Quality and IT executives alike face increasing pressure to implement solutions that allow the highest level of holistic control and oversight on the quality of their operations. This pressure is further compounded by the current economic climate, in which companies face constant demand to drive cost out of operations by eliminating redundant technology and supporting infrastructure. It is imperative that the most effective decisions be made when reviewing alternate solution approaches to ensure that both the necessity of quality and the highly sought-after economic efficiencies are realized to the greatest extent possible.
A topic with which industry professionals have wrestled for a number of years is the extent to which they should repurpose existing applications for the function of managing quality systems processes. Central to this discussion is the question of how – or if – an organization's ERP should be extended for use in the quality systems area.
This paper will set out to explore macro-level trends in both the ERP and quality systems application spaces, as well as discuss key issues that should be considered by those currently faced with this question.