A DEFINITION OF QUALITY MANAGEMENT

Quality management is among the first steps of a Product Lifecycle Management process. It's how companies take raw ideas into more detailed requirements. Requirements management involves documenting, analyzing, prioritizing, and visualizing what stakeholders want from your products and services. Requirements management also typically includes change management for requirements, requirements traceability, collaboration with relevant stakeholders, and approvals of requirements.

Key Capabilities for Quality Management

  • Closed loop processes: the most critical part of quality management is to have a complete closed loop from development to manufacturing to field to service to customer. Whether a company is dealing with customer complaints, supplier incidents or non-conformances, there needs to be an integrated process that can quickly identify and resolve issues. Companies should make sure their quality management approach holistically considers CAPAs (Corrective and Preventive Actions,  or Corrective Action Preventive Actions), NCMRs (Non-Conforming Material Reports), SCARs (Supplier Corrective Action Requests) and other quality processes.
  • Audit management: to ensure a robust quality management approach, companies should make sure they have periodic audits to comply with regulations and ensure product safety, quality and customer satisfaction. Companies should be able to plan, schedule, and conduct both internal and external audits. Audits can encompass internal processes, supplier procedures, training records and more.
  • Product specifications: many companies need to track environmental and regulatory requirements for each component, like RoHS, WEEE and REACH. To manage product specifications, companies need to be able to identify and rollup how products comply to these specifications.
  • Training and certification: for some industries, employees need to be trained and certified on certain procedures. Companies should be able to track training records, identify which employees are non-compliant and update records based on new procedures.
  • Compliance and validation: for companies in regulated industries, quality management systems are held to a higher bar. These companies need to comply to standards like 21 CFR Part 11 and ensure their systems are fully validated.

Benefits of Quality Management

Companies who have a solid quality management process can expect the following benefits:

  • Lower risks
  • Higher product quality
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Less rework

Find out more about PLM, or learn more about Propel's approach to quality management, which offers a highly flexible and collaborative quality management solution built on a world-class platform.