The Problem with Paper QMS for Manufacturers

How are You Managing the Quality of Manufacturing Processes and Workflows Within Your Organization?

Home-grown systems and spreadsheet-based processes are fundamentally insufficient and sources of risk….

Does your manufacturing organization still rely on paper, spreadsheets, or SharePoint solutions to manage quality and document management?

According to Gartner, Inc. in “2022 Market Guide for Quality Management System Software”:

As organizations plot their emergence from COVID-19 disruptions, they face a number of new challenges … further underscoring the need for advanced and modern QMS [Quality Management Systems] across all business units, geographies and product families.”

The Problem With Paper

The Problem With Paper

Many companies that choose to use a paper-based ISO 9000-compliant (or other industry standard) QMS system, operate under the assumption that it’s affordable and efficient. But often, such a manual system adds to staff workload, creates inefficiencies, and costs the company more in the long run.

The McKinsey Global Institute conducted a study seeking to highlight areas that businesses could increase productivity by embracing new technologies. One of the biggest takeaways from the study was:  

Employees spend 1.8 hours every day—9.3 hours per week, on average—searching and gathering information. Put another way, businesses hire 5 employees but only 4 show up to work; the fifth is off searching for answers, but not contributing any value. 

A growing company will have to develop hundreds—if not thousands—of procedures to control quality operations. If this is done with a paper-based or spreadsheet-based QMS, it will require thousands upon thousands of documents. On such a large scale, just the document control process alone becomes incredibly unwieldy; reviewing documents, making revisions, filing records, and storing paper and spreadsheet files ends up requiring a considerable amount of time and effort to manage.

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