What to Look for When Selecting a Quality Management System
Before you make any decisions, take a moment to read through these traits that separate the average quality system from the truly efficient quality systems that will make a real, visible difference to your strategies. Things to look for when choosing a QMS include the following:
Ideally, the system should be easy to use and flexible to your needs. You should be able to start using the software with basic training, without the need for IT support. In this way, dynamic workflow platforms are the best option – especially those that can be expanded easily. Processes should be automated to make life easier for those assigned to implementing the systems, and the system should also offer an integrated approach that incorporates CAPA, document control, audits and various other quality applications. If your system can adapt to processes and manage change easily, this will go a long way in ensuring future growth without having to fork out for new systems whenever processes are changed.
As businesses become successful, they grow too. This means that your QMS needs to be scalable in order to cater for growth, in terms of added employees as well as potential new premises and locations. Without scalability, the alternative is increased software – something that can make things more complicated as the company expands. A modular system that allows you to grow while still retaining its functionality offers the perfect solution – allowing you to add on to each module as needed without having to source entire new software programs for quality areas such as competency assessments, CAPA, version control and whatever else you may require.
Another important thing to consider is visibility – especially when it comes to data management. Without this, quality strategies cannot be implemented or tracked effectively, leading to disorganisation and chaos. Reporting tools are therefore essential when choosing a QMS – this tool enables you to automate the reporting process, making it easier to develop templates and reminders for reports. This in turn improves visibility, and streamlines your improvement strategies too.
There are a few different options to choose from for deployment, the most efficient one of which is SaaS, or Software as a Service. This option uses cloud hosting to store the system and data remotely, with a central dashboard for access. As a cost-effective way to deploy the system, there are a number of benefits offered by SaaS. There is no need for purchasing servers, which helps bring down the cost. You won’t need to worry about storage and maintenance costs either. Security is another big factor – cloud based systems offer protection against physical damage as well as other threats, with a number of features that allow for better security. These include access-control, which allows you to set permissions for authorised employees to use the QMS. HTTPS and secure socket layers (SSL) are also used along with managed firewalls, while daily backups also increase protection. If you take the time to do a bit of homework before selecting your quality management system, you can be sure that you choose a solution that will be a truly worthwhile investment.