Father of modern quality management Dr. W. Edwards Deming ends his Philosophy of Quality with Point #14:

“Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job.”

This point can be paraphrased as “Quality is everyone’s job.” Many manufacturers create quality silos by putting managers or small teams in charge of maintaining quality. However, every employee and business leader can and should have a role in promoting operational excellence and profitability through comprehensive quality management.

Enterprise quality management systems (EQMS) with advanced product quality planning (APQP) and supply chain management eliminate quality silos, allowing companies to take a proactive and holistic approach to quality.

The Risks of Quality Management Silos

Quality management silos create inefficiencies and increase risk for manufacturers. Quality measures are often handled by managers who periodically come down on the production floor to observe and monitor workers on the assembly line. Regular internal and external audits also occur to ensure compliance.

Quality management seldom comes into play in line of business (LOB) decision-making or during the product design and development process. This means problems may be built into the production process only to be detected when the defective product reaches the consumer.

Manufacturers need to promote total quality management (TQM) to eliminate risk and become more profitable. Everyone at the business needs to be involved in quality management from LOB leaders and product developers through to suppliers and distributors. Quality measures should be part of the entire product lifecycle, and quality management should take place through continuous improvement.

Quality at Every Stage in the Product Lifecycle (APQP)

Quality management software makes TQM possible. Advanced product quality planning (APQP) software gets rid of silos that complicate the process of preventing and eliminating product nonconformances. Many quality management processes are automated through APQP, and it provides a comprehensive system for enforcing quality measures.

Every stage in the product lifecycle is handled by APQP, meaning everyone at the company is involved in the process of maintaining quality. APQP takes a proactive and comprehensive approach to operational excellence by removing problems from both the product design and the manufacturing process.

Quality in Every Link in the Supply Chain

Following Deming’s Point #14 also means extending quality management beyond the manufacturer into the supply chain. Any parts suppliers need to be included in quality standards to ensure that the final product functions properly and safely.

Research from global consulting firm Deloitte found that executives identified the supply chain as a priority for investments in digital transformation and optimizing operations. However, suppliers and lower-level decision-makers did not have a role in making these investment decisions.

Investment in supplier quality management (SQM) software can ensure that suppliers are included in quality management. SQM tracks and monitors suppliers to make sure that products are manufactured with the highest-quality parts and that deliveries and new product introductions take place on time.

The software also performs performance reviews, manages audits, and processes chargebacks so manufacturers can be compensated for faulty parts. With SQM, manufacturers make everyone, including suppliers, accountable for quality.

Achieving Industry 4.0

APQP and SQM make everyone in the manufacturing company part of taking a preventive and analytics-driven approach to quality. Companies that use comprehensive quality management software transition to Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 uses data to enforce quality and to vertically integrate quality in the manufacturing business.

Deming was ahead of his time when he recommended a company-wide approach to quality. Your business can embrace this approach by partnering with QAD CEBOS for APQP and SQM. We promote a holistic and proactive approach to operational excellence through the quality management software included in our EQMS. You will find that this approach leads to greater profitability for your business and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Find out more about how APQP can help your business succeed. Watch the QAD CEBOS webinar The Value of Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP).