QMS Platform vs. Other Quality Management Systems
Many companies struggle with which solution to choose for their quality management system. Each solution has its strengths, but not every solution is the best fit for particular situations. To help you understand the pros and cons of each solution, we will discuss the most common alternatives available. You can choose between a QMS Platform and many other quality management systems.
Excel/Word Based Solution
Many companies still use a Word/Excel based system for tracking their documentation. Such systems require a large amount of maintenance, and are time-consuming to administer, which does not favor the benefits of a certificate. This approach also has lots of time-consuming activities, such as keying over information from paper to Excel spreadsheets—which gives a high risk for errors.
SharePoint is a solution that is often used for a wide variety of automation projects. It promises to do lots of things for you, including back-office administration. You need to think through all the logic, approvals, questions, process flows, and everything else. There are no best practices built-in, because it is simply a framework. If you take this approach, the company must commit a significant amount of time and resources to develop the management system. There will be no automated updates to the SharePoint-based management system. New features, fields, or altered flows need to be developed by either in-house or outsourced developers. Deploying and implementing a SharePoint solution is be very time-consuming. It takes months or sometimes quarters to implement a solution like this. SharePoint can work as a QMS, but it was never intended to be one.
Using an ERP system for QMS has the possibility of minimizing the number of IT systems used and offering special modules for certain aspects of quality management or compliance management. But the fact is these systems aren’t built to be used as compliance solutions and don’t favor the functionality, flexibility, and support of a specialist solution. The ERP specialist must deploy and implement the ERP within the organization, which could take months or years to get started. These solutions can help, but they might not be right for you, so you need to decide whether they’re worth trying.
It is certainly possible to develop a complete system in-house, but it’s usually the most expensive option. You’ll have to use the scarce resources of developers, and it requires a lot of input from operations. The people from operations must have a clear view of what they need, which must be explained thoroughly to developers—this is time-consuming. When they help out, they cannot do their own jobs, so the costs are doubled. Another downside is the requirement of updates. Developers need to be available at every stage of development. This could lead to some serious costs for the company.
Quality Management Software
An option is to buy a ready-made software package that includes all the required functions. There are many options on the market. All these packages offer different levels of functionality depending on your needs. Some of them are very easy to use while others are more complex. The key here is to find a solution that fits your needs and budget.
Many think a Quality Management Platform is the same as a Quality Management Software. That is not the case. A QMS software is often installed on an owned (local) server and is also not very open to connecting with other software. A QMS platform is ready to go from a cloud-based server and has an open infrastructure to connect with open APIs.
A specialized QMS platform provides the right tools for your business to improve its processes and make better decisions based on data from inside your organization. These platforms are constantly improved based on customer feedback and other experts in the field. Updates and new features are included in the package and don’t cost anything extra. The fact that one platform is built for compliance alone means that all the features and aspects from different standards are included. With such a system, it is much easier to trace the audit trail. The other big plus of these systems is that they run out-of-the-box, which means that you don’t need to spend months or even years implementing them. With a couple of clicks, the quality management platform can be used by the organization.