ERP Systems as Quality Control Support
For the past few years, ERP systems have became one of the most powerful tools for quality control management. But ERP is just an informatics system that provides support to the integrated business management.
Goals of the Quality Control Module included in ERP
The main objectives of the quality control module are the construction and maintenance of the filing of the quality control. The control of reception, internal rejections, clients, claims, providers and evaluations of the same corrective actions are related to their follow-up, and are also some of the goals that this module offers. Furthermore, it is also helpful for internal auditory procedures and for the control of auditory providers.
Special Requirements of the Module
It is necessary to determine a whole series of data and values previously in order to make the proper follow-up work and quality control under the context of ERP software. For that, there are some different characteristics and contents:
- Value of Providers: include the values and qualifications of each provider; determine the qualification criteria for delivery of supply with concerted quality.
- Type of internal and external incidences: determine the causes of bad quality (internal or external) regarding the client; take into account where it has been made, the responsible parties and the origin; reflect the decisions made in relation to it.
- Control Issues: determine the characteristics that will be registered in the evaluation; decide the size of the sample, means and types of control that will be used.
- Auditory Procedures and corrective actions: state the methods of auditory and responsible parties; determine the type of corrective actions; analyze the ranking of compliance with the processes through checking; name the different departments that are responsible, and attach the documents and rules for control support.
There are several documents associated with the quality control which have the main objective of detailing all the aspects that may avoid the incorrect service offer. From the most basics to the more complete, this documentation will be classified as follows:
1. Control Issues: Detail the controls to be made from the reception of the merchandise to the moment of manufacturing. These regulations are separated in three groups:
a. Reception Rules: With the objective to register all the controls made in the reception of materials and purchase products, these rules are generally created to be related through a register of the different versions and corresponding observations.
b. Procedure Rules: This involves making a group of controls responsible for all the operations needed for the manufacturing of a product. At this point, it should be taken into account the internal operations as well as the ones developed in the factory itself, as the external ones will be controlled with the same format as the reception ones.
c. Final Control Rules: This is the group of controls that are to be made once the whole process of product manufacturing is completed.
2. Control Plan: It make reference to all the controls identified for that purpose in the regulations.
3. Error and Effects Analysis: It is the technique designated to obtain in factory the appropriate designs for the needs that are expected to be covered, as well as in products and in processes. This analysis should be focused on the possible errors that may occur, and all the possibilities have to be taken into consideration.
The aim of this analysis is to prevent the potential errors that affect a design and to reduce the apparition based on the decisions that are made and registered in the same. In ERP, the user registers the information related to the failures and effects caused during the processes associated with the product registered in the system. In order to locate the error produced, it is made the route/operation level analysis in the productive system to detect and avoid the said error.
4. Procedures: Is the relationship between the documents that show the working procedure in all the aspects of the company.
- Quality Control Procedures: through ERP, the procedures are the documentation generated by the company in order to inform their working mode in every aspect. This information will be reviewed and supervised by the quality responsible, and will maintain the history of the last revisions that has gone through. Likewise, the list of departments involved should be reflected.
- Quality Control Auditory: This step is to audit the processes in order to prove the range of compliance with the procedures. For that, ERP will offer the possibility of establishing the dates when the audits should be made, and also will design the persons in charge of the same. The running of an audit on providers is included in ERP to be able to control, in relation with the importance grade, the service that is being offered by the providers, and the company staff could prove the fulfilling of all the necessary requirements.
Quality control and the Different Processes:
The first process that will appear is the reception of the material. In this case, ERP proposes the quality control for the supply of material by providers: In the purchase circuit, it will useful to record all the different existing relationships between providers and products, since it is probable to use different fees and conditions for each article in relation to each provider. ERP uses this information to establish the control of every provider and every material provided by them.
Some material may go under this quality control, and some may not. The quality department should be in charge of collecting the merchandise that will be controlled and compare the same to the merchandise already registered in the system, and will prove that the collected samples fulfill all the requirements.
Once this control has been made, this would be accepted and then ERP will propose to generate an external incidence or not. This will claim a corrective action or the update of the provider qualification in order to maintain all the information updated.
Another process that will take place is the manufacturing. For this specific phase, ERP offers the possibility of generating a process control system of each elaborated product by the company. This control will start from the relationship between the product, and each of the operations in which it is divided all the particular routes of manufacturing.
It will establish some regulations required for the control of the process. The internal operations will be considered since they are all the ones that are developed inside the enterprise, and not the external ones, since they will be controlled under the same format as the reception ones. Associated with the operation rule, it will be maintained, and some observations that are useful for the documentation and will be registered in the system for later use.
Finally, the last process is the quality control in the final control of products. Since each product may be controlled once the manufacturing process has ended, it is possible to have a random control at any moment in order to verify if the characteristics, specifications, etc… for a particular product that are being complied. Besides, these rules will be helpful in studying the possible claiming of clients on the final product.