When we team with our mid-market manufacturing clients, what often emerges as a critical need during the team’s ERP selection project is a robust quality management process.
It’s not unusual for companies to struggle with the quality audit process, especially in the area of reporting for various mandates such as automotive TS mandates, medical FDA, ERP and Quality Management and ISO standards.
We’ve addressed this topic before. A previous Ultra Consulting blog post looked at how six sigma and ERP can work together to improve quality by reducing variability and improving processes.
In many cases, companies rely on manual or paper-based methods for reject and scrap tracking and analysis, end-to-end part visibility and tracking, and other areas.
That’s why when implementing an ERP system, our team of independent ERP consultants advises companies to seek out systems that help automate compliance with stringent quality standards.
Industry-Specific Quality Challenges
We realize that every situation is unique. Not all users require the same level of quality software sophistication.
We also take into consideration the needs faced by manufacturing vertical industries such as medical device and automotive.
For instance, in the case of automotive, there are specific requirements related to Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) and other areas.
Some Considerations about Quality
As we enter into an ERP selection project, we advise our clients to consider many issues during ERP comparison including:
- Making an assessment of the current state of manual quality tracking processes – how long does it take to perform an audit, and how many manual steps are involved?
- What specific steps need to happen to simplify audits, product traceability and improve accuracy of data?
- What’s the compliance environment for the specific industry? As an example, what record keeping is needed for an auto supplier to comply with AIAG QS-9000, Global Materials Management Operations Guideline Logistics Evaluation and ISO/TS 16949?
- Can quality assurance and quality control integrate into the actual workflow rather than being a stand-alone function that is processed separately?
Your Best Strategy for ERP and Quality Management
We’ve only scratched the surface of what your team needs to keep in mind about ERP and quality before heading into an ERP implementation.
Whether the quality function is baked into a larger ERP system, is a stand-alone module, or is accomplished with another approach, asking the right questions is key to a successful ERP selection project.