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Expert news and insights for scientific & technology professionals.
Quality Management in the Cloud The Technology Advantage and How it Impacts the Quality Function
There are many technologies that are being incorporated at Life Science organizations today to help automate and improve process effectiveness and efficiency. Cloud and edge computing, IoT, robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning to name a few. These technologies assist organizations in reducing cost and downtime, and improving throughput, quality and safety. And of course, reducing the overall cost of quality.
Cloud technology is no longer thought of as an elusive and uncertain technology environment. The cloud has become mainstream with a computing infrastructure offering extensive computing power, copious data storage, scalability, stability, and a reduced data security risk. Given its benefits across the organization, the quality function is a perfect area to leverage this technology to improve operational efficiencies.
The Cloud’s Impact on the Quality Function
Moving certain key aspects of the quality function to the cloud provides life sciences organizations the ability to centralize data, become more flexible, and enables the empowerment of the employees. Cloud-based quality management systems provide a means to centralize data and better integrate systems, to provide flexibility in operations, as well as a means to ensure knowledge sharing and remote capability.
Enables Centralization of Data and Systems
By leveraging the cloud and centralizing the quality data of the business, it standardizes information and also provides greater visibility into the data across the organization. It also has the ability to fundamentally transform the business.
By centralizing the quality data, it establishes a shared method of interaction across the business and eliminates the confusion that is caused by different locations and groups having their own systems, naming conventions and standard operating procedures.
System-to-system integration is also facilitated along with streamlined reporting and data analysis. With standardized naming conventions, the quality management system can easily collect data across various facilities without sophisticated database requests. This provides for the ability to gain additional insights on the quality of processes and systems across the enterprise.
Provides Flexibility To Adapt to External or Internal Factors
All companies strive to maximize flexibility with their operations so that they can change direction quickly when either internal or external factors affect the organization. Businesses want to have the ability to adjust to demand increases or decreases and hopefully safeguard profitability. A cloud quality management system provides this agility and flexibility. The system can provide the essential data people need to collaborate and work efficiently across functions and geographies. By incorporating a cloud quality management system, you gain maximum flexibility in pursuing the organization’s quality goals.
Provides for Cross-Pollination of Knowledge
Employees of the organization attain knowledge of processes and systems over the years. For example, Plant floor supervisors who have worked in the organization for years, have an intuition as to how to run their production operations. This knowledge is engrained in these experienced employees.
With a cloud-based quality system, that experience and knowledge can be transformed into a digital knowledgebase. In cloud-based quality systems, it is simple to capture and convert that inherent knowledge into explicit rules, procedures, processes, and workflows to ensure that they are consistently applied. This cross-pollination enables the organization to keep the processes running when faced with issues such as resource availability, system downtime, etc.
Facilitates Remote Operations
Providing the ability for employees to work remote is becoming an important reality. Most manufacturers are limiting the number of employees on the shop floor at one time. They are separating the floor into zones and limiting who can enter each zone. With this type of setup, it might require that a production supervisor do their job from an office on site without physically walking the floor.
Cloud-based Quality management systems of today provide the means to do this. Many also integrate with other plant software systems.
Easily Deployed and Maintained
An on-premises quality system requires hardware, licenses, and infrastructure. With a Cloud-based system, a majority of the overhead is eliminated. You only need a computer and to buy subscriptions to use the cloud-based system. The deployment is extremely easy from the user setup perspective.
With a cloud-based quality system, updates are done without a major interaction of company resources. Additionally, there are no servers to purchase and setup and no software to install. There is also no requirement to do time-consuming software upgrades. The organization always has the latest and greatest software version on any device with a browser.
The cloud provides a way for organizations to significantly improve their quality function. By leveraging the cloud a business can centralize their data and integrate their systems to improve operations and reporting.
Cloud applications also provide for flexibility in operations, cross-pollination of information, and the ability for employees to easily work remotely. Additionally, cloud based quality management systems require the least IT resources and cost, and are incredibly easy to deploy and maintain.
Why It Matters to You
Life Sciences organizations have an opportunity leveraging the cloud-based quality management systems to:
- Lower their cost of operations
- Centralize data and better integrate systems and processes
- Improve reporting across the organization
- Improve flexibility of the quality function and cross-pollination of knowledge
For over 25 years, Astrix has been a market-leader in dedicated digital transformation & dedicated staffing services for science-based businesses. Through our proven laboratory informatics, digital quality & compliance, and scientific staffing services we deliver the highly specialized people, processes, and technology to fundamentally transform how science-based businesses operate. Astrix was founded by scientists to solve the unique challenges which science-based businesses face in the laboratory and beyond. We’re dedicated to helping our clients speed & improve scientific outcomes to help people everywhere.