About Quality 4.0
History and theoretical consideration
We are all aware about Industry 4.0 - the fourth industrial revolution. As Alvin Toffler predict since '80s, this industrial revolution started in the end of previous century changes the paradigm of manufacturing and delivery products and services.
This industrial revolution wave affects day-to-day business of many companies. This impacts also quality management system and how companies deals with quality issues.
In 2020, Quality 4.0 is considered being a strategy based on several technologies like:
- Data and data analysis - big data
- Connectivity and Collaboration
- Management Systems
- Regulations compliance
On the other hand, we, Omnium Software Products development team, were involved in IT solution development to help small and mid-size companies to implement ISO 9001, IATF 16949, ISO 14001, TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) in a paper less way since 2002.
As time passed, we have evolved along with technology, from Windows 2003 SBS (Small Business Server), IIS (Internet Informational Server) and classical asp up to .net core.
Therefore, during 2003-2020 period we had the possibility to observe and understand how related technologies evolved and how was implemented by automotive companies.
Current situation 2020-2025
In 2020, lot of automotive companies are at the beginning of this process. Most of them, in this region has started the transition from spreadsheets to databases. Big data, artificial intelligence and other similar concepts are brand new to them.
Taking in consideration this situation, we consider a good start in deployment Quality 4.0 (and generally Industry 4.0), to reconsider digitization of actual processes by using a reengineering approach.
By using "old" term "process reengineering" we refer to the definition issued by Michael Hammer and James Champy (in their 1993 book 'Reengineering The Corporation'), where they defines reengineering concept being:
Fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business process to achieve dramatic improvements in critical measures of performance such as cost, service, and speed.
A good approach regarding this rethinking of business process is to search for non-value added activities performed by a company.
This is not so complicated as it sounds, it is only necessary to focus on administrative activities performed by your company. Several can be eliminated, others are mandatory.
The mandatory activities can not be eliminated, but they can be digital transformed.
This is important, because we have identified critical situations where companies loose the control of documented information and actions monitoring.
Unfortunately, this situation was identified regardless of the standard: ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 even IATF 16949.
Omnium Software Products Examples
- Documents approval
In almost all situations, this is done by using papers - author goes to its supervisor to approve a document, he or she has to wait then (following approval) he or she has to go on the workshop to implement the updated document.
This is a lot of wasted time because the approval process can be done entirely with actual IT.
More, all traceability is visible. This can be easily achieved by using a database and a web portal for example.
For sure, during an audit, you will not be able to find a paper in a folder. This embarrassing situation can be easily avoided by using a web-based solution which keeps all documents updated and allows a quick search by using keywords.
Not at last, access to document history and approval traceability is very easy.
By implementing a digital tool to control company documented information you will eliminate lot of unnecessary activities.
- Control of actions (preventive, corrective)
In lot of situations I have seen papers or Excel files which were not updated. What was missing:
- automated system to alert responsible about due-dates
- missing actions effectiveness closure