There are many aspects to meeting quality management compliance standards, but much of it comes back to one crucial element: data management.

Data touches nearly every element of an organization, from continual improvement to troubleshooting problems to everyday operations. In fact, businesses that struggle to maintain this element can expect to see an increase in mistakes, lost profits, poor time management, compliance issues, stressed employees, and decreased customer satisfaction. How does one turn this around?

It all starts with how you collect, store, and organize data.

Recognizing Key Signs of Data Management Problems

Your first step in determining if data management is a problem in your organization is to look for the following key signs of data mismanagement:

  • Missing or difficult to find spreadsheets, documents, or files
  • Excessive errors in documents, spreadsheets, or files
  • Numerous customer complaints
  • Lack of follow-through on handling customer complaints
  • Missed deadlines
  • Disorganization or excessive stress during audits

Do You Have a Problem?

If you find that your organization has a problem in data collection and management, your next step should be to determine how exactly you will remedy the system. The reasoning behind this is because until you correct the root of the problem—lack of data organization—the problems stemming from it cannot be effectively dealt with.  

A great place to start is to improve the methods by which you collect, store and organize data.

The right software can make documents, files and spreadsheets easier to find. It can also automate some of the process, reducing workload and employee stress levels without increasing company costs to hire more employees. Some QMS software can even reduce errors by locking changes to certain personnel and ensuring that the same data proper with accuracy.

Taking the Next Step

Once a new method for storing, organizing, and collecting data has been established, your company can work effectively toward improving QMS compliance. Start by collecting data on profits, loss, complaints, speed, accuracy, maintenance and any other relevant information you can think of.

Once you have your data collected, start analyzing it and search for the root cause of any problems relating to production, customer satisfaction, maintenance, or QMS compliance. Determining what that root cause is might take some serious research. You may find that there’s more than one cause, but once you’ve found it you can work toward fixing it.

After determining where there is a problem and what the root cause of that problem is, it’s time to start thinking about what type of improvements you’d like to see—your end goal. Come up with clear and concise objectives that are focused on the root problem, along with a means by which to measure success.

Next, focus on a solution, steps that you can take to reach your end goal. Hold brainstorming sessions and come up with as many ideas as possible. Once you have some that seem both plausible and viable, test them out. Then, as you work through each option, make sure to collect and analyze data for each solution. This will help you determine which solution is best suited to your organization’s needs.

Want to learn more about improving quality management compliance within your organization? Check out this blog on solving quality management problems, and the blog 10 Easy Steps to Meeting Quality Management System Requirements. For other questions, click here to contact us.