In today's modern workplace, computers and automation are commonplace. However, the Global Quality Survey 2017 revealed that many quality professionals are still under-equipped when it comes to technology – despite realising that it is increasingly important to go digital.
Image: EQMS, Qualsys's quality management software
A significant 37% of those surveyed agreed that they don't have the tools they need to effectively manage quality. These figures are mirrored by the number of days spent reporting: 48% of those without a quality management system to assist with audits and compliance to standards spend more than four days per month creating reports. This is compared to 57% of those with quality management systems who spend less than four days per month on the same tasks.
Lack of suitable technology is enough to make people leave
Only 27% of those surveyed feel their organisation is more than slightly effective at using technology to help deliver continuous quality improvement across the company.
Feeling under-equipped to carry out a role to its fullest is a big reason for quality professionals to walk away: 20% of those surveyed had left a job because they felt they didn't have the right tools. This ties in with the number of quality leaders dissatisfied at feeling unheard despite reporting directly to their boards more than ever (68% compared to 56% in 2016).
Richard Green, Managing Director and Founder of Kingsford Consultancy Services, talks about how more and more businesses are using technology to manage quality
The right tools could lead to promotion
It might seem all doom and gloom, but there is an upside: quality professionals who have acquired the right tools for the job – namely, an electronic quality management system – are far more likely to receive a promotion. Of those who had introduced EQMS to their organisation in the last two years, 41% were promoted.
"Of those who had introduced EQMS to their organisation in the last two years, 41% received a promotion."
The mindset of the quality professional is very much geared towards the importance of technology in their roles and beyond: 62% of those surveyed agreed that a quality management system will evolve into a business management system within the next five years. This is a positive outcome for quality professionals who strive for better tools and greater integration of quality processes across their organisation. Anticipating the move towards business management systems is useful to drive the introduction of tools such as EQMS – if quality leaders can demonstrate direct benefits from a business case, their management will be much simpler going forward.