- SaaS (on-demand) technology that allows product quality management tools to be hosted as a service provided to customers via the Internet. SaaS is lower-cost and scalable, requires little infrastructure, has a lower investment risk and enables easier collaboration. These benefits are ideal for companies today with suppliers located at dispersed locations around the world. Since sufficient quality information/data can be obtained securely via the Internet, travel costs can be significantly reduced. And with a "pay-as-you-go" pricing model, costs can be kept relatively low – a key factor given today's changing economy.
- Real-time dashboards, analytics and alerts that provide insight and analysis of data, alerting the manufacturer or supplier to any potential problem and possible fixes (Figure 2).
- A 360-degree, holistic view of product quality, which allows a company to enter the product quality ecosystem from different angles (Figure 3). It also ensures manufacturers have access to an automated collection of globally dispersed data for a 360-degree view of their complete design and manufacturing process.
Adopting an approach that effectively utilizes third-generation product quality management tools to better manage product performance is the primary way companies can avoid the cost and public disgrace of product recalls. These tools provide companies real-time insight into the design, manufacturing and service process without having to wade through long, hard-to-interpret reports. With access to the right quality information and data, companies can now better ensure on-time shipment of only the highest quality products and protect their brand.
About the Author: Nader Fathi is the CEO and co-founder of SigmaQuest, a provider of on-demand solutions for product quality management. He brings 25 years of general management, business development, sales and marketing experience in the software and electronics industry to this position. More information on SigmaQuest is available at www.sigmaquest.com.