When looking at a document management system, companies have two choices; paper based or electronic. In our experience, companies often tell us that, ‘they have been talking about an EQMS’ for a significant amount of time but have yet to make the transition. Given that we are creatures of habit, we first introduced the topic of an EQMS in our blog, Electronic Document Management Systems – Have We convinced You Yet?
One of the many reasons transitioning from a paper-based QMS to an enterprise QMS can be met with resistance from quality management teams and their executives. However, deploying an EQMS will not only supersede the level of compliance of a paper-based QMS, there are infinite advantages such as seamless regulatory implementations, as well as the fact that an EQMS can offer a more competitive advantage.
It is important to note that to have a robust EQMS, you must have a solid paper-based QMS to start. As the old saying goes, ‘bad data in, bad data out’. Once you are confident with your QMS, it is common for many paper-based QMS’s to rely on a patchwork of independent system components. This can cause bottlenecks, slows down productivity, increases human error, which easily results in issues with a company’s compliance.
Real Time Integration: The illustration to the left shows how an ERP system comprised of a patchwork of independent systems and a paper based QMS can integrate into one harmonious system.
Save Money – Companies can save millions of dollars by streamlining the direct operating costs that are associated with multiple employees having to manage paper-based management systems and documentation.
Save Time- An EQMS reduces training time, as well as overall productivity time. Time that would have been spent tracking down the correct documents is completely eliminated due to an EQMS being streamlined and organized. If there are changes that need to be made to the QMS, they can be made in real time, increasing compliance and allowing employees to be productive in more revenue focused tasks.
Real time visibility– Implementing an EQMS gives you the opportunity to see data in real time without any laps in delayed documentation, improving compliance.
Access to metrics– Paper-based quality systems are extremely difficult, and almost impossible, to review and analyze key operating metrics in real time. Moreover, with an EQMS, data can be retrieved in real time quickly and easily, thereby improving compliance.
Increased team morale- all employees want to succeed. One key factor to setting up an employee for success is by having them clearly understand their roles and responsibilities. Also, an EQMS allows for specific tasks to be assigned to each staff member, enhancing productivity, enhancing compliance and eliminating the, ‘I thought ‘Mark’ was going to do it’.
Informed decisions can be made in real time- Executives can feel confident in making quickly needed decisions because of the real time visibility offered in a EQMS. Some of the most critical decisions need to be made in minutes and by having access to real time metrics, this can be done easier. No more making critical decisions based on intuition alone.
Cost of EQMS Vs. Cost of Non-Compliance
Due to cloud-based services, software systems are more obtainable for smaller to midsize companies. Now more than ever is the time to quantify the cost of implementing an EQMS vs. the cost of poor quality and non-compliance.