Centralized quality vs. de-centralized quality is an issue that has being getting recent attention from manufacturing leaders. Mergers and acquisitions have become the standard in maintaining a competitive advantage. However, these changes present a complex organizational structure that can be hard to manage. While the manufacturing process is often the first to become streamlined, the quality process can remain siloed at different company facilities. So, when does the concept of centralized quality make sense?
The argument against centralized quality comes from those who are reluctant to change. An independent business unit may not be experiencing any problems with its quality solution, so its leaders may not immediately see the need for a new system. Or, the decision is made to let each entity manage quality independently. However, that approach is often short-sighted. The value in streamlining the quality process across the organization almost always outweighs its cost.
Maintenance of disparate systems comes at considerable expense. Redundant data entry, lack of integration and difficulty with reporting, all contribute to the extra effort it takes to support multiple solutions. A single enterprise quality solution provides for centralized management with configuration of multiple locations, reducing the cost and effort it takes support quality across the organization.
Quality requires consistency, and the best way to achieve consistency is through a single source of the truth. While quality standards may be the same across multiple business units or locations, the inspection process, audit preparation and analysis of data may differ when quality is de-centralized. These variations are enough to create a gap in the quality process and often produce inconsistent results. With one system in place, quality is sure to improve.
A centralized quality solution provides effective document control, a reliable audit trail, improved workflow and cross-functional access to metrics that can have significant impact on the quality of a company’s final products. All these benefits should be considered when assessing the value that a centralized quality system can bring to the table.
Operational excellence is best achieved through corporate-wide initiative. With all entities on the same page, a company gains the agility to react to problems and effectively implement change.
Confidence that a centralized quality solution can be implemented on time and on budget is an important factor for consideration, as are industry experience and reputation. The risk to the organization is lower if a solution has been proven at an existing company-owned location, used by an employee at another company, or if the vendor has significant experience in helping companies manage quality within complex organizational structures.
TIP Technologies has extensive experience in helping global companies streamline quality. Its TIPQA Quality Management Solution provides a systematic way of viewing quality data, resulting in improved business decisions. Contact us today at (262) 544-1211 to learn why 8 of the Top 10 A&D companies choose TIPQA to manage quality.