Variation in quality has always been a serious business risk. Customers and business partners want someone to rely on — a supplier that delivers the same level of quality every time.
The problem has always been that some variations are nearly impossible to control, thus losing data integrity. Many management philosophies have arisen over the years to draw the connections between customer expectations, quality and variation control.
Since its heyday in the 1990s, total quality management (TQM) has evolved into Lean and Six Sigma, but the fundamentals are still in place: control variation, improve quality and satisfy expectations.
The Merging of Two Trends
What has changed significantly over the past few years is that two disruptive trends have reinforced each other to give enterprises a powerful new tool for higher quality and better control.
Those two inter-related trends are the ubiquity of mobile and the cost minimization of software development.
Now, custom-designed mobile apps are easy to make and can shine the light of data analysis into every corner of the enterprise.
Consider this use case:
Color Correction at a Paint Manufacturer
A paint company is proud of its futuristic online paint ordering system. A commercial customer can copy and paste a photo from a laptop or a mobile phone onto their website.
This will be the color of the walls at their new HQ. The backend imports the color from that photo and generates a paint batch order. So far so good.
In the production facility, a paint specialist mixes up 100,000 gallons of the paint in the mixer, but he gets distracted. He’s training someone new and the boss just called on him to find out what’s wrong with one of the other machines on the floor.
When he gets back, he forgets that he didn’t include one of the ingredients or he used the wrong amount. Maybe he has a paper checklist, but he just ticks the box out of habit. As far as he is concerned, the job is done, and he moves on to the next project.
The problem is only discovered when it reaches the client, who is stuck with 100,000 gallons of the wrong color, possibly delaying the completion of their HQ and all the fallout that entails.
This leads to internal conflicts at the customer, and the paint manufacturer has to make it right.
It’s quite likely that they will lose the customer and all their repeat business. Forget about referrals. The paint manufacturer is lucky if the entire story doesn’t wind up on social media.
The End Result
To stop the damage and prevent this situation from impacting other customers, the paint manufacturer needs data they can rely on.
They need a way to trace the problem back and find out exactly what happened to the batch.
An action trail with verified data integrity is the only way the enterprise is going to be able to prevent something similar from happening in the future.
There are only so many chances the enterprise will get.
The Software Solution
Mobile and the growth of custom software development companies are the keys to quality control and data integrity at every stage of enterprise processes.
That’s just as true for service providers as it is for traditional manufacturers.
Custom software development and mobile applications can now reduce risk and offer insights that improve quality everywhere.
Enterprises where complexity is high and visibility is low have the most to gain. So do their customers.
For more information, contact us today or visit our website.