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Not only is the market becoming more fast-moving; no, companies operating in this market also have to meet new challenges in order to remain competitive. In this context, "acting" is an apt keyword: those who want to assert themselves in the long run should no longer limit themselves to merely reacting to quality defects and mistakes, but become active themselves and think preventively. The obstacle that has to be overcome: a close process networking is accompanied by a large amount of data that can hardly be overlooked without adequate tools. This is where Computer Aided Quality Assurance (CAQ) comes into play.
The CAQ system is an important component of quality management and serves the computer-aided avoidance and elimination of errors in planning and production. CAQ offers the possibility to monitor and check the planning and production process and to analyze quality-relevant data. With the help of CAQ, the exact key figures required can be filtered out of today's large data volumes. A CAQ system includes all relevant methods to ensure the quality of processes and products, such as incoming and outgoing goods inspection, FMEA and complaint management. Most CAQ systems offer a modular structure so that users can use exactly the solutions they really need (the vertical range of manufacture of the respective company plays a decisive role here). This enables companies to exploit their full potential and achieve the optimum product and process quality.
CAQ guarantees a comprehensive and, above all, sustainable integration of the core value of quality in all functional areas of a company. Nowadays, this can only be done using computer-aided methods. The development of the concept of quality reflects the development of the industry, and so quality management has changed constantly over the years. A QM system must evolve over time through regular improvements and innovations in order to promote a continuous increase in quality and performance through shortened data evaluation, recording and document control. In this respect, CAQ modules offer clear advantages over manual methods. Companies with a comprehensive CAQ system are on the safe side, not only because of standard requirements, but also in view of customers' ever-increasing expectations of a product.
To ensure that users can adequately cover all aspects of production planning and execution with computer-aided methods, a CAQ solution includes at best all common QM tools. A lived PDCA cycle, which as an essential concept in quality management contributes to the development of high-quality products, opens up enormous potential. Ideally, all relevant quality data can be exchanged within the CAQ system, for example between FMEA, inspection planning, audit, complaint and action management and many other modules. With the help of the information obtained, the entire process is constantly optimized and the knowledge is made available throughout the company. When using CAQ, it is also particularly important that the solution can be optimally linked to the company's existing software landscape (e.g. ERP or CRM software) in order to guarantee a uniform data pool.