This is part five of our continuing blog series about transforming your quality operations in order to thrive in the high stakes world of manufacturing—the high stakes of competing in increasingly dynamic and competitive global markets. A quick recap of what we’ve discussed so far:
- In part one we focused on what we call dysfunctional data— data that are either incomplete, inconsistent, isolated, or inefficient—what we consider to be the underlying cause behind most performance and quality issues in manufacturing today.
- In part two we discussed how manufacturers can move away from dysfunctional data towards what we call actionable intelligence—comprised of data that are the exact opposite of dysfunctional—by using the transformative powers of Enact®, InfinityQS’ award-winning, cloud-native Quality Intelligence platform.
- In part three we looked at how Enact can help you increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve agility. It all starts with the visibility that brings you informed decision-making capabilities.
- In part four we turned our focus on how Enact can help manufacturers deliver strategic improvements to their operations, drive enterprise consistency, and protect their brands.
In this, our finale to the series, we’ll look at how you can overcome barriers to quality transformation and get started with Enact, the InfinityQS quality intelligence platform.
Excellence Through Transformation
You can’t really talk about transforming your manufacturing operations without talking about what we call the Excellence Loop
. As mentioned in Part 4 of this series, Delivering Strategic Improvements, Driving Enterprise Consistency, and Protecting Your Brand
, the Excellence Loop is comprised of enterprise visibility, operational insights, and global transformation.
It begins with unifying and storing all of your quality data in one place. This provides you with that bird’s eye view of your data—enterprise-wide visibility—which enables you to assess quality performance for every region, operation, and product in your company.
Enterprise visibility enables you to garner true operational insights into your processes and operations, which can fuel high-level, prioritized improvement of product quality and spark some exciting, proactive, strategic decision making. With access to this level of information, companies gain the ability to globally transform their business through process optimization, cost reductions, and better resource utilization.
The word “transformation” can be scary. We get that. Much of what we read today talks about enterprise transformation “from the top down” and “spanning all four corners of the business.” That can be overwhelming. It's no surprise, therefore, that transformation is sometimes seen as an all-or-nothing endeavor. It is perceived as a journey that requires significant disruption to your operations and significant investment of your precious resources—finances, people, time, and otherwise.
We are here to tell you that the perceived barriers to your quality transformation are just that—perceptions. They do not have to hold sway. With the InfinityQS Enact Quality Intelligence platform, we’ll show you how transform your enterprise without disruption or overuse of your resources.
Perceived Barriers to Transformation
The barriers to transformation for operations and resources really boil down to one thing: everyone’s plate is already full—either managing and maintaining servers and IT projects or running day-to-day production—and just don’t have the time to take on new transformation projects.
If this is your perception, then it’s no wonder that you do not want any major additional projects impeding your people as they do the jobs they were hired to do. And you certainly don’t want to overburden your workforce. Keep those products rolling out the door; keep the existing systems functioning; keep the status quo.
Oh, the Costs!
And transformation projects are perceived as being costly and complex. Costly? Yes, many organizations feel that a transformation project will compete with budget constraints—and take money away from other projects deemed to be of high value.
And let’s face it, when we don’t have enough information, we tend to imagine the worst. So, when you don’t know how complex (or wonderfully simple) a transformation project can be, you naturally assume it to be a major undertaking—with a high risk of problems and a high risk of failure.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Your current quality procedures are just the way things are done, right? They’ve served you well for many years. Why tinker with success? Well, the landscape is shifting. Things are not the same as they have been in the past. As colleague Doug Fair, InfinityQS COO, states in his blog, Shifting Manufacturing Quality Paradigms
, “We need to think about manufacturing quality paradigms that are really no longer true, or even applicable. Making improvements only at the plant level is a big one. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provides our quality improvement experts at the corporate level (from anywhere around the globe) the ability to sort, slice, and dice data anyway they want from across plants, across departments, across the enterprise, across regions. Manufacturing quality paradigms are shifting.” Amen.
So, here we are at the old catch-22 paradox of manufacturing. How do we gain the knowledge and experience of how valuable these quality transformation projects can be if we don't try them? But how can we try them if the perception is that they are too complex or risky?
The sad truth is that we revert to what we know. We stick to “business as usual” (or quality as usual). Thankfully, there is an alternative. As Doug mentions above, SaaS is here, it’s secure, and it’s proven. And, happily, it’s built around a subscription model! So, your approach to transformation can be very different.
Getting Started with Enact – Saving Money
Enact is subscription-based, with no long-term contracts. You simply pay for the number of licenses that use on a monthly basis. And you can increase or decrease the number of licenses at any time. No long-term contract means you are not locked in with any kind of significant financial commitment up front—which, let’s face it, makes it virtually risk-free!
The subscription-based licensing model enables the subscription cost to be an ongoing, monthly operational
expenditure, rather than a capital
expenditure. InfinityQS Account Manager, Brad Forrest, wrote a blog series
about the hidden costs associated with hosting your own quality system vs. moving to the cloud. He walks us through the differences between the financial perspectives and direct and indirect costs as he emphasizes that these costs aren’t really hidden, they’re ignored
. “I think it’s reasonable to assume that many manufacturers aren’t blind to the hidden costs of owning an on-premises software system—no, they essentially choose to ignore them. Like everything else, costs like these become known as ‘the cost of doing business.’”
Don’t let the cost of doing business keep you from realizing inexpensive, modern technology that offers so much more.
Enact Proof of Concept
Enact requires no software to be installed locally; everything is accessible simply via a web browser. This means there’s no commitment to hardware or infrastructure up front. And it enables you to start small, and thereby assess the real and tangible business benefits and value. You can then expand at a pace that meets your business needs or constraints, such as resource availability.
Starting small is what the Enact proof of concept is all about. According to colleague Zach Harrison, InfinityQS Senior Applications Engineer, in his blog, Enact Proof of Concept – No Limitations
, the Enact proof of concept (PoC) is the best and only way to start working with Enact. “Once you begin your proof of concept, you will see how easy it is to use the powerful data collection and analysis tools Enact has to offer.” And when we say small, we mean small: “a single filling operation, or a packaging operation, for example.”
The bottom line is that an Enact PoC enables you to quickly assess the significant value that quality transformation can bring to your operations. Zach says that, “One of the outcomes of your foray into a proof of concept is that you can analyze results of your proof of concept and realize the value Enact can bring to your manufacturing operations. You’ll see exactly what Enact can do for you firsthand.” That’s powerful, tangible
A Typical Proof of Concept
A proof of concept is done in the first 30 days. A month! And you can cancel your Enact subscription
at any time within those first 30 days—without paying a dime. After we have proven the transformative powers of Enact, and you’ve received a demonstrated, tangible return on your investment, together we can begin a wider, phased deployment approach by expanding across more processes, areas, or plants.
It Doesn’t End There
We are never far away. The PoC process begins, simply enough, with a questionnaire that helps our team (a global network of Enact Sales and Service Partners) better understand your specific goals for using Enact and the results you would like to obtain during your proof of concept. “Next, you’ll work with an InfinityQS Applications Engineer to achieve your desired results for the proof of concept. During just a few guided sessions, you’ll build your first process model
, begin collecting data
, and learn about the data analysis
features Enact offers.”
And, always at your fingertips:
Don’t allow preconceived notions of the difficulties and costs of transforming your quality efforts in your organization get in the way of making the leap to constant improvement and quality excellence—get started with your quality transformation today with Enact.
Read the other articles in this blog series:
Take advantage of the technology at your fingertips today: contact one of our account managers (1.800.772.7978 or via our website
) for more information.