Working as a quality management professional gives you the opportunity to make a difference within your company. The problem is that your day-to-day work environment may be less than ideal, suggesting that you are not making the impact on quality you have in mind. This article describes a hypothetical day in the life of a quality manager to show that you may share many of the same frustrations as your colleagues and give a new perspective on what is possible with enterprise quality management software (EQMS).
Quality Management in a Perfect World
A perfect day in the life of a quality manager begins sharply at the stroke of 8 a.m. All of your coworkers have convened early in the meeting room, eagerly waiting on the edge of their seats to start the briefing, and as a team, a cohesive unit, you all work together to outline the day’s tasks. After the morning meeting concludes, you return to your workstation, confidently assured that everyone in the office is now on the same page.
“Today will be a good day,” you think to yourself as you log in to your company’s network to begin crunching data from this week’s corrective action reports (CAR), which you need to sign-off as completed. Your new coworker Steve needs your signature, too, so you also have an email waiting for you to remind you to inform Steve ASAP after you have signed off the CAR.
This seamless work flow makes the entire work day fly by in what seems like only a few hours. Since every day feels like a Friday in this ideal work environment, you leave the office with your head held high, knowing that you and your tight-knit team accomplished every task you outlined in the morning.
However, in reality, your work day may look very different.
The Real Day in the Life of a Quality Manager
Rather than starting sharply at 8 a.m., in reality, this hypothetical morning meeting almost never starts on time, and even if it does, coworker Steve (fresh out of college and still learning the ropes) will be at least 15 minutes late, finally making an appearance just as the briefing ends. Unfortunately, the day’s headaches have just started.
You should have a confirmation email from Steve waiting for you as you log in, but since Steve was late arriving yesterday, too, he never received the memo. To make matters worse, the Web browser on your workstation keeps crashing as you try to log in to the freshly installed cloud-based software you use to collect data and draw control charts and histograms, so you make the dreaded call to IT support, crossing your fingers that you will even hear from a network technician today.
Hours later, neither Steve nor IT has replied to your reminders. So what do you do next? You most likely would simply walk to Steve’s workstation and casually remind him of his “forgetfulness.” Unfortunately, Steve left work early (or perhaps works in the London branch office overseas) since it’s a holiday week, so those CARs will have to wait another few days until the office opens again.
What if there was a way to avoid these headaches altogether?
EQMS Can Make Your Life Easier
What an EQMS can do is give you a holistic view of quality across the enterprise, without having to wait on Steve, of course. Today’s EQMS can help you improve collaboration across every department in your company that impacts quality. As a quality management professional, you already understand that everybody has a stake in quality. No employee is unimportant when it comes to quality management across the enterprise.
EQMS allows you to consolidate your quality management system into a hub for disparate systems and data. The reality on the shop floor of manufacturing operations today is that more data is being created, not less. To make matters more challenging, these data are machine-generated, and many come from new sources such as RFID, real-time data or networks of “smart,” Web-enabled devices. You need a better solution to get the job completed right the first time.
This day in the life of a quality manager gives you an idea of how EQMS can make your daily tasks easier to manage. Essentially, EQMS allows you facilitate better communication across your company, not just with Steve the new college graduate. The technical aspects of quality management receive most of the attention, but, as you know all too well, simply getting all of your coworkers on the same page is arguably the most important part of your work day.