The introduction of emerging, digital technologies has ushered in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. To keep the competitive advantage in this era of Digital Transformation, leveraging contemporary technology is an absolute necessity. Using cutting-edge technology means not just augmenting, but in fact, revamping the whole Quality outlook.
Quality 4.0 is the complimentary Quality approach to the Industry 4.0 era. Quality 4.0 is about transforming and improving Organizational Culture, collaboration, competency, and Leadership Development among other things through the application of technology.
Quality 4.0 is characterized by:
- Transforming and improving culture, collaboration, competency, and leadership through the application of technology.
- Digital Transformation of Management Systems and compliance.
- Enabling technology and processes necessary to maximize value, resolve customary Quality impediments, and provide innovative solutions.
Quality 4.0 is not just about Digitalization, but more importantly about the impact of that Digitalization on Quality technology, processes, and people.
Companies can use the 11 pillars of Quality 4.0 Framework to identify how the existing capabilities and initiatives can be transformed and then educate, plan, and act accordingly. The framework uses the traditional Quality methods to build upon and improve them. The 11 pillars of Quality 4.0 include:
- App Development
- Management Systems
The majority of the companies are still not in a position to take leverage of Quality 4.0. This warrants making investments in improving traditional Quality and bringing themselves in a position where they can spring up to use Quality 4.0 to prepare for the future.
There are strong interrelationships between the pillars of Quality 4.0, and adding new capabilities to certain pillars facilitates new applications on other pillars. Let us delve a little deeper into a few of these pillars
1. Data and 2. Analytics
Data and Analytics form the first 2 pillars. Data is key to informed decision making. Most companies are still using fragmented data while the innovating market leaders have progressed to taking leverage of Big Data. Data can be better understood by understanding its 5 components: Volume, Variety, Velocity, Veracity, and Transparency.
Analytics help reveal the insights contained within raw data. Correct metrics are key to uncovering correlations and patterns—meaningful information. Big Data Analytics using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence is beneficial if the Analytics Framework—comprising Descriptive, Diagnostic, Predictive, and Prescriptive Analytics—is understood clearly.
Connectivity encompasses the link between Business Information Technology—e.g., Enterprise Quality Management Systems (EQMS), Product Life-cycle Management (PLM), Enterprise Resource Planning—and Operational Technology that is used in Manufacturing, Labs, and Services. Connectivity is achieved through abundant and inexpensive sensors providing real-time feedback from Connected People, products, edge devices, and processes.
Scalability creates uniformity in Quality. It is the ability to harmonize processes, best practices, competencies, and lessons learnt across the organization, be it global. Cloud Computing has played a pivotal role in harnessing scalability by providing Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Solution (PaaS), and connection of databases.
The reality of the future is Quality 4.0. It is being adopted very swiftly. Those who remain unfamiliar with it or are slow to adopt run the risk of being marginalized very quickly.
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