Advanced manufacturers are presented with many uncertainties, but the one thing that remains constant is change. These innovators must stay agile to support new technologies, evolving regulatory standards, and shifts in business priorities. Companies should strategically approach these changes with a firm understanding of the potential risks they can pose to an organization and its products. Effective change management is a complex process that should encompass the entire product lifecycle to ensure delivery of high-quality products.
Change control starts with the selection of a best-in-class quality management solution that serves as an authority for change to advance products and improve overall quality. If not properly managed, the negative effects of change could lead to a safety incident, a product inconsistency that leads to scrap or rework, a faulty supplier component, a disruption in the manufacturing process, or customer dissatisfaction. With standardized change control in place, companies can carefully monitor product revisions, automate change approvals, and reduce risk throughout the organization.
A fully integrated quality management solution will facilitate manufacturing changes with the initiation of a change order, followed by the creation of an associated workflow that is customized to a specific business process. Deadlines for change completion can be strictly enforced using email notifications and reminders. Critical data derived from a company’s ERP system can be included on the change record such as PO, Part Number, or Supplier, which can include custom categories, descriptions, and attachments as necessary. Related processes, documents, and plans can be further linked within the quality management solution to eliminate redundant data entry and create repeatable authority for change throughout the enterprise.
Product lifecycle documentation, including a digital archive of documents for approval, a library of commonly used templates, and related compliance records remain archived in a central repository for easy reference and audit purposes.
The selection of a best-in-class quality management solution will help manufacturers successfully process change by using the following framework for success.
Eight Critical Steps to Effective Change Management:
- Prioritize issues/changes
- Create a plan for change
- Execute change
- Validate change
- Document change
- Streamline approval(s)
- Document process for the future
- Analyze results
Manufacturers should also fully engage their suppliers in the change management process. With full visibility into supplier related activities, companies can create a supplier performance strategy to ensure success. When a manufacturing change is initiated by either the manufacturer or the supplier, information can be shared in real-time to ensure corrective or preventive actions are authorized, regulatory actions are completed, and documentation is archived. The costs of changes made by each supplier can be carefully analyzed to hold poor performers accountable.
With full visibility into product lifecycle revisions, innovative manufacturers can respond rapidly to evolving business requirements, make proactive decisions about quality, and increase time to market. A quality management solution with effective change control will allow companies to achieve this level of operational transparency to ensure change is executed for competitive advantage.
Contact TIP Technologies today at www.tiptech.com or (262) 544-1211 to learn how we help companies successfully manage change or schedule a personalized demonstration of our TIPQA Quality Management Solution.
Watch our short video introduction to Change Management: