Redefining the Cost-Quality Relationship with Holistic MES + QMS


Deb Geiger, Vice President, Global Marketing, Aegis Software

balance scale -cost versus quality

Today’s discrete manufacturers are under pressure to meet two often-opposing objectives: delight customers with high-quality products, and continually reduce operational costs while doing it. This dichotomous situation leaves many manufacturers feeling as though they have to “choose” one outcome over the other, prioritizing either customers or costs—but not both.

For best-in-class manufacturers, however, satisfying customers and reducing costs are not mutually-exclusive. Instead, these top operations leverage a holistic perspective in which Quality Management System (QMS) functionality, is built into their Manufacturing Execution System (MES), resulting in a lower “cost of quality.” Let’s explore how.

Leading Approach 1: Focus on Quality from the Top-Down

100% of best-in-class manufacturers say they promote quality from the top-down, and 53% do so via knowledge-sharing “Centers of Excellence.” That’s compared to only 73% of all other manufacturers. By seeking and securing C-level buy-in on the prioritization of quality management, leading manufacturers strategically establish an enterprise-wide message that higher quality—not just lower costs—must be considered in everyday operational decisions.

This executive sponsorship from senior leadership is supplemented with the dissemination of proven strategies for cost-effective quality management to key stakeholders across the factory. Through a Center of Excellence, these manufacturers ensure that best practices are promoted when it comes to standards, budgeting, management, and more.

Leading Approach 2: Handle & Share High-Quality Data

When it comes to information sharing, best-in-class manufacturers don’t stop at C-suite buy-in. 53% centralize real-time data and Key Performance Indicator metrics (KPI), 43% leverage Big Data and analytics to harness MES + QMS insights, and 33% have cloud-enabled quality KPI data sharing. This data empowers all manufacturing constituents to access the intelligence they need in order to make process improvements in real-time, enabling a new level of departmental collaboration and cost-effective quality assurance.

Additionally, by combining quality data with enterprise-wide operational data, these manufacturers create a single source of truth that includes QMS and MES inputs for enhanced factory-wide insight, clarity, and functionality.

Leading Approach 3: Determine Which Suppliers Measure Up

Best-in-class manufacturers are also evaluating external sources, such as their suppliers, to ensure quality at every stage of the manufacturing process. 60% benchmark supplier performance via audits, 53% establish KPI scorecards for their partners, and 27% use an externally-facing portal for transparent insights from suppliers and partners. These efforts include monitoring on-time deliveries and lead times, defect rates, product costs, compliance to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and more.

Plus, by collaborating with robust suppliers and partners on product design, best-in-class manufacturers also establish automatic quality KPI monitoring, failure notifications, and portals for total supplier process visibility. All of these elements play into a holistic strategy for improved quality at a lower cost.

Leading Approach 4: Automate Key Quality Processes

Finally, best-in-class manufacturers are enabling quality-enhancing, cost-reducing automation through MES + QMS solutions. 80% automate change control management, 60% automate Corrective Action/Preventive Action (CAPA), and 27% automate audit management. These automation efforts instantly provide a framework for consistent quality and reduced expenses.

This automation also leaves little room for error when it comes to manufacturing high-quality products and correcting defects. By applying QMS functionality and technology more broadly via an MES solution, manufacturing leaders are actively demonstrating the superior value of an integrated QMS + MES solution.

Reducing the Cost of Quality

These four leading approaches—all of which are enabled through holistic MES + QMS —empower manufacturers to spend less of their revenue on costs associated with prevention, assurance, and internal/external failures.


Instead, best-in-class manufacturers are able to continually increase the quality of their products without drastic rises in operational expenses, allowing them to innovate in ways that delight customers and drive profit like never before.

Discover How You Can Enable Holistic MES + QMS

Cost-effective quality management isn’t just for the manufacturing elite—any manufacturer can rapidly reap the benefits of a holistic MES + QMS solution, including:

  • Incoming quality management to firewall your factory from nonconforming materials
  • In-process inspection and repair control to prevent defects from leaving the factory
  • Test data management and process control.
  • Ensuring digital product, process, and document revision control
  • Automate & enforce corrective and preventive actions for continuous process improvement
  • Creating a holistic, single source of truth
  • Achieving forward and reverse traceability and visibility
  • Building a connected and collaborative ecosystem
  • Ensuring adherence to regulatory and customer compliance standards
  • Aegis Software’s FactoryLogix® platform enables all of these advantages and more through a single, holistic MES system with a robust suite of quality management tools, including Administrative Quality Management.

If you're interested in discovering more about how to reap the cost and quality benefits of a holistic MES + QMS solution, here are some additional resources:

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