The Backbone of Your QMS: A Connected Change Management Solution
Blog | August 18th, 2022

The Backbone of Your QMS: A Connected Change Management Solution

One of ComplianceQuest’s product managers found herself in the midst of an interesting conversation about “change management” among three quality leaders from different industries.

“We implemented a modern EQMS that integrated with our ERP system and that has made a big difference in managing change. This integration really helped us with data visibility more than anything else. Otherwise, we would plan a change but it would be hard to evaluate the potential impact of this change (without easy access to data),” said the Quality Director of an automotive manufacturer.

“For us, the biggest challenge has always been around change-related document management. Processes become inefficient in terms of managing change, and I think it is because of a legacy EDMS (that we use) that is not really integrated with the rest of the QMS,” quipped another quality leader.

“Does your QMS come with an integrated change management solution?” asked another quality manager. He went on to explain how a robust change management solution that integrated with document management, CAPA, Training, and even Supplier Management solution made a big difference in their organization.

We recall this conversation in this blog because of one simple reason: Different companies deal with different types of challenges when it comes to managing change. For some, it is about lack of data that makes it difficult to evaluate the impact of a change. For some others, risk management process flow may get impacted. For some, it may just be that the change process is slow and inefficient. How do we tackle this?

The Change Management Lifecycle: Need for a Structured Process with Automation

The first step to managing change is to realize the need for easy collaboration and communication, across a diverse set of teams and stakeholders.

For instance, let us say, there is a quality issue at a manufacturing company and the quality team has “root caused” it to one of the suppliers. There are two ways to tackle this supplier-related quality problem. One option is to change to another supplier, but what if this supplier has been a long-term partner and this is a one-off issue? Then, the quality team has to work closely with the suppliers to fix the problem in a structured way. If it’s a tier-1 supplier – where the partnership is truly for the long haul – the manufacturer may even go the extra mile and help the supplier with running an RCA process to find out the root cause of the problem and come up with a solution.

The key here is to understand the entire change lifecycle and run a robust change management process, with the help of a data-driven and collaborative software solution. It’s also important to evaluate the change options for future risks and plan mitigative actions ahead of time.

So, what does the change lifecycle look like? Broadly, here’s a methodical, step-by-step process for implementing change.

  • Change initiation
  • Change evaluation
  • Change execution and tracking
  • Change verification and closure
  • Integrated risk management
  • Change control measures to mitigate key risks

If the change requires collaboration with other teams or even external parties (like a supplier or warehousing partner or contractor), the change management process must take this into account. Having a cloud-based change management solution like ComplianceQuest will certainly make life easier for the quality team and the change coordinator.

Here’s what one of our customers, the VP of Manufacturing Operations at Global Electronics Corporation, had to say about ComplianceQuest EQMS and specifically our change management module: “When it comes to changes, it’s so important to have a structured process. With a global footprint and an extensive supply chain, any changes we make in processes or operations have a substantial impact on our operations. With ComplianceQuest, we’re able to initiate and track changes consistently, and then be confident that all our other upstream and downstream activities occur as they should when they should. Wherever a change happens now, whether it’s Engineering, Product, whatever related, it gets done faster and we know everything’s in place once it’s effective.”

Need for Organizational Governance and Oversight as Change Happens

One of the most important requirements while managing change is to ensure that the operational changes being made are documented with clarity. With ComplianceQuest, it is easy to ensure the following:

  • Ensure compliance through documented workflow tracking and monitoring the implementation of all changes
  • By addressing all processes and other changes systematically – and not simply by trying to recall all the changes in someone’s head – you can be assured that best practices are followed and regulations are followed
  • Conduct impact assessments to understand its impact on all enterprise-wide processes/workflows
  • With changes generated anywhere in your company, you need an organized method to evaluate, share, track and implement all changes properly

Unique Advantages of ComplianceQuest Change Management Solution

CQ Change Management Solution is designed to make life easier for various stakeholders including people in manufacturing, engineering, supply chain, quality and safety, business operations, customer service, etc. With CQ EQMS serving as a “single source of truth” and the latest quality-related data and actions, it is now easy to track the impact of change on quality performance, risk levels, and other key metrics.

Some of the key advantages of automating and digitalizing the change lifecycle include:

  • Complete visibility (with data) on the impact of change across the organization
  • Easy collaboration and communication across teams and external partners (suppliers, contractors, etc.)
  • Integrated risk management to ensure controls are in place as change happens
  • Data and analytics-driven decision-making around change
  • Ease of regulatory documentation and other compliance requirements
  • Mobile access to documents, data and status
  • Easy reporting

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