One of the great challenges in quality-focused companies is to maintain an overview of all incidents and to react quickly. No wonder that an awareness for quality-focused processes is growing in many companies. Incident management is the hub for these processes. The starting point is always an event that triggers a process. Incidents can have a variety of causes and depend strongly on the respective company’s business model. Possible incidents include
• transportation damage
• discrepancies in documents
• changes or
• unplanned machine breakdowns.
However, it applies across the board that every incident that departs from the processes prescribed by the company is recorded. The same questions arise again and again in everyday working life:
• Where are incidents reported?
• How are they documented?
• When do they need to be reported?
• Who decides how to deal with it?
These are questions that do not even arise in the first place in professional incident management, or which can be answered directly.
Many companies have several locations. Production or logistics are frequently outsourced, often to external service providers. As a result, demands on the transparency of all incidents occurring in the group of companies are increasing exponentially.
Incident management records all incidents, occurrences or deviations from the norm that occur. From this point on, a process starts in which responsibilities are defined and incidents are classified and evaluated. This can then be used to determine measures that result in a CAPA, 8D or complaint process until the incident is closed. The following diagram illustrates the process:
Modern incident management plays an increasingly vital role in quality management (QM). If correctly understood and set up, it becomes the process hub of all QM processes, where the type and urgency is logged.
Other quality management topics such as document control, change, audit or training management should be seamlessly integrated to ensure a resilient overall package without friction losses in terms of transparency and collaboration.
The importance of quality management processes has increased significantly in many companies over recent years. Industries regulated in this way demonstrate the relevance of these processes and show how they are proven to lead to a consistently high quality of products and services.
However, many software providers have not understood how to engage QM staff in their role and responsibility. This means comprehensive QM processes are integrated again and again in other systems, for example from the ERP or CRM environment. This causes confusion as regards terminology and the correct classification of QM processes and quality assurance processes. There needs to be a change in perception here: QM processes are extensive and have their own character. It is therefore important to address requirements precisely. In addition, added value in terms of access, transparency and stability should be clearly visible to QM department employees.
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