Benefits of On-Demand Quality Management Software Services for Small and Multi-site Businesses
Implementing and maintaining an enterprise-wide quality management system necessitates the deployment of novel IT solutions that efficiently facilitate quality management initiatives. Hosted software services (on-demand) provide a means for small businesses to deploy an integrated, on-demand quality management IT solution at an optimal cost, and without further straining current IT infrastructure and human resources. For enterprises that conduct operations across multiple manufacturing sites and among many different suppliers, these facets of developing a low-cost quality management system are particularly challenging.
Traditional on-site IT solutions afford small businesses the flexibility to upgrade software and maintain systems in-house as periodic refreshes in quality management technology occur. The high costs of state-of-the-art hardware and software, however, place quality management professionals in a rather large quandary. In the general manufacturing industry, software solutions should ideally be able to help achieve regulatory compliance faster while lowering expenditures at the same time. Opting for hosted quality management software is one way to achieve such lofty goals.
Common Quality Management Challenges
Manufacturers continue to search for novel solutions to lower the total cost of quality. With the advent of powerful, automated quality-management systems, paper-driven quality management systems are quickly becoming entirely too problematic to manage, as new data collected electronically must be able to integrate seamlessly with that collected via antiquated methods. For example, the sheer amount of decades-old compliance documentation remains one of the biggest logistical challenges of all.
Furthermore, the challenge of preparing for inspections and audits highlights the importance of streamlining IT solutions within organizations that coordinate operations among multiple manufacturing sites. In the real world, the inherent difficulties of paper-driven quality management systems often create disparate systems among manufacturing sites. Disparate supplier systems muddle the issue even more. As a solution, on-site quality management software seeks to integrate disparate systems into a single unit; however, with the expansion of cloud-based technology, hosted software services are now gaining acceptance as a low-cost alternative to the on-site quality management software solution.
The Basic Benefits of Hosted Software in Quality Management Systems
The two biggest benefits of hosted software versus on-site software are obvious: lower on-site IT resource utilization and lower cost of deployment. Hosted software provides other basic benefits as well. For instance, by choosing hosted software services, multi-site businesses can reduce long-term system maintenance. Simply speaking, savings gained by allowing vendors to perform routine quality-management system maintenance and back-ups can help achieve a faster return on investment. Further, by choosing hosted software services, the operational challenges of maintenance and technical support are included in the service, thus lowering operational costs across multiple manufacturing sites.
Hosted software affords quality management professionals greater access to internal systems through a web-based interface. This basic benefit of hosted quality management software allows IT personnel to increase site-to-site productivity by streamlining communication. In the past, disparate quality management IT solutions slowed down the implementation of engineering changes and corrective actions. Hosted software solves this problem by eliminating the issue of disparate systems altogether. Hosted software can also help streamline communication among suppliers. By choosing an integrated quality management and compliance platform, suppliers are able to access change request data through a single interface without having to contend with disparate systems in different manufacturing sites.
Hosted software services also offer small and multi-site manufacturers a different approach when calculating the initial cost of investment. In the standard enterprise IT outsourcing scenario, the pricing model of the service takes a server-based approach. Hosted software services afford manufacturers the chance to yield short-term savings through a user-based approach. The initial cost of hosted software is scalable by the number of users, as opposed to a flat, server-based pricing model. This benefit of IT outsourcing is arguably the most attractive aspect of choosing hosted software services.
The Benefits of IQS’s Hosted Software Services
The IQS hosted software solution, tailored to the unique needs of multi-site manufacturers as well as small businesses, offers many more benefits than rudimentary hosted software services. Primarily, IQS’s hosted software provides quality management professionals with the agility to deploy a scalable IT solution. IQS’s hosted software can also be implemented quickly without the need to increase IT costs at each manufacturing site. 24/7 system availability and network monitoring are included in the IQS solution, eliminating the problem of downtime altogether. Further, network security and administration is handled in a SaaS 70 facility, which frees even more internal IT resources.
IQS’s hosted software services greatly reduce communication delays between suppliers and manufacturers by making quality management and compliance documentation accessible online. In some instances, enterprises have been able to substantially reduce the amount of incoming inspections by as much as 90% after deploying IQS’s hosted software. The IQS software solution has also achieved significant PPMs alongside lowering ECN by several days. Specifically, one enterprise has been able to lower ECN from 15 to just three days after deploying the IQS hosted software solution. IQS’s software has also been able to reduce scrap by as much as 0.54% after deployment across multiple sites.
The benefits to executing regulatory compliance initiatives have also been documented. Another enterprise has been able to achieve six-figure savings by streamlining compliance audits and registrations after deploying IQS’s hosted software.
By placing minimal strain on existing IT resources, IQS’s hosted software is able to deploy quickly to meet compliance deadlines well ahead of schedule, which can create opportunities to lower quality management costs further through optimization initiatives.
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