If you have followed the emergence of enterprise quality management software over the last few years, you may have noticed that adoption rates have continued to rise overall. Today, EQMS can bolster a number of quality processes, including supplier management and corrective and preventive actions. The question is: What else can EQMS do that has yet to reach mainstream best practices? If you have not correlated EQMS with how to improve your audit management, now is the time to take a closer look at how effective EQMS can be when automating audit management.
The untold benefits of using EQMS to improve your audit management
Consider how much has been written about the effectiveness of EQMS as a tool to manage nonconformances and CAPA from an enterprise, global level. Certainly, you can leverage your company's EQMS to benefit additional quality processes, too, such as audit management and compliance. In fact, many manufacturers have extended EQMS to encompass audit management, as well. "A centralized, flexible audit management solution as part of EQMS drives sharing, learning, guidance and best practices, not to mention positive side effects like that of a true corporate memory of all that came before," LNS Research analyst Rob Harrison reports. It is true that no single technology can replace the critical thinking required to glean actionable takeaways from audits. EQMS, however, can give you the software tool you need to manage audits more efficiently across such a large organization as a global manufacturing enterprise. Recent findings by LNS Research have revealed that audits are a highly valuable process that you may have to consider automating in the near future. One of the untold benefits of using EQMS is leveraging audits as a continuous improvement tool without the inherent pressure of defects and failures. If you pivot your point of view and think about what else EQMS can do besides manage CAPA, cross-functional collaboration steps to the fore as a huge potential benefit of audit automation.
Automating audits improves new product introductions
To expand upon the idea of cross-functional collaboration, think of what you would be able to do if you had the ability to manage audits in a single, global repository of intelligence. Today, manufacturing sites and suppliers are distributed across the globe. As such, the ability to bring new products to market successfully depends mightily on meeting time, volume and quality targets. From a high-level perspective, much of the manufacturing industry continues to take a firefighting approach when it comes to nonconformances and corrective and preventive actions, even though preventive actions are an inseparable component of CAPA. Audits are a critical and very underrated preventive action that can help your company maintain focus on quality, particularly with respect to new product introduction (NPI). According to the experts at LNS Research, you can improve NPI by automating audits with EQMS. In particular, manufacturers that leverage mature, automated auditing capabilities report much higher NPI than those that do not use EQMS to manage audits, LNS Research says. The numbers show that companies that automate audits with EQMS report an improvement to NPI as high as 38 percent, which is a significant boost you may not have read about. Without doubt, EQMS can provide your company with the right knowledge at the right time, especially when it comes to audits especially an automated, global solution.