The Changing Paradigm of QMS
1. What are the current market trends you see shaping the Quality Management System Space?
Without doubt, most industries are experiencing more requirements from customers, government agencies, certification bodies, etc. to develop more detailed/in-depth QMS systems. No longer is it satisfactory to just have a “traditional” QMS process for the sake of just having something. The expectations today are to implement more elaborate systems and expect constant continuous improvements to your QMS system, measurable results, accurate data collection processes, process monitoring checks and balances, and transparent real-time information available through the web 24/7. Executives should be expected to see and review QMS results real time anytime, anywhere.
2. Organizations have now realized the importance of replacing ad hoc work practices with the consistent ones in order to ensure knowledge transfer. This guarantees that the knowledge from a particular resource working on a quality measurable is effectively transferred to other resources or even to new resources that are expected to take over this responsibility. This can increase the rate of customer satisfaction. Your views on this trend.
Standardization of EVERYTHING in the QMS process must occur. The Japanese exploited this with Toyota production system over 50 years ago and it is the foundation for their manufacturing system. Standardization is a key pillar within the concept of lean manufacturing. It is absolutely necessary in any organization from the start. Can you imagine a surgeon entering the operating room to perform a heart bypass and none of the assistant surgeons have any idea as to how he is going to proceed and complete the operation? It would be pandemonium! The quality function is the lead function in any organization to standardize processes and procedures in order to satisfy customer requirements. They must be the “beacon of light” within the organization to exemplify an approach of doing things the same way everywhere. Others will follow.
3. Please elaborate on the challenges that the organizations will need to address related to Quality Management System space.
The main challenge for any organization is have the openness to change. In order to change the QMS process, Quality leadership itself must 1) recognize there is most likely a better way out there versus what they are doing today, 2) understand the current information technologies systems they are using to measure their QMS and identify and carve out weaknesses in it, and 3) develop very challenging strategic plan that incorporates both management and data plans to continuously improve the current QMS process. Also, it is imperative that the QMS system is fully exposed to the executive team in the plants, regions, headquarter, etc. so that everyone “has skin in the game” and understands and supports it. To show complete support for the QMS system, the CEO should highly consider putting a standardized quality target in every bonus-eligible employee’s annual goals for the company (these targets would be supported by the QMS system). These targets should be the “qualifying” metric above all others in order to consider paying out a bonus or annual salary increase. Tying company quality results to employee compensation is a big motivator to improve the QMS process. Getting the entire organization to become engaged is extremely powerful.
4. What are the major tasks for organizational CIOs at this point in time? Is there any unmet need in terms of Quality Management System space that is yet to be leveraged from the vendors?
CIO’s need to insure they are directly interfacing with the leaders of the QMS system. Without an I.T. strategic plan that is fully vetted and supported by the CIO and his/her team for the QMS system, the QMS system will inevitably fail. Today’s QMS system needs the support of IT as the data required for QMS must be live, accurate, and easily understood. Vendors can play an important role in offering IT solutions but these solutions must be customizable to meet the customer’s needs. Far too often, a “canned” solution ends up being a waste of money. Most organizations know what they want, but don’t know how to get it. CIOs need to have a team with the necessary skills to listen and understand what their client is asking for and then, and only then, offer competent IT solutions.
5. With an increased need for quality in every industry sector, it is likely that professionals and organizations contemplate about where exactly quality management is headed to in the next decade?
QMS will evolve further in the next decade in terms of further automation – both management and data systems. It will be a given that live data will need to be viewed on smartphones and other immediate devices. Process control management with immediate feedback is already required but will intensify in the coming years. Customers will want to view a suppliers QMS performance live via the supplier’s portals. Additional QMS requirements will become more “micro” as the future nears. Product safety concerns will be a key driver within QMS in the future as well. Process controls are becoming more and more important in terms of understanding the performance for every component of every product – especially consumer safety products. QMS must be the center of focus for all businesses – there is too much “hidden cost factories” in every business that go unnoticed and unchecked. QMS must filter these issues out but can only do so if people and technology work hand in hand together.
6. What is your advice for budding technologists in the Quality Management System space? How do you see the evolution few years from now with regards to disruptions and transformations within Quality Management System space?
Disruption is pervasive—it’s happening in every industry— especially those where change is the only constant. What’s most important in this time of rapid change is how QMS leaders respond to lead their companies through it. Now is not the time for business as usual. Change can be the igniter that differentiates your company from your competitors. All companies need to act like challengers and embrace disruption to reimagine and transform their businesses. My favorite saying for which I have on my office wall (front and center) is “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got”. QMS requires constant change, constant re-examination, and constant communications. Customers expect and deserve perfect products - period. QMS leaders must support this requirement with a perfect system – period!