SAP Quality Management has been an integral component of the SAP ERP solution since its inception. The QM module has more than 10K customers globally and over 500K users. It is mature capability that continues to be enhanced with each new ECC enhancement and service pack. QM capability spans and is utilized in almost every step of the end-to-end, procure-to-pay and order-to-cash processes that ERP enables. The traditional challenge is that there was no way to tie each step of the end-to-end QM process together. In order to “close the loop”, SAP created the Quality Issue Management (QIM) solution as a level of abstraction to sit on top of QM and any other system with quality related information and to tie it all together. A single instance of QIM is meant to sit in top of and integrate with multiple instances of ECC across the enterprise, as well as any other non-SAP, 3rd party quality systems to tie all quality information together. It is a single place where users from across the enterprise, as well as external users (customers and suppliers), can come to raise, collaborate and resolve, not only quality related issues, but any issue, activity or topic for collaboration. QIM was built for quality issue management, but can be used to manage any type of issue, or used to manage any type of collaborative activity.
Some of the types of “issues” QIM has been specifically built and used to manage include:
- Resolution of customer complaints
- Resolution of complaints against a supplier
- A CAPA process triggered by a nonconformance issue detected during production
- A Product Technical Complaint process specifically for the Life Science industry
- An 8D process for Discrete Industries
- A Claims process for Professional Services industries
- Handling of any problems that occur during a project
- Handling Change Requests
- Resolution of Compliance issue
The types of issues that can be managed by QIM span the end-to-end, procure-to-pay and order-to-cash processes of the enterprise:
- Procurement – complaints against suppliers, supplier audits
- R&D – product claims, change requests
- Manufacturing – product defects, non-compliance, issues with out-sourced production or subcontractors.
- Sustainability – environmental audits, risk management
- Distribution – inventory inspections, transportation issues
- Service – customer complaints, consumer requests
For example, QIM helps tie a customer complaint to specific product defects due to manufacturing or raw materials from a supplier or to suggested improvements for product design. QIM also helps manage different industry specific issue types such as CAPA processes for compliance in life science industries and 8D processes for managing complaints against a supplier in the automotive industry. Needless to say, QIM is a flexible, versatile solution.
QIM is relatively new to the SAP solution portfolio, released in 2012, but is gaining mindshare and traction in the industry. On September 16, come hear about how Johns Manville, a US based roofing product manufacturer, has successfully implemented QIM to manage their 8D and CAPA processes. They were challenged with getting visibility to information related to customer complaints being collected in multiple ECC and other systems. There was no one place for all the people required to resolve an issue to go to collaborate. QIM helped them bring the process, information and users across the plants into a single place for managing quality related issues. Please register now and join us for this informative session. I hope to see you there.