Harmonizing quality and enterprise mobility with EQMS
Your company has plenty of enterprise mobility solutions from which to choose. The question is: Which mobility solution can harmonize efficiently with quality systems? There is no easy answer, but this article outlines how mobility and quality can complement one another, if integrated at the enterprise level with enterprise quality management software.
How mobility is changing manufacturing
For several years, you have heard technology pundits touting mobility solutions in manufacturing as nothing short of the next industry revolution. Include the latest buzz phrase “the Industrial Internet of Things” and the outlook becomes even more muddled. That said, how has mobility changed manufacturing?
You can view mobility from a number of different angles. As a matter of fact, doing so is arguably the most pragmatic approach since mobility continues to mature at an astonishing pace. From a fundamental level, your task is to choose a flexible, agile mobility solution that will not become obsolete in a couple of years. Moore’s Law (processor speeds, or overall processing power for computers, will double every two years) is still a fact of life when it comes to implementing new technology.
You have to be agile enough to adjust to changes in mobility trends quickly. Today, manufacturers are staying ahead of the technology curve by utilizing highly versatile mobile development platforms. This approach allows your company to develop a sound application without the need to segment software developers into teams that focus exclusively on either iOS or Android, for instance.
As you already know, the user interface of manufacturing-specific mobile applications leaves much to be desired. Consumerization of IT is a very real phenomenon as employees have become accustomed to how easy it is to use a native smartphone application. Currently, one interesting trend is to develop applications that feature thorough drop-down menus in lieu of text fields, which at the end of the day are simply more prone to user error.
How EQMS is changing enterprise mobility
Certainly, mobility will continue to affect manufacturing in a number of unforeseen ways. To be as agile as possible, EQMS can actually help you adapt to enterprise mobility. This approach may come as a surprise to those who have not realized the full potential of EQMS, but from your perspective, EQMS and mobility can be complementary tools.
Given such a broad continuum of potential applications for mobility in manufacturing, it is far too easy for your company to fall victim to information overload. The ability of EQMS to eliminate silos of data and applications may be able to pinpoint opportunities to leverage mobility in creative ways.
For example, if your company has recently completed mergers and acquisitions activity, which certainly looks phenomenal on paper, IT may be struggling to integrate multiple systems into a single enterprise point of view. You may have to integrate several different enterprise-grade software, database and mobility solutions, and these systems may not integrate with one another at all, especially if you have legacy systems.
From a slightly different perspective, your company may be reluctant to make wholesale changes due to long-term commitments to one particular vendor or solution. Since EQMS aims to integrate systems at an enterprise level, you may be able to identify areas where mobility can yield substantial return on investment and improved quality intelligence.
The best mobility solution is one that allows you to respond quickly to potential quality defects through automated alerts and actionable data. If your employees on the shop floor have to work around a complicated, inefficient application, you have completely missed the point of mobility.
Surely, mobility and manufacturing will continue to be hot topics of discussion. That said, your task as a quality professional is to position your company to utilize mobility solutions as efficiently as possible to make your job easier. EQMS may be the missing piece of the puzzle.