A corporate environment is quite crowded with projects, people, processes, and many other matters at stake. This calls for the need to monitor and ensure everything stays on track.
And the best way to keep everyone and everything on track is an effective Quality Management System. The evolution of quality management has come a long way. It started with the defense sector followed by the automotive and marine sectors.
Today, the quality of products and services has become an integral part of business processes across the globe. Most organizations are adopting quality management systems to ensure customer retention and surpass their competitors in the market.
What is a QMS?
A Quality Management System is a formalized method to review products, services, and operations of the business. The key objective is to identify the scope of quality improvement. QMS is required in all aspects of the business, regardless of the nature and size of the organization.
How QMS is beneficial for your business?
Implementing a Quality Management System offers tremendous benefits to your organization. In fact, a study found that the QMS implementation yields an average ROI of 300%. Other empirical studies confirm that businesses have also achieved non-measurable returns like happier customers, consistent operations, greater awareness of quality, and improved brand valuation.
Some of the critically important objectives of implementing a Quality Management System include regulatory risk, compliance, and certification. However, risk reduction is not the only benefit but it can create a transformative impact on the company culture by creating a formalized system of processes.
Benefits of Quality Management Systems
Why SharePoint is the best choice to create Quality Management System?
No matter which QMS certification you are pursuing, SharePoint can help you build a QMS system to fulfill all your quality needs with flying colors. With the increasing adoption of the Microsoft 365 suite, it can be your best choice to satisfy QMS requirements.
SharePoint libraries, lists, and metadata help you to provide standard operating procedures, quality records, documents, controlled forms, and audits, when and where they are required. Everything is housed in an integrated system in a super organized manner. It will also fulfill the management review and reporting requirements easily and quickly.
Let’s get a detailed overview of the different requirements that can be fulfilled by a SharePoint QMS.
How to Create a Quality Management System (QMS) in SharePoint?
REQUIREMENT 1: A CENTRALIZED PLACE TO STORE SOPS, POLICIES, WORK INSTRUCTIONS
SharePoint serves as one of the best document management platforms. It provides an automated way of capturing, organizing, tagging, digitizing, storing, accessing, approving, and completing the documents involved in the manufacturing or other business. The out-of-the-box features of SharePoint-based DMS include built-in version history, enterprise-grade security provided by Microsoft, automated document approval process, metadata features to categorize the policies and procedures like expiry date, status, etc.
Document Management Features offered by BizPortals 365
Overview of Document Library
REQUIREMENT 2: AUDIT INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
An audit is one of the mandatory functions of businesses to ensure proper compliance. The audits have specific administrative purposes, such as auditing of documents, performance, risks, and following up on corrective actions. As auditing is a core requirement of a Quality Management System, it needs to be done very efficiently. This can be done with document sets and lists. It is much easier to create a document library, configure it with special document sets, add audit-related metadata like audit log, date, status, etc. It can help in organizing the audit folders with corresponding folders underneath.
REQUIREMENT 3: AUDIT TRAIL OF INFORMATION
Today, everything revolves around a constant flow of documents, approval processes, and their ability to withstand the audit. With so many variables, there is a high dependency on compliance and precision, like in the manufacturing industry. For example, a purchase order is received from a customer and it passes through a series of checkpoints within the organization before getting passed to production and delivery. Every step involves a series of approvals and important changes are also made to the initial document. And these changes are not made by one person, but various employees involved in the production process. In this scenario, SharePoint version history feature shines. The versioning feature is enabled by default in SharePoint to track the date and time of document access, name of user checked-in or check out a document, actions taken with the document, comments, and much more.
REQUIREMENT 4: ENTERPRISE-GRADE SECURITY
Security is another core requirement of a Quality Management System, whether it is physical, personnel, cyber, or supply chain security. Also, some information needs to be kept private to specific employees, while some information can be shared with the rest of the organization. Some users need the ability to add/delete/edit while others only need read-only privileges. Here, SharePoint QMS has enterprise-grade security features provided by Microsoft. It allows customized security/permissions setup with various security levels like document, site, folder, library.
REQUIREMENT 5: CAPA (CORRECTIVE AND PREVENTIVE ACTION)
Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA) includes a set of actions intended to improve the organizational processes and eliminate the causes of non-conformances. These actions are typically utilized in manufacturing businesses to fulfill the compliance and regulations. Here, the digital tools are very helpful in managing the process of CAPA. SharePoint QMS helps in tracking with custom lists, and deficiency submissions with the help of MS forms. You can also customize the views, formats, metadata with different colors according to the specific requirements. In addition, you can also leverage Power Automate to tie tracking and deficiency submissions together.
REQUIREMENT 6: DISPLAY OF PROCESS DIAGRAMS, PROJECT COLLATERALS, CORRESPONDING DOCUMENTS, ETC.
To cope up with the sheer amount of knowledge in the manufacturing business, it is important to reuse the existing knowledge base. The inbuilt knowledge base of SharePoint QMS helps in creating the formalizing the knowledge, creating the basis for smart manufacturing, and supporting the production system. For this purpose, Site pages are a great fit. It creates dedicated pages to make a consistent knowledge base. With this page template, you can easily embed diagrams, project-related documents, collaterals. In addition, you can also add metadata to the site pages to organize the knowledge base.
REQUIREMENT 7: DOCUMENT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND AUTOMATION
As manufacturing processes are very lengthy and require a series of approvals, it may require users to acknowledge with latest updates to SOPs, policies, and information. Power Automate comes to the rescue here. It allows you to create a serial, parallel, and customized approval workflow in Power Automate. You can also log responses in custom lists or Excel.
REQUIREMENT 8: CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
The feedback of customers plays a crucial role in driving continuous improvement in the manufacturing process and quality. For the same reason, it is important to collect and analyze the feedback of customers. While collecting the data from every customer can be a tedious process, it can be easily done with Microsoft Forms. The submitted information can be exported in custom lists and stored on the SharePoint site without any hassles. Furthermore, the collected data can be analyzed in Power BI by building custom dashboards and reports.
REQUIREMENT 9: TRACKING OF REVIEW/EXPIRATION DATES
Another core requirement of the Quality Management System is to track the expiration dates of processes and policies. Here, SharePoint work wonders with its ability to have a document library with customized metadata. You can easily access the related information of the document like the expiration date to always stay relevant and updated. The conditional formatting (color coding) and workflows can also be created to automate notifications to specific users.
REQUIREMENT 10: COMMUNICATION
Quality Management System is not only about the tracking of document-related information but a big part of QMS is about seamless communication across the organization. This is where the SharePoint intranet comes into play. It is easier and better to build a communication site with a modern SharePoint intranet and create a collaborative culture. It allows you to leverage various channels of communication (Microsoft Teams, Yammer, Outlook email) to broadcast the relevant information.
Start leveraging SharePoint QMS with BizPortals 365
At BizPortals 365, we have years of experience building next-gen SharePoint Quality Management Solutions. Moving from the conventional Excel spreadsheets and offline files into SharePoint provides great control of data, greater visibility, and enhanced workflow capabilities to manage business processes efficiently.
Get FREE SharePoint consultation to get a detailed understanding of SharePoint QMS or simplify the implementation of quality management.