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Creating a Business Case to Justify a Quality Management Software Investment

Written by: Michael Rapaport

Creating a Business Case to Justify a Quality Management Software Investment

The term “high quality” is frequently used and it’s a result every company aims to achieve. Ensuring continuous quality improvements requires a specific set of quality standards along with relevant key performance indicators. A best-in-class quality management system (QMS) will substantially improve efficiency, decrease costs, and align with the needs of both internal and external stakeholders. Thus, investing in a robust enterprise quality management software (EQMS) is crucial to maintaining a competitive edge in your industry.

To champion the cause of quality management within your organization, you should build a business case to create a consensus among your decision-makers to buy into not only the software, but also implementationtraining, and maintenance costs.

You can start to build your business case by defining these five elements:

  • Organizational alignment with quality management goals
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Maturity and readiness of your organization to reach the next level of quality management
  • Context with data
  • Communication of value

1. ORGANIZATIONAL ALIGNMENT

Alignment between your quality management goals and EQMS is the key to success. In your business case, you must be able to provide decision-makers with accurate information that defines your company’s current state of quality management and assesses its effectiveness in meeting your quality management goals from a holistic point of view.

Here are the key questions to answer:

  • What is your company’s current state of quality?
  • Do current quality management processes align across departments?
  • Can quality enable improved alignment with strategic objectives?
  • How does cost of quality affect operational planning?
  • What data do you possess to support your assertions?

Once you’ve defined your current state of quality within your organization, you’ll be well-positioned to identify the areas of opportunity within your system for an EQMS.

2. STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

It’s important to remember to include all stakeholders in your business case. Without top-down buy-in, any EQMS implementation will most likely fall short of its potential. Creating a business case to justify an EQMS requires stakeholders to see how quality affects the value chain.

Here are key questions to answer:

  • How do the costs of quality affect a stakeholder’s domain?
  • Do stakeholders think of quality management on a functional basis or as a value chain?
  • What motivates stakeholders to engage in the quality management discussion?
  • What data would be most engaging to stakeholders?

By engaging key stakeholders, you’ll gain the buy-in needed to present your business case to business-decision makers.

3. MATURITY AND READINESS

If your company lacks the maturity and readiness to embrace an EQMS, any implementation will be incomplete. People, processes, and technology are three areas where your company’s maturity and readiness to adopt an EQMS may fall short.

To gauge your company’s maturity and readiness, you should include the answers to these questions in your business case:

  • What role does improved EQMS play in best-in-class organizations?
  • How far must your company go to achieve best-in-class status?
  • Are stakeholders poised to lead and embrace an EQMS?
  • Is your company making progress in closing the maturity and readiness gap?

Maturity and readiness relates very closely to stakeholder engagement. Raising the bar on quality can actually advance your company’s maturity and prepare your company to achieve best-in-class status.

4. CONTEXT WITH DATA

Your business case should include quantitative data to justify EQMS implementation and maintenance costs. The data should highlight stakeholders’ pain points and where an EQMS can enable cost-of-quality reductions.

You should include these data elements in your business case:

  • Site-level data
  • Production metrics
  • Supplier performance metrics
  • Compliance and auditing data
  • Cost savings over time

Far too often, quality departments provide mass amounts of data, but neglect to place this data in context. You need to go beyond merely presenting stakeholders with page after page of data in order to create a compelling business case.

5. COMMUNICATION OF VALUE

Adopting the value-chain perspective is one way to communicate with stakeholders on a granular level. Continuous improvement is the most prominent benefit of implementing an EQMS.

Here are some of the primary advantages of an EQMS you’ll want to include in your business case:

  • Early detection and mitigation of errors
  • Reduction in the likelihood of having to rework the product
  • More efficient routing and usage of resources
  • Substantial increase in productivity
  • Enterprise-wide reinforcement of meeting or exceeding customer or client expectations, i.e., total quality management

By following the steps listed above, your company can realize the cost benefits and savings of EQMS. Looking for the right EQMS solution? Contact IQS to request more information or recieve a demo.

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