Building for Resilience: Why a Slowdown Sparks the Need for Investing in Product Quality
“I think the winners in a recession are the people who produce new technology that does things better, which people really want,” says Sir James Dyson, Founder and Chairman of Dyson.
The global recession is compelling businesses to cut corners, lower costs, and improve sales and marketing of their products and services. But companies that run on sound quality and safety principles will continue to survive and grow. Process and product quality are essential factors that guarantee customer satisfaction, trust, and loyalty. Consequently, they contribute to the growth of revenues and the establishment of a strong brand reputation.
We saw this first hand when a customer approached us recently to implement the ComplianceQuest EQMS in their organization. They had a manual quality management system but it was clear that with the help of automation, the end-to-end process of improving overall quality performance would be more efficient.
A next-gen digital quality platform would help automate processes and provide data visibility, which would in turn help with improving product quality and customer satisfaction. After just two weeks of implementing the automation process, the company observed its teams actively proposing innovations and improvements to enhance the product's performance and surpass the competition.
Though the investment in EQMS was a stretch from a budget perspective, the top management could see how it can finally lead to improving efficiencies, reducing wastage, and freeing up resources for adding value. Businesses that continue to innovate and provide solutions that solve their customers’ problems withstand the brunt of economic downturn better and are ready to catch the upswing to race ahead.
Why Quality Matters, Especially During Difficult Times
Product quality plays a crucial role in meeting, or exceeding customer expectations. This improves customer delight and brand recognition, thereby leading to faster growth and success. Focusing on product quality also helps to reduce production costs and increase return on investments, thereby improving the chances of tackling the recession better. It also helps with market expansion and customer acquisition, increasing reach and profitability.
Some of the benefits of product quality include:
- Builds Customer Trust: Products are manufactured to solve customer pain points. When a product addresses problems effectively and reliably, it helps build customer trust and get repeat business. Satisfied customers also become brand ambassadors and help with market expansion. This helps increase revenues and meet recession on a steady foot.
- Reduces Returns and Complaints: Focusing on quality helps build and manufacture products that deliver on promise and perform as expected. This reduces the chances of customer complaints or returns, and the need to replace the product. This is a big cost-saving for companies and an indirect benefit.
- Improves Compliance and Conformance: Integrating quality with the manufacturing process reduces nonconformance and non-compliance. This helps lower the cost of manufacturing by preventing scrapping, wastage, and rework. This also improves return on investment and helps meet the challenges of recession. Products can also be delivered faster, eliminating delays. Resource utilization in optimized, improving efficiency and effectiveness.
Investing in a PLM Solution, Integrated with a QMS
In addition to quality, whether there is a recession or boom, investing in a product lifecycle management solution will help businesses meet their goals of improving efficiency and accelerating time-to-market for competitive advantage. As recession and boom alternate and are cyclical, businesses must understand their risks in advance and plan for future downturns by investing in robust technology solutions when the going is good to beat the consequences of the downturn.
Some of the quality and product development strategies that can help include:
- Implementing a Next-Gen Quality Management System: As seen earlier, a robust quality management system improves customer satisfaction by meeting quality expectations. It lowers the cost of production by making the processes efficient. It also helps with the continuous improvement of the processes, thereby constantly making them more effective and efficient. A cloud-based QMS also helps businesses leverage data to make informed decisions.
- Implement Product Strategy - with Data at the Core: The manufacturer must have a vision for the product which will inform its product strategy. This will form the basis for product design, development, marketing, delivery, and obsolescence, providing a roadmap for the product’s journey from beginning to end. By integrating quality at every step to validate the design, ensure compliant development and manufacturing, and provide post-market support, the business can ensure quality.
- Feedback Loop with the Design and Development Process: The cloud-based solution will also help leverage user inputs such as feedback and complaints to continuously improve product quality.
- Improve Supply Chain Management: The EQMS provides visibility into the entire supply chain. When integrated with PLM, it helps reduce nonconformance by centralizing documents such as BOM (bill of materials) and AML (authorized manufacturer list).
- Inspections and Audits: Periodic quality control activities such as inspections and audits can help to proactively identify risks and mitigate them, thereby improving quality.
- Product Testing: This is crucial to ensure the product serves the customer as expected and can provide satisfaction. Along with product performance, related issues such as labeling and packaging must also be checked to prevent any problems.
- Post-Market Surveillance: Product performance monitoring after release will provide insights into customer satisfaction, common product-related challenges, general views, and comments that can help with continuous improvement.
ComplianceQuest PLM-EQMS Solution for Product Success
ComplianceQuest provides a cloud-based PLM and QMS Solution with a special focus on product inspection to avoid product recalls, reduce the cost of quality, and ensure customer satisfaction.
The integrated approach to PLM and EQMS helps with process control, design control, verification, and validation to ensure that the quality is integrated with the product manufacturing process right from the word go. Centralized and automated processes enhance visibility and transparency in risk management, change management, documentation, training, and supplier management.
The product inspection management system simplifies receiving, manufacturing and finished goods inspection. It enables the workforce to run a robust product inspection process that ensures all product specs and quality metrics are met before the goods are released into inventory.
To know more about the ComplianceQuest Solution capabilities to improve the manufacturing process efficiency during times of recession, request a demo: https://www.compliancequest.com/online-demo/