emergency. With help and guidance from the ETQ team, taking these old methods and converting them into highly effective and time-saving procedures is entirely possible. Not to mention, this can apply to companies looking to save time preemptively with their quality departments, not only those looking to upgrade.