Customers deserve high-quality products from their favorite companies and businesses. Fortunately, in the age of technology, there’s no shortage of excellent software that can help to streamline your workflows. There are products designed to make complex tasks like accounting, auditing inventory or organizing files simple. Believe it or not, there’s even software that helps you make top-notch products all the time. This may sound like a bedtime story you tell your children or a precious treasure only Indiana Jones could excavate. But rest assured, it exists. It’s called enterprise quality management software (EQMS), a manufacturing software that ensures you always meet your top-tier product requirements.
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Why You Need an EQMS
Right now, you might be thinking: “My business is doing just fine without an EQMS. Are you sure I really need it?” The short answer is yes. According to a recent study, 55% of respondents who don’t own an EQMS said their quality metrics aren’t properly measured. Forty-seven percent of respondents in the same survey said their businesses suffer from excessive data sources and systems to properly check quality.
If you’re not within any of those percentiles, your business or facility could face other underlying problems such as a lack of viewing immediate metrics, a disconnected IT structure or problems spotting non-conformances in your facility. In a nutshell, an EQMS can solve these and other issues. While there are clear advantages to implementing an EQMS, you’ll need far more knowledge to make an informed decision about whether it’s the right product for your needs. For starters, let’s talk about the most common advantages of owning an EQMS.
Key Advantages of an EQMS
Before you can learn about the key features of an EQMS, you must first learn about the advantages this software will accumulate for your business.
An EQMS that’s a cinch to learn is important. If your system is old or too complex, your employees may need more time to learn it. Also, if your team isn’t tech-savvy, an up-to-date or more complex software may harm your productivity and profitability. A system with easy-to-use features such as software integration, report filing and analyzing key metrics is critical to the success of your business.
Adapts with Your Business
As your company grows or depletes, you need an EQMS that can adapt to these changes. An adjustable EQMS should:
- Track and store enormous files and documents
- Be able to add and delete contacts, records or employees
- Keep up with fluctuations in production levels
If, for instance, business is booming in your couch factory, you’ll want your software to keep up with your intense production levels (i.e., new employees, more machinery, more hours/shifts created, etc.). On the other hand, if your couch factory is one of the numerous victims of an economic recession and you need to layoff workers, your EQMS can help you adjust accordingly.
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Aside from being easy to use and adaptable, your EQMS should also have a simple installation. A system with a quick setup allows you to swiftly transfer critical records, documents and data as well as contribute improvements in making your high-caliber products. Your employees and unmade couches will thank you once you promptly get your EQMS up and running.
A Sensible Price Tag
You know the saying: all that glitters isn’t gold. The same applies to software. Software with a diamond price tag isn’t always diamond-effective. You need an EQMS that comes with all the right bells and whistles that accent your business and falls within your budget. You could buy a solution for your couch factory, for example, that has a
hefty price tag but only comes with two or three good features. Or you could spend a moderate amount of money, but the software doesn’t have any of the features you need to make exquisite couches so you’re up the river without a paddle. Do you need help identifying the top needs for your business? Our thorough requirements template can help with that.
An example of how an EQMS organizes your documents.
Red-Hot Features to Study
Ladies and gentlemen, we’re ready to proceed and explore the top features of a top-notch EQMS. Here…we…go!
Organize Your Reports
One of the top features to consider when choosing an EQMS is an elite reporting tool that stores and neatly organizes your documents. Your solution should be a digital filing cabinet that’s easy to file and navigate all of your reports and important documents. You don’t want your payroll reports mixed in with your meeting minutes or 100-page business plan. If you have various drafts of documents or a document that’s had tons of heavy edits, your solution should be capable of pulling up the editing history. Your EQMS tool should also give you control over who has access to specific documents, keeping sensitive data secure.
An EQMS that can integrate with other PLM, ERP or CRM software is vital to creating a single system that streamlines your workflow and provides accurate data within your facility. If your EQMS doesn’t communicate with other solutions, it will be more difficult to read what stage of production your product is in or the logistics (i.e. accounting, CRM data and other analytics) of it once it hits the market.
When getting an EQMS knowing what kind of integration you want, configuration or customization, is vital. If you go with the customization option, it’s a system that’s built just for your facility. Though it sounds like a dream come true, it can be a nightmare because every time your system needs an update, you have to craft a new code. Unless you have a coding team that you’ve assembled like the Avengers or you know how to code yourself, you’ll likely have to reach out to customer support to code and update your system. The configuration option is the stress-relieving yellow-brick road you want. As the name implies, you can easily configure what systems you already have with your new EQMS hassle-free.
Snag Gaps in Fulfillment
Your EQMS tool should easily pinpoint inconsistencies in your production benchmarks so you can see and expeditiously repair them. Common problems that can surface from your key metrics review include having thin clarity on supplier movements, lack of a routine to guarantee compliance with city, state or government regulations and incapacity to locate and manage manufacturing risks.
You should not avoid these or any other issues you find in your key metrics. You don’t want to discover your couch factory violates important environmental and safety regulations and brush it off. Or that your saw machine or drill press needs maintenance and you let them operate like normal. You have to take immediate action or you could face catastrophic lawsuits, fines or the worst of the worst: immediate shut down of your factory.
Compare Top Manufacturing ERP Software Leaders
So there you have it. An EQMS that catches discrepancies in fulfillment, flawless integrations and full-scale reporting are just some of the best features to ponder. You may decide none of the manufacturing ERP software features that we’ve listed will benefit the components of your facility. The important thing is to find a system that’s compatible with your facility (our comparison report can help) so you can produce and ship out quality products to your customers on a regular basis.
How has an EQMS improved your manufacturing facility? Share in the comments!