Choosing between enterprise software used to start either with the IT department or the top finance manager depending on the size of the company. As businesses and systems evolved, other departments within the organization had increasing levels of input as to which software was chosen for the business. Departments such as production, quality control, compliance and sales/marketing all played an increasingly important role in the selection process.
More control over ERP
Most recently, quality control has had a significant impact on the selection of systems. We think this is because of changing regulatory environments, making elements of administration such as traceability and audit schemes a key function to integrate with core accounting and inventory. As the regulatory environments continue to evolve and grow ever more sophisticated (read: complicated), so too must the systems that support the businesses faced with these challenges.
We are starting to see more and more quality control managers involved in or even leading the systems selection process. They are looking for a way to store test results, allocate inventory for testing, place holds on recalled items and create Certificates of Analysis, record critical control point data or even gain full control of the lot traceability process. All of these functions traditionally took place separately from core accounting and inventory and have continually become integrated.
Better integration saves time
The reason for the demand to integrate quality control functions with the rest of the business information is automation and reporting. It’s far easier to create a report coming from one system than it is to hash data together from an array of systems and spreadsheets. Automation of tasks such as creating compliance documents (C of A) makes for greater efficiency, leaving quality staff more time for higher value activities, such as testing for quality issues or attaining a more prestigious level of audit scheme (BRC, SQF, ISO).
Centralized data saves money
The ability to track other quality assurance information such as expiry dates, allergens and certifications can help to reduce inventory write downs and recalls in the future, which saves the company money. By centralizing the data on the server, everyone can access it in real time, no need to read through large binders full of information or scroll and search spreadsheets. To learn more about how centralizing QC/QA information and automating compliance works, more information is available on each of our industry pages.