Digitalisation is making its way into production and manufacturing companies. Classic approaches to quality assurance are no longer effective in digital structures in the factory of the future. Big data, machine learning, AI, blockchain and sensor technology enable the manufacture of highly individualised products of exceptional quality with ever shorter lead times.
New demands are also being placed on quality assurance to keep pace with the digital transformation. Automated, data-based, networked quality assurance makes it possible to create consistent quality awareness down to the smallest process step.
In the following article we have explained 8 reasons how you can use quality assurance software to ensure continuous improvement of your products and services.
The basic function of digital quality assurance is to no longer perform quality inspections exclusively after the end of the process, but to evaluate quality data already during the ongoing manufacturing process. With corresponding functions such as checklists, defect management, task management and analysis methods, corresponding potential for improvement can be identified early on in the process.
1. Digital consistency & full traceability
Paper-based, error-prone quality assurance has had its day. With the help of a digital quality assurance tool, you bring time-consuming analogue processes into the digital world and thus create a common basis for digital collaboration. A QA software brings all those involved in quality assurance up to date and acts as the central platform where documentation, supplementary information & evaluations on the testing equipment are stored and retrieved.
Seamless cooperation is especially important in quality assurance, as several people are usually involved in work processes.
For example, if a defect is discovered during a quality control process, it may be the responsibility of another employee to correct the defect. Instead of passing on the information manually, with a digital quality control the defect is recorded and the other responsible persons are automatically informed via e-mail or app notifications.
In addition, rules can be created, such as the notification of a group when a defect is recorded for a certain defect category and much more.
With a central platform for quality assurance, information relevant to the inspection process is available in real time and the creation of information silos is prevented. Combined with third-party systems, it enables quality data to be exchanged without media discontinuity. Thanks to networked business processes, seamless product traceability is possible throughout.
2. Continuous improvement of your work processes
A good software solution for digital quality assurance enables you to digitally control testing, quality and work processes in order to make them more efficient and resource-saving and to bring more transparency into your processes. As a result, even the smallest individual processes become visible, you recognise connections and create synergies between the different production areas. You recognise better where there is potential for process improvement.
In short: with digital quality assurance processes, you can optimise your processes on the entire shop floor and thus increase the efficiency of your operational processes enormously.
Customer requirements can be better met thanks to data transparency about product characteristics, manufacturing parameters and field data. The data helps to ensure that product design always meets customer requirements.
A digital tool in quality assurance supports you in the ongoing improvement and optimisation of individual processes and helps to uncover sources of error at an early stage.
3. More flexibility for new requirements
A software solution offers more flexibility than existing paper processes. Changes can be made within minutes and all staff members can be brought up to date.
Digital quality assurance gives you more flexibility to react quickly to influences and changes. For example, if new queries are added or queries are dropped, the review processes can be adapted within a few minutes.
These fast reaction times also offer an advantage in the context of internal audits. Here, test data can be accessed immediately without having to search for the right documentation for a long time.
4. Audit-proof documentation with less processing effort
Not only do you need a few clicks to create quality control checklists. Updating, providing, searching and archiving quality-relevant documents such as inspection reports or defect cards also takes significantly less time with a digital solution. Relevant information can be quickly documented and easily retrieved.
Directly during the collection of data – for example during a quality check or the recording of a defect – all necessary information for further processing can be collected by means of photo documentation or document upload. Through this context-related collection of information, you have all the information at hand in one central place.
By means of interfaces to primary and third-party systems, the data can be entered into your existing systems. This results in a single point of contact and files only need to be maintained in one place.
In addition to collecting information, detailed reports and inspection reports can be created directly with this information in a QA software.
5. Automated processes
With a workflow management function, complex QA processes can be controlled. By networking processes, digital consistency is created across several business units or even companies with subcontractors. This enables resource-saving control of previously manual processes.
It is important here that the design of the processes is adapted to the specific situation. Involving all stakeholders in the definition and control of workflows is advantageous.
6. Insights into previously unknown processes
With the collection of quality data in a digital tool, all information related to the quality processes can be clearly presented. This gives you insights into previously unknown process data. This in turn allows you to identify potential for process improvement.
Even processes that were previously non-transparent become visible and evaluable. This creates transparency down to the individual step level.
7. Scalability and adaptability
A digital tool can be used to manage end-to-end quality awareness and cross-company quality processes. This ensures product traceability and an optimized improvement process across the entire product value chain.
Many inspection processes occur along the entire value chain. A unified solution helps you to onboard contractors and subcontractors and achieve a high level of standardization. It also enables a process for measuring the company’s performance.
In contrast to rigid paper processes, new business requirements such as additional user-defined fields for structured data collection or new inspection objects can be implemented with just a few clicks.
8. Real-time availability and evaluation of data
Benefit from a structured collection of process and quality data, which you can use as a basis for process improvements. Combined with master data from third-party systems, you create a data-based overall picture of your plants, machines and test processes. The digital factory or methods such as predictive maintenance are indispensable in this context. All data along your process chain is available in real time and you can continuously monitor your KPIs.
The advantages of digital quality assurance are obvious: more revision security, digital consistency and complete traceability as well as fewer sources of error due to analog processes.
If you are now planning to introduce software for digital quality assurance, the next step is to consider which functions the software solution should have for your use case. Because with a clear picture of your own requirements, you can recognize which tool is right for your company.
Testify is the mobile software solution for quality assurance of business processes and makes it possible to control any kind of quality and testing processes transparently and to make quality measurable at every production step.
Since February 2021 Melanie is working for us as Content Creator.
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