Technology, business best practices and quality management all saw substantial growth and change in 2017. We don’t anticipate that these areas will stop innovating any time soon.
We talked to five of our industry leaders to find out what quality management trends we’re likely to see in 2018—with focuses on the market outlook, the evolution of technology, regulated industries, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and software.
Morgan Palmer, Chief Technology Officer
Technology will help companies extend their quality efforts to external stakeholders.
In 2018, companies will want their compliance management platforms to help them connect with their supply chain and other external stakeholders. Cloud-based technology will be important, because it provides easier connectivity for external users, but their platform will need much more, including:
- Easy onboarding and administration of external users
- Self-service workflows that require no end-user training
- Granular security to segregate thousands of vendors in a single environment
- Mobile app that works online and offline, with auto-synchronization of assignments
- Support for any Web browser and any mobile device
Tim Lozier, Director of Marketing
Quality will become an organization-wide initiative, rather than a siloed activity.
We will be seeing a shift in the mindset of the quality role in the organization, one that is starting to incorporate a company-wide mindset. This means that more and more stakeholders in the business are getting a front-row seat to the quality systems. Conversely, this means that organizations will need to adapt quality management systems to be consumable to more areas of the business. This is why risk-based thinking becomes so important—risk, as a concept, is more consumable to the entire organization, and if companies can build more risk-based tools into their processes, it becomes more of a companywide effort than siloed in quality.
I also see more heavy adoption of Quality 4.0 strategies, which involves the incorporation of mobile technologies, cloud utilization, machine learning, Big Data and similar tools. Look to see more companies adopting these strategies in line with their business initiatives, and look for the solutions that are addressing mobile, cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics as a key component in their long-term strategy.
Glen Fraser, Technical Product Manager
Quality systems will provide visibility into all risks so you can act accordingly.
Quality systems will provide a bigger picture and a more holistic view of what is occurring across the entire quality landscape. The viewpoint for this bigger picture is centered on risk as the common denominator across all points in the lifecycle: from ideation, across the supply chain, through production and into post-market.
Quality systems provide visibility into all risks, with level of action based on level of risk being presented and ranked against all other risks.
Sean Salvas, Product Manager, EHS&S
Organizations will harmonize EHS and Quality Management initiatives.
Many organizations now group EHS and Quality in the same organization. This same grouping is seen in the continued harmonization of standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and the new ISO 45001. Much like the standards have similar high-level frameworks and requirements (following the Plan, Do, Check, Act method), EHS and quality groups have common traits and needs such as training, recordkeeping, risk management and more. By combining these two groups with similar processes and methods, one is able to streamline processes and get away from silos, ultimately saving time and having more traceability and accountability.
Anthony Parise, Product Strategist for Life Sciences
Life Science companies will shift focus from keeping up with compliance to true a true quality mindset.
More regulated companies will focus on quality instead of just addressing compliance and will start to see the FDA shift how they inspect companies and be more collaborative, based on the current pilot program. Moving away from the compliance whirlwind and shifting to be quality focused will also provide better internal alignment between organizations to deliver improved products with a positive impact on quality of life.
There will certainly be additional changes for regulated industries in 2018, and companies that adopt strategic changes will surpass the rest as they shift to focus on quality, and use compliance to guide them.
Have any questions for our experts? Leave them in the comments.