I work for a company that manufactures A/V equipment and I'm looking for QMS software that can help out the Incoming Quality Control department, specifically with inspections and material management. I was wondering if anyone has a recommendation or advice, good or bad. I have evaluated around 30 software packages, but I don't come from a traditional quality background and could use any advice that someone wants to share!
We laid out the requirements. Did a buy, build, or reuse analysis. And came up with the best option was to build our own. All the commercial applications just had too many things that they did, that we were either not interested in, or our other software tools could already do.
Also, if this is going to be a major purchase for your organization, I would check to see if there is a Gartner's Magic Square for what you are looking for. If you have never heard of Gartner, talk with your IT department. They may have an account already established.
And once the tool, had been tested, by Quality, access to a beta version was given to several typical end users, in our case, program mangers, and project managers, and engineers who had some very good suggestions to implement before opening to the entire company for use.
What some people leave out when they do an internal analysis of make or buy with a QMS is long-term support and viability. With that consider who might be maintaining the software in 1, 2, 5 or even 10 years; and, how coding may change over that period along with who might have to support that end as well.
Typically, it looks very advantageous from the outset to develop your own internal QMS software set because it will fit you exact wants and desires perfectly; however, this long-term maintenance concept is left out and it becomes the downfall of the system. In the end it falls upon disrepair and lacks functionality. So, what you might save on the front end could cost you in the long run. I am not saying don't do it, just be cautious.
Qualtrax's support is excellent and ready to answer your questions which is the biggest thing to look for when you are looking for software.
No disrespect intended to any commercial SW applications as I am sure that these have been well thought out, thoroughly vetted and field proven. But my affection for the spreadsheet approach lies in the fact that having created the app in-house we know what goes on behind the curtain and if any changes are desired these can be effected in short time frame and at minimum expense!
The QMS software we had prior to that had been bought out by another company and they wanted us to buy their then current version, with an offer of "free" transfer of current data to the new version.
Part of our build our own decision, was that we have the skills to do this. Not ever company does. With our own built to need software we have in-house maintenance and tech support. Will the people who built it still be working for us ten years from now? Who knows. But there will be someone assigned to support it. Just as in a purchased software.
I know I may be late to the conversation here, but after performing some analysis on what we have been looking for (Incoming Inspection, Non-Conformance Control, Asset Calibration Tracking, etc.) I came across a company called 1factory. They have all the tools we were looking for when it comes to Quality Inspection and Control and I highly recommend this company as their support team has been absolutely phenomenal. They were very active in helping me understand their system and see what types of customization they can do. Give them a call!
I love TrackWise and it's the gold standard. I've recently heard of ZenQMS and am attending a demo Friday after hearing good things.