Quality Management Software Beginner’s Guide

Quality Management Software can be a great way to streamline many of the tedious tasks associated with using a Quality Management System (QMS) for continual organizational improvement.  The can help with critical document and record control as well as data processing and business intelligence.

Trying to select a Quality Management Software application, however, can be extremely difficult.

With a quick Internet search, you will likely be overwhelmed with an onslaught of venders and quality software programs with all levels of cost, complexity, and functionality.  It is hard to know where to start. 

Here is a simple review that can help determine the requirements for Quality Management Software and simplify the selection process.

Budget:  You can pay as little or as much as you want for Quality Management Software.  Set some budgetary boundaries and you can focus on the applications that are at least in the ball park.

Functionality:  What do you want from the application?  Are you interested in basic functions like document control and management, or do you want it to interact with customer service and manufacturing for automated tracking and real time dashboards?  Just about every level of functionality is available.  If the software needs to interact with other enterprise systems, then all the interface capabilities need to be verified.

Installation and Set-up:  How difficult will the software be to install and get operational?  What kind of internal resources will be required?  This is probably one of the most serious mistakes organization’s make when it comes to selecting Quality Management Software.  They dream of big functionality, but they simply don’t have the resources (the time, the knowledge, etc,) to make the application operate as it should.  They have wasted their time and their money.  If the internal resources aren’t available, then make sure installation and set-up from the vendor or a third party is part of the budget.

Ease of Use/ Look and Feel:  If the program is hard to use and doesn’t have an intuitive look and feel for the users, there will be complications in overcoming the difficult learning curve.  The easier the application is to use for the ones who have to deal with it on a daily basis, the more value you will ultimately get from the investment. 

Quality Management System Requirements:  The complexity of the Quality Management Software should match the complexity of the Quality Management System.  Smaller organizations with a basic QMS has significantly less complexity than a large pharmaceutical manufacturer.  The right application for one is probably not the right application for the other.  Match the application to the QMS.

Flexibility and Scalability:  Be sure the software can grow and adapt to the organization. It can be frustrating to constantly be zinged for big money just to add a new license or to be able to install it on a different computer.  Always make sure you understand issues related to expansion and flexibility. 

Once you have a feel for these basics factors, you may be ready to enter the Quality Management Software market. 

Knowing how to align the software selection to needs of your unique organization will ensure you receive great value from your investment.

Back to Quality Management Software