Most people say, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!” This relaxed approach is similar to how companies look at their Quality Management System (QMS) today. If defects and impacts are low and regulatory actions are practically non-existent and you seem to be compliant, why take the time to optimize your QMS? It’s time-consuming. It takes resources. It takes money. You have other priorities.
“But hey, I have continuous improvement programs, six sigma projects and other lean initiatives”, you say. Although it may be true, continuous improvement programs taking aim at overly long cycle times, variability, non-value-added steps, and waste may be doing so in a “silo mentality” preventing manufacturing and supply chain functions in many companies from seeing the “big picture.” Companies that are implementing lean programs to improve performance and reduce costs may be incapacitated without predictable processes, thereby preventing many lean goals from being achieved.
It’s been 20 years since Lean Six Sigma (2001) and Artificial Intelligence have provided the much needed impetus in augmenting lean quality management, not just for reducing waste but for giving us the ability to see the truth in our data and automatically applying it for predictable and preventable outcomes, and speed to innovation. “AI yields greater reduction of cost and cycle time than was possible with only Lean Six Sigma.”
Today, companies are taking advantage of this by applying it to the Voice of the Customer – speeding intake and processing of complaints from unstructured data and extracting intelligence for warning signal detection or product improvement. But this is only the beginning. Similar uses can be applied to CAPAs, nonconformances and audits. Proactive processes can be automatically initiated for risk mitigation, simplified investigations, upskilling workers, updating SOPs, scheduling audits, initiating recalls, and managing suppliers. AI-driven tools and methodologies increase visibility through these processes significantly. This coupled with improved contextual understanding and awareness of the organization’s operations it makes for faster and smarter decision-making processes.
Artificial Intelligence is making Quality Management a leaner process.
Where to begin? Watch our demo to gain deeper insights into ComplianceQuest’s next generation cloud quality management platform providing unified solutions powered by AI and connected into your ecosystem of data across the entire product value chain.
By Nikki Willett, VP Industry Solutions, ComplianceQuest Inc.