How to Address Quality Management Issues in the Manufacturing Industry

Quality management issues in the manufacturing industry

The most common quality management issues facing the manufacturing industry today are likely a reflection of those experienced in your company. With ad hoc processes and cultural barriers, improving quality issues in production and operations management can be a company-wide challenge.

In today’s competitive global environment, quality has never mattered more. So, how can your company proactively address existing barriers to quality management issues that improve customer experience, drive performance, and maintain competitiveness in the marketplace?

In order to gain an edge over competitors, integrating quality management processes into a closed-loop quality management system (QMS) is crucial. To do so, your company needs to stay on top of the most pressing quality management issues in manufacturing to optimize business performance and market position. But first, there are five key questions to answer:

1. How has your organization nurtured a culture of quality over the last year?

It’s no surprise that embedding a vision of quality in a company’s culture facilitates productivity and innovation. Leader-led behavior is the key component to shaping quality culture systematically. Yet, LNS Research shows that over 50 percent of executives surveyed said that their company views quality as a department, not as a company-wide responsibility.

According to a McKinsey report, a company’s commitment to culture contributes to higher-performing operations in manufacturing. When executive leadership demonstrates behaviors that nurture a commitment to quality, including communicating objectives, goals, and expectations, quality becomes ingrained in the culture. It enables employees across the company, not just within a quality-related department, to take ownership of quality issues. Without executive-level support, quality initiatives will fall short of their potential.

Related: How to Create a Strong Culture of Quality

2. Have you made advances in assessing metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs)?

The ability to effectively measure quality metrics remains an essential issue for many manufacturing executives. A company is only as good as its data quality, so it must be able to trust the validity of quality metrics to streamline processes and reduce the cost of quality.

To enable QMS success, companies should look for advancements in measuring:

  • Cost of good quality
  • Cost of poor quality
  • Overall equipment effectiveness
  • New product introductions (NPIs)

3. Do you still have disparate QMS processes and solutions in place?

Your company has probably experienced the emergence of independent initiatives across multiple links of the value chain. With disparate QMS solutions in place among your manufacturing operations, mitigating nonconformity, incorporating corrective and preventative actions, and identifying areas to improve quality management issues can be burdensome and complicated. To seamlessly enable consistency across the quality ecosystem, companies must have a robust, fully integrated QMS for a holistic approach to quality management.

4. Is your technology architecture ready to handle exponential data growth?

You probably already know the importance of capturing data to improve processes and make critical decisions. But capturing data is just one part of the equation. In order to yield valuable insights, your quality IT architecture must be positioned to deliver analytical solutions for mass amounts of information, otherwise referred to as big data.

Before your company can prepare for this type of accelerated growth, you must consider a more sophisticated solution to break down barriers that silo quality process data. Preparing your organization to handle big data analytics will then enable more efficient operations and agile manufacturing, while maximizing production efficiency.

5. Is your organization poised to close the loop on quality management?

Closed-loop quality management systems are quickly becoming the new paradigm of industry-leading manufacturing organizations, especially as quality executives look to manage quality across the value chain. In fact, quality management systems have recently started to adopt an enterprise-wide approach to quality that includes various functions into a single software solution via an enterprise quality management software (EQMS).

Employing a closed-loop quality management strategy by integrating an EQMS solution can enable innovative solutions to all of the questions listed above. Additionally, it can drive the notion that the overall quality of a product depends upon a holistic view where every employee across your company views quality as their responsibility.

By answering these questions, your company will be ready to integrate a robust EQMS solution to proactively address the contemporary quality problems in production and operations management.