Laws, standards, customer requests - companies are confronted with more and more requirements. Those who fail to meet these requirements, or do so inadequately, not only risk penalties, but also jeopardize their customer relationships and thus their business success. It is therefore important to recognize and understand all these requirements, interpret their impact on one's own company and take appropriate measures. There are numerous arguments in favor of using software suitable for this purpose:
The requirements placed on companies are increasing – both in terms of number and complexity. These include standards that formulate requirements for management systems (e.g. on topics such as quality, environment or occupational health and safety) or regulate specific manufacturing or testing processes for specific industries. Companies often require their suppliers to provide proof of compliance with certain standards and/or demand conformity with their own, sometimes very extensive, requirements.
The number of requirements arising from laws and regulations is also increasing. Even laws that only directly affect some companies - such as the German Supply Chain Act, which came into force at the beginning of 2023 – often have an impact not only on the companies addressed, but also on their supply chains. In other words, a whole host of requirements from various interested parties – and naturally, new or amended customer requirements, standards or laws are more likely to be added than old ones to disappear.
If you have to take numerous requirements into account at the same time, it is important to keep an overview. After all, behind every law, standard or customer requirement there is sometimes a multitude of individual requirements that need to be recognized, understood and interpreted. At first glance, the simplest option would be to mark these requirements in the printed or digital source document and make notes in the document, or to record the requirements one below the other in an Excel spreadsheet.
If you want to find a specific requirement again, then you simply flip through the original document page by page until you find what you are looking for. Suitable software, on the other hand, makes it possible to assign additional properties to each requirement. This enables targeted searches, for example for requirements that have not yet been (fully) implemented. And not as notes scattered in several places, but clearly arranged in a central location.
Once the requirements for the company have been identified, measures should be defined to fulfill them. Perhaps new processes are established or existing ones are adapted and corresponding process descriptions, specification documents or checklists are created. Those who already manage these digitally may want a link between the requirement, the associated process and the documents that are used to implement the whole thing.
In this way, requirements can be transparently converted into actual processes: This makes it clear to everyone involved which requirements exist and how they are implemented. Last but not least, the linking of requirements, processes and documents is an important building block for the introduction of an Integrated Management System.
Depending on the company, a whole range of participants work on identifying requirements, documenting their implementation and transforming them into actual processes. The more business processes are involved, the greater the number of people who come into contact with them.
If requirements management only consists of a collection of - printed or electronic - documents, then collaboration is only possible to a very limited extent and with the help of additional communication channels such as email or chat. These media disruptions then cause additional work and are costly and error-prone. Software also helps here by involving all participants, informing them according to their role in the process and offering them the opportunity to exchange ideas or work results.
Recognizing, understanding and interpreting numerous, complex requirements can be a time-consuming process. Even software cannot do all the work, because dealing with requirements must always be seen in the overall context of, for example, the circumstances in one's own company or the relationship with the customer.
Nevertheless, the software can make some procedures more efficient by saving valuable (e.g. time) resources. On the one hand, once knowledge has been gained, it is documented permanently and transparently. For example, if the specific requirements of a customer with whom a previous project has already been carried out need to be fulfilled, the people responsible can refer back to the requirements that have already been documented and do not have to repeat the work that has already been done elsewhere.
On the other hand, this knowledge is documented in a central location and can be found much more quickly through structured searches. For example, software for requirements management can explicitly list those requirements that are not (yet) fulfilled - without having to search through folders and documents individually.
Requirements are not only an important building block in the relationship between customers and suppliers, but also in the fulfillment of normative and legal requirements. It is therefore important to deal with them in a target-oriented manner. Software-supported requirements management offers support in processing the increasing number of requirements in the team in a structured, clear and efficient manner.
Dealing with the requirements of interested parties (such as customers or legislators) is a challenge for every company, because there are more and more of them to consider. With the "Requirements Management" module in BabtecQ Go, we would like to support you in organizing the handling of requirements in a better and more transparent way and to make work easier for all parties involved in the face of daily challenges.