First, let’s spend a minute to understand the specific functions of both quality and safety management systems. A quality management system is primarily focused on regulatory compliance and quality metrics from a customer, supplier and business standpoint. Safety management, on the other hand, is focused on risk and identifying weaknesses in the system that can increase an organization’s exposure to risk.
Quality Management is a data-driven process, often predictive, while Safety Assurance is proactive. Additionally, both Quality and Safety systems depend on the analysis and monitoring of organizational processes and procedures.
Both systems must have the following features:
- Connectivity across supplier, internal, logistics and customer dashboards
- Data at the core
- Act as an enabler for continuous improvement
- Customizable workflows, as per industry or regulatory norms
- Scalability and flexibility
- Easy to integrate with external ERP & CRM systems
In this blog, we highlight a few reasons why enterprises – especially those in high-risk sectors – must harness the power of an integrated QHSE.
Advantage #1: Data Visibility drives Efficiency
When the two systems are integrated, you get a single source of trusted data.
This, first and foremost, prevents:
- Duplication of effort
- Poor visibility regarding challenges
- Determining resolution strategies
- Verifying effectiveness of corrective and preventive actions
A QHSE (EHS + EQMS) platform like the one from ComplianceQuest spans the entire organization, linking assets and helping in finding unified solutions that give equal weightage to quality and safety. ComplianceQuest’s Risk and Change Management modules are geared up to drive efficiency into the process of risk mitigation, if needed.
Embedded core CAPA capability enables triggering actions from core processes and establishing automatic relationships with other entities such as updating Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), complaint handling, supplier management, and so on.
Advantage #2: Seamless Business Process across all four areas
By merging the Quality and EHS systems, businesses can streamline operations as well as maximize return on investment. Managing one holistic system provides companies with deeper insights into specialized functions and cross-functional views across quality, health, safety, and environment.
A single QHSE platform helps streamline the following processes:
- Audits and Surveys: Auditing, supplier surveys, and customer satisfaction efforts in both systems can be automated in a single system
- Corrective and Preventive Action: Tracking discrepancies become more efficient with a unified system. It makes it easier to pull up relevant data from incidents and audits and take action accordingly. It makes it easier to act, whether it’s putting in risk control measures or kickstarting a change management program.
- Risk Assessment: A QHSE system gives insights into potential risks at various points of a process while also being able to classify risk mitigation and event history. By Integrating with CAPA, non-critical events can be differentiated from critical events, thereby helping businesses prioritize safety threats and act accordingly.
- Unified Document Control: It ensures proper documentation at all times by integrating with QMS functions such as complaint handling and material returns, in addition to HSE functions like material safety data sheet (MSDS) and emergency preparedness documentation.
- Employee Training: As mentioned earlier in the whitepaper, the organizational mindset is at the core of quality and safety-first culture. This mindset is shaped by regular training sessions, comprising both skill-based and culture-based learning.
- Change Management: Change management is an essential part of fixing workflows and managing risk. A unified system makes the process of implementing change, more robust.
- Incident Management: Recording of incidents and relevant data automatically being inherited into the corrective action process enables the prevention of such events in the future. It also makes it easier to conduct investigations, analyzing future risks, and preventing their recurrence.
- Analytics and Dashboards: Business intelligence and reporting functions can help organizations leverage trends and data points. A next-generation quality management process can result in predictive insights to drive quality in tandem with a safety management system, enabling a proactive approach to safety and, importantly, prevention of costly disasters.
Advantage #3: Easy setup for multiple standards like ISO 9001, ISO 45001, OHSAS 18001
Standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 45001, OHSAS 18001 can be integrated into one unified QHSE system. Broadly, compliance with these frameworks requires a data-driven approach to monitoring workflows and business processes across the enterprise lifecycle.
A unified system must adhere to the following approaches to deliver value on both fronts:
- Clearly defining the scope and expected impact of both safety and quality processes.
- Make a master list of all quality, health, safety, and environment parameters to be measured with data.
- Alignment of responsibilities – from a safety and quality standpoint – across the organization
- Clarity of workflows and business processes for various standards
- Data visibility across relevant stakeholders, as per the nature of data
- A definite risk management strategy and execution plan must be set on the safety front, based on past events and future unknowns
- Needless to add, collaboration and communication amongst team members are essential for continuous improvement of all vital safety and quality processes.
Successful implementation of the two management systems requires the allocation of sufficient resources as well as assigning roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities. At this stage, training needs must be identified, scheduled, and training records managed.
Additionally, AS 4801 requires measurement, monitoring, and evaluation of hazards and health surveillance for safety. For quality management, the focus is on monitoring processes and the product. Both require CAPA, document management, incident reporting, and the other features discussed in the previous section. Management review and involvement in ISO 9001 and AS4801 are essential at all stages of implementation, evaluation, and revision.
At ComplianceQuest, we believe Quality, Health, Environment, and Safety management must be unified into a single holistic, flexible and scalable platform.
Read this whitepaper to find out more: