Quality Risks: Use Quality System Data to See the Big Picture

Quality Risks: Use Quality System Data to See the Big Picture

Kevin Lee, Industry Solutions Manager, Pilgrim Quality Solutions, an IQVIA company

On a day-to-day basis, most of us are busy taking care of the details. We’re fixing problems as they happen, checking things off to-do lists, and responding to emails. But as we move through our busy days, most of us are aware of the periodic need to take a step back, look at the big picture, and assess our progress against our goals. That high-level look often reveals trends that need to be reinforced or changed as we move forward. Nowhere is this truer than within a quality system. The seemingly small or micro details that we work through each day add up with other processes and details to form the bigger (macro) picture of our organization’s risk.

Scenario 1: Understanding Quality Risk from Multiple Micro Risk Sources

During a 30-day period, the following quality events occur:

  • Micro Risk 1: 10 failed incoming inspections for one part number “A100”
  • Micro Risk 2: 10 nonconformances for part “B100” leading to scrapped parts
  • Micro Risk 3: 5 corrective action processes initiated for part “C100”

Micro risks look like isolated incidents for different parts until we’re aware of the big picture…all of these parts are from the same vendor. This supplier represents high risk when viewing these events in totality, but each quality event is low when viewed individually.


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Scenario 2: Looking at the Customer View

Let’s take a look at another level of quality risk. In this example, all of the above-mentioned parts (A100, B100, and C100) are used by your largest customer to make their most high-risk product. You’re receiving a low number of complaints per part, however these add up to a significant number of complaints – and high risk for your customer – when viewed collectively.

Examining complaints individually represents a micro view, whereas viewing all of the quality events that impact your customer enable you to manage the bigger-picture risk. In this case, you will move up the chain to your supplier to mitigate customer problems.

Getting to Quality Risk Data

These two simple scenarios demonstrate the value of seeing the big picture. It’s critical to get to the macro view of quality risk, but it can be difficult to get the data you need to put the pieces together. A properly structured and organized quality system can form this picture and help you interpret it more easily. Consistent quality data and processes become critical, and the need for Quality Intelligence emerges.

Pilgrim’s SmartSolve® quality management platform helps you see the big picture of emerging trends in quality risk. Quality representatives can view quality events and risk at a micro, process-based level, or at an enterprise, “big picture” level. This enables you to quickly identify and respond to changes in risk and ultimately prevent defects, deviations, and customer complaints from occurring.

Can you see the big picture in your quality data? Share your thoughts on the big picture in the comments below.

Kevin Lee

Industry Solutions Consultant, Pilgrim Quality Solutions

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