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LNS Report: Manufacturers Struggle with Quality Management

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Delivering high quality products to the market is no longer a differentiator—it’s an imperative. Yet, a recent LNS Research report reveals that manufacturing companies have reached a plateau in their quality maturity and are struggling to address the challenges of changing global markets.

To solve the problem, LNS points to aligning investments with strategic objectives, especially those that target operational excellence. Quality is obviously a top priority of executives, so you’d expect to see a clear alignment. Meaning: those executives should be supporting—if not leading— the charge when it comes to investing in quality management tools, processes, and personnel. Unfortunately, 87 percent of quality leaders identify their inability to improve operational excellence as a top challenge.

As your company grows in complexity, calculating the return on investment (ROI) on initiatives to rein in the cost of poor quality (CoPQ) is harder, and even more difficult to sell internally. But let’s face it, your company won’t be able to move forward on the quality maturity continuum without executive support. A big part of the problem is that you must be able to prove that investing in the cost of good quality (CoGQ) is a smart choice. However, you can only get this data by moving beyond manual, paper-based quality systems.

How do you move beyond this catch-22? The key is tying important quality compliance and conformance requirements to KPIs and business objectives. Your job as a quality leader then is to discover the critical KPIs and objectives that keep executives awake at night, determine how quality can help accomplish these objectives, and communicate how these align using the right metrics. Manufacturing-focused cloud ERP that relies on accurate quality data collection as a matter of operational rigor helps with this alignment.

When users develop failure mode and effects analyses (FMEAs) and control plans, the values they enter into the fields become part of the database, not simply cells in a standalone spreadsheet. When the quality engineer develops check sheets, these sheets pull the inspection values directly from that same database, eliminating the chance of transposition errors. Since all inventory scans and inspection activities are recorded events, the quality department has actual data to record scrap or deviations and can contribute to CoGQ calculations.

Discover valuable tips on how to develop your business case for investing in quality maturity. Read the full report: Data Driven Quality Management: The Value of Achieving Quality Maturity.