Choosing the right digital quality management system means matching your needs with product features. Some vendors offer systems that have multiple, robust features, while other vendors offer a simplified digital QMS product. The QMS system you purchase largely depends on your organization’s current processes and anticipated future strategic objectives.

Making the best investment for your organization is a two-step process.

  1. Addressing if your QMS requires adherence to any standards.
  2. Identifying key features that are necessary for your company.

QMS Industry Standards

Most organizations require adherence to some industry standards. For example, the new ISO 9001:2015 standards include Risk Management, Integrated Expectations, and Voice of the Customer. These new standards involve a variety of technical and human capital considerations, ranging from the development of an audit trail to greater process integration with their clients and employees.

When exploring QMS solutions, it’s important to know if your vendor can provide you with feature functionalities necessary to be compliant with industry standards. Also, if you anticipate that adherence to new standards will systematically change critical business processes, check to see if the QMS can be customized to respond to these changes.

Aligning Your QMS Needs with Product Features

After addressing adherence to quality standards, you can start building the features you know you need now and the ones you may need later.

Critical features will typically include:

  • Business Process Management – Official documents including order processing, production planning, and policies.
  • Risk Management – A matrix that offers information related to the probability and severity of risks.
  • QMS Oversight Reporting – Dashboards that run in the background and grant you access to automatic reporting so you can monitor goals, trends, and issues.
  • Audit Features – Full control over the auditing management process, including content auditing, scheduling, and results.
  • Corrective Action Preventive Action (CAPA) – Formal documentation of how a non-conformance was resolved with automated workflows to approve and document resolution.
  • KPIs – The ability to set key performance indicators that allow your organization to measure the steps necessary to stay on task to complete performance goals.

One of the challenges faced when moving to a new quality management system is cutting redundancy. Perhaps you”re already using software that addresses some of your required critical features. As you survey the digital QMS product landscape, you may notice that few vendors offer everything you need. Having a QMS functional requirement checklist will ensure you acquire the solution you need along with any additional inputs outside of the vendor offering.

Download our eBook on selecting the right QMS to learn more about the new industry standards and the key product features you should consider when investing in a digital quality management system.