By next year, companies will have the majority of apps and software platforms residing in the cloud, according to a cloud computing survey by IDG Enterprise. While adoption of cloud-based Software as a Service (Saas) and Platform as a Service (Paas) solutions is soaring, more than 50% of companies are still evaluating which business functions to move to the cloud.
What statistics on soaring adoption rates don’t show is how hard implementation can be when you’re trying to get your team on the same page. Concerns about requirements, cost or security can all quickly derail a project before it ever gets off the ground.
To make the case for a cloud-based Quality Management System (QMS), you’ll want to focus on business benefits like profits, overhead, and productivity, all within the context of risk and operational excellence.
When trying to explain the value of a cloud-based QMS, profits are a good place to start. Research shows that the financial benefits of QMS software far outweigh the cost of deployment. A Forrester’s report on the impact of EtQ software showed that core QMS software capabilities deliver over $1.4 million in benefits annually.
A cloud-based QMS increases profits in several ways, including:
- Reduced waste: A QMS improves compliance, leading to less scrap and rework.
- Lower supplier-related costs: More effective tracking and resolution of supplier quality issues helps manufacturers push down costs.
- Lower IT overhead: SaaS solutions are more cost-effective as compared to on-premise enterprise software that can drain your IT budget.
- Improved customer satisfaction: Better quality products help companies grow their revenue and stand out among the competition.
- Efficiency: One of the main benefits of deploying your management system in the cloud is being able to get up and running quickly.
QMS tools are key for achieving continuous risk reduction, helping both avoid unwanted events and regulatory penalties. Essential capabilities to explore with your implementation team include:
- Centralized reporting: A cloud-based QMS with Centralized Reporting lets you track high-risk items, linking corrective actions directly to customer complaints, audit findings and nonconforming materials.
- Data-driven decision-making: Look for QMS tools that include customized risk templates to help your people make decisions that reduce risk.
- Information security: With cloud-based tools, you don’t have to worry about managing hardware reliability or security internally. Having a vendor who specializes in cloud security frees you up to focus on using the QMS to improve performance.
One of the biggest benefits of a cloud-based QMS is that your team will spend less time searching for information, which by some estimates can suck up an entire day out of every week. Auto-routing and email notifications of assignments, tasks and overdue items also means you won’t have to spend so much time sorting through old email chains to stay on top of things.
The productivity impacts that come from automating quality processes are hard to overstate. A Forrester’s report on the impact of EtQ software showed that Document Control tools alone—just one module of the QMS—save over 30,000 manufacturing hours.
While some people don’t speak quality, operational excellence is a goal that cuts across different departments and levels of the organization. A cloud-based QMS creates a foundation for operational excellence by allowing you to:
- Standardize your internal processes.
- Create closed-loop workflows to ensure follow-through on key quality items.
- Provide real-time tracking of key performance indicators (KPIs) with automated report generation and customized dashboards.
- Break down information silos that block visibility into the metrics that are driving business performance.
Before you can reap the benefits of a cloud-based QMS, you have to get your team on board. Rather than focusing on techy specifics, a discussion about the bottom-line business benefits is more likely to help you get there.