Successful manufacturers usually have one key trait in common: they unify their quality data by collecting and storing it all in one place. This foundational digitization leads to a range of benefits, from providing enterprise-wide visibility to enabling decision makers to assess quality performance for every product, line, process, and plant in your company.
Let’s examine what exactly centralizing quality data in a digital SPC solution looks like so you can clearly envision how modernizing your quality efforts will better position your organization.
When you unify all your quality data into a standardized and centralized database, you can visualize more than the quality of a single product. You get real-time visibility into your entire enterprise, from end to end.
Historically, organizations would manually collect data and store it at the local facility. Quality systems were put in place to enable quality staff to put out daily “fires” and fix problems that popped up. After the problem was fixed, the data received very little attention and was typically not used for strategic improvement purposes.
But today, we can collect data from any device and store it centrally with Statistical Process Control (SPC) software . This capability gives us access to incredibly precise, rich data from across all our lines and plants. In addition, that data can also open our eyes to the greatest opportunities to streamline processes, reduce costs and safety risks, increase yield, improve precision, and more.
For example, in the food and beverage or pharmaceuticals industries , filling containers with a precise amount of product is critical. Underfilling results in regulatory issues and dissatisfied customers, whereas overfilling leads to lost profit, or “giveaway.” A quality system that provides manufacturing intelligence gives you both real-time and historic visibility into all your filling lines so that you can easily determine which lines present regulatory concerns, and which are giving away the most product.
This principle of understanding and reducing variation applies to every industry. Gaining easy-to-access visibility into all your quality data enables aggregation and analysis that you can use to improve your product quality and profitability.
Data unification is the foundation for enterprise visibility. Today’s secure and reliable cloud technologies eliminate the need to store quality data at the plant level. When your data is stored in such a fragmented way, you greatly limit your view. InfinityQS® quality management solutions aggregate data to deliver the long-term, large-scale view that pushes your decision making and improvements to the next level.
You need to know which production lines and sites run optimally, producing consistently high quality. Conversely, it's equally important to learn where your weakest sites are so you can determine where to focus your improvement efforts. It is crucial to know what defects are affecting your products, which products are at the highest risk, and where these products are produced. And, perhaps most important, you need the data to support your conclusions.
With increased visibility into your supply chain and production line—that is, all your data is unified and easy to access—you can generate useful and actionable insight into your processes, suppliers, and manufacturing operations. Proven, robust analytics and reporting enable you to apply best practices consistently across all your plants, lines, processes, and products.
InfinityQS quality management software systems feature a top-notch analytics engine and intuitive reporting options to sort through to the most important points and to make your data more easily consumed and understood. The answers to your biggest questions and concerns are suddenly at your fingertips, rather than buried in a sea of data.
Insights in Action
When looking at an organization with many sites, an important first step is to understand which sites, if any, require assistance. Can you get that information quickly? Better still, can you identify which specific processes at those sites are to blame?
Depending on the severity of the type of event, you may prioritize sending significant resources to that site. However, visibility into data by itself is often insufficient; contextualizing the issue within your operations allows you to make sense of the data and formulate the best actions to take.
To that end, a great facilitator of successful analytics and reporting is ease of use. Quality management solutions should be easy to configure, flexible, and offer targeted reports. You shouldn't need a statistician to interpret them, as your shop floor operators, engineers, and managers should be able to understand them just fine.
A Reporting Bonanza
Processes are dynamic and have natural variations. By studying trends over time, you can determine vital information, such as which processes or practices yield greater efficiency. Now that your data is unified, you can have real-time access to data around the globe.
Beyond the gains in responsiveness, think about the hours of labor that these capabilities can save—hours that can be spent improving your processes and products.
This level of insight opens a new realm of possibilities for your company. You are no longer stuck in reactive mode, putting out fires as problems crop up. Using quality data leads to planning ahead, performing better—and outpacing the competition. That is, quality data can be used for strategic improvement, not just reactive firefighting.
And now comes true, global transformation for your business. You have the capability to apply your insights to streamline, optimize, and transform processes and operations across the enterprise. Insights derived from unified, aggregated, historical data initiate continuous improvement.
Modern SPC software can reveal that a particular line runs better than others at the same facility, allowing you to determine how to improve other lines and locations to replicate that quality. Such insight results in consistency and efficiency that increase throughout and across production sites— and leads to real, measurable benefits for your bottom line.
InfinityQS provides cloud-based, SPC-driven quality management solutions for manufacturers across industries. Visit our website to learn how our solutions — Enact® and ProFicient™ — can help transform your manufacturing operations.