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Digitization: Taking a Deep Dive into Improving Quality

Smart Manufacturing, State of Smart Manufacturing, Quality Management System (QMS)
November 7, 2023

Spending time outdoors is more fun when you have access to a pool. Games, good food, and spending time with friends are all better when water is nearby. As people get more comfortable in the water, they start to swim and dive, taking their fun to another level.

But some seem to get stuck in the shallow end of the pool. They may make a splash and cool down a bit, but while others are learning to dive off the board into the deep end, others stay in the shallows, fearful of the areas where they can’t touch the bottom.

Many companies are the same when it comes to quality. They want to make a splash and cool down complex problems, but a deep dive into the most antagonizing and costly problems makes them apprehensive. However, such a deep dive is necessary to drive quality through any company and there are certain digital tools and skills that can give you the confidence to move out of the shallow end.

The Tools for Diving Deep

In a world moving swiftly toward smart manufacturing, plenty of digital quality improvement tools help managers and execs push quality higher. With the help of robust Quality Management System (QMS) software, these tools enable companies to:

  1. Attain Operational Visibility – Unsiloed and standardized data is pushed from a smart manufacturing platform to a Quality Management System (QMS) that acts as the goggles in a pool. No longer blurred by flawed or missing data, a detailed view of processes becomes clear. Swimmers can quickly identify problems and confidently implement continuous quality improvement.
  2. Leverage Real-Time Data – Real-time data and analytical insights are like swim fins. No longer tethered to slow and plodding manual data, real-time data propels you across the pool faster and lets you dive deeper with analytical insights to show where quality is lacking.
  3. Achieve World-Class Compliance – Olympic relay races are fun to watch. And like waiting for the gun to jump off the block, companies must run a race with compliance and regulation to stay ahead. A robust QMS using real-time data means quality documents are always there and updated across the enterprise so that no department or production process drops the baton.
  4. Improve Their Skills – The best swimmers are always practicing. By automating QMS functions so staff can track and analyze quality, skills improve and teams become more tactical in correcting even the smallest quality problems. Processes can be traced accurately, and progress monitored to identify opportunities for optimization.

Diving into Quality with PDCA Methodology

As teams become more confident in taking a deep quality dive, there are ways to continue the progress. Because real-time data and analytics yield accurate insight into what is happening in the pool's deep end, there are ways to systemize quality management throughout the enterprise.

One example is using the Plan, Do, Check, Act methodology. This established approach keeps skills tight and allows teams to use all the digital tools above to address existing and new quality concerns quickly. Companies can keep up with new regulations and deploy them immediately to prevent quality loss. As managers and teams operate on a single source of accurate quality data, a quality culture emerges so everyone is comfortable, and deep dives become the norm.

As you more forward on your digitization journey, there are many more best practices and competitive differentiators that will become available to you all because of a newfound visibility and access to data.

Don't Be Afraid to Dive Deep

By digitizing and relying on smart manufacturing tools and principles, you no longer have to be afraid of the deep end. Quality doesn’t have to hold your company, but it does take a deeper dive than manual and traditional resources can provide. With the right Quality Management System, real-time data and advanced analytics work to let your teams suit up and go where the problems are.

Dive deeper by learning more about quality management techniques, best practices, and tools in this Quality Management for Dummies eBook download.

About the Author

Plex Team