Instead, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based quality management systems enable all data to be centralised, standardised and accessible in a cloud repository. This provides the flexibility needed for employees to stay connected and collaborate, even while working from the safety of their homes.
Such cloud-based solutions are also quick to deploy and can be scaled up or down as needed. This makes it easy for managers, quality professionals and other key decision-makers to quickly pivot to remotely monitoring products, lines and plants in their organisation. All they need is a device with an internet connection.
3. SPC for intelligent, actionable insights
Simply having remote access to real-time data does not provide the insights needed to speed up recovery and protect continuity in the post-pandemic world. Process manufacturers need to understand — by way of data analysis — the current issues, concerning trends and where the greatest opportunities lie for continuous product and process improvement.
That is where statistical process control (SPC) comes in.
SPC is the industry standard methodology for analysing, monitoring and predicting the performance of a particular process or product characteristic. SPC software compares collected quality data against pre-defined control limits to detect abnormal trends and variations in real-time. It allows process manufacturers to thereby anticipate and prevent problems before they can negatively impact their business.
SPC software also aggregates and analyses historical data, uncovering actionable ways to enhance quality, reduce risks and maximise performance company-wide. So, as process manufacturing leaders shift their mindsets from “survive” to “thrive,” these real-time, cloud-based solutions will help build the foundation for an optimised and resilient post-COVID factory.
After the wave of disruption, the tide is beginning to turn
Though the last several months have been difficult, I can offer you some signs of hope that manufacturers around the world are ramping up production and establishing a new sense of stability.
At InfinityQS, we recently conducted a client survey with manufacturers around the world which showed nearly 74% of respondents are optimistic toward the future. These manufacturers are adapting and rebounding in the wake of the pandemic, adopting new technologies and processes for managing production and controlling quality, including 75% who noted their workers are now working remotely.
These manufacturers are accelerating their digital transformation initiatives, as evident in a steady increase in the number of ‘proofs-of-concept’ for our cloud-based quality management systems, quadrupling in the last three months. In June, we also saw a 316% spike in requested professional services hours — compared to March — with clients seeking support as they begin increasing their production to pre-pandemic levels.
While what lies ahead remains unclear, process manufacturers can find comfort in the green shoots appearing across the industry. But to survive and then thrive in the post-pandemic age, organisations must take proactive steps now and invest in the necessary technologies for true digital transformation. Those who can readily collect, centralise, analyse and act on real-time quality data will be the ones best equipped to recognise and navigate any future disruptions.