In our last blog post we took a deep dive look at the CPG industry. We answered the questions of what is driving change in the industry, and how companies are reducing risk, improving quality, and becoming more efficient to better compete on the global stage. In this second blog post we will focus specifically on role Enterprise Quality Management Software (EQMS) can play in answering these questions and give 3 steps companies should consider in order to ensure success in an EQMS deployment.
The Role of Enterprise Quality Management Software in CPG
EQMS typically allows an organization to centrally manage and automate critical processes for ensuring compliance and quality across the enterprise. Core capabilities of EQMS generally include but are not limited to:
- Non-Conformances / Corrective and Preventive Actions
- Audit Management
- Change Control
- Sampling and Testing
- Quality Planning
- Supplier Quality Management
- Risk Management
- GMP and HACCP
In the CPG industry, these capabilities are just as important as they are in the life science or electronics manufacturing industries; it is just that they are much more likely to be managed through home grown disparate databases or purely paper based systems. If you would like to learn more about EQMS in general please follow this link, but there are some specific benefits of EQMS to the CPG industry that should be called out here:
- Improve finished product quality
- Lower the cost of quality
- Improve manufacturing efficiency
- Improve supplier performance
- Build quality and compliance into production processes
- Create collaboration between research and development and manufacturing on quality
- Improve the success of new products being introduced to the market
- Provide visibility into key quality indicators
Experience has proven time and time again that adhering to best practices in change management, culture, executive sponsorship, and proper planning often are just as important as the the technology itself. For these reasons following the below three steps can have a tremendous impact on the success of deploying EQMS in the CPG space.
Step 1: Make quality an executive priority and start changing the culture towards one of continuous improvement. Far too often grass roots efforts start out with a lot of momentum but if the executives don’t believe in it the trend is more often than not for the initiative to lose steam and not have a truly enterprise wide benefit.
Step 2: Begin to harmonize disparate systems and business process into a standardized and flexible framework for creating operational excellence and building quality into the business. Many companies today just have too many systems and they are often disjointed and difficult to maintain. By streamlining the IT environment and focusing on business process quality can begin to become a strategic objective that is intelligently built into business processes.
Step 3: Support changing culture and business process with a Quality Management Solution that centrally manages core quality capabilities. With the executive sponsorship, culture, and business process pieces of the puzzle figured out, it is time to start moving on to software. This software should be designed to centrally manage quality and compliance across the business and start with well proven core capabilities like those listed above.
EQMS in the CPG Industry
In the CPG space it is all about innovation, growth, and building billion dollar brands. Unfortunately, for many CPG companies, quality and compliance have not yet been an area of focus or investment - but this is starting to change. As CPG companies want to protect the brands they have, grow into new markets, and become more efficient, they are realizing that centrally managing quality as a key executive priority can be a strong competitive advantage. These companies are learning from other industries (like life sciences), and are now focusing on executive leadership around quality, creating a culture of continuous improvement, building quality and compliance into business processes, and supporting it all with an Enterprise Quality Management Software deployment.