5 Key Quality Management Software Features and Top Products That Offer Them

By: Saumya Srivastava on March 20, 2024
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Managing defective products and dissatisfied customers while skimming through disorganized documents can affect the quality assurance managers' operations, aiming to implement and follow quality policies and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

With quality management software (QMS), quality assurance teams can streamline a structured process to improve product quality, delivery, and services, enhancing overall customer experience. The tool can automate varied administrative tasks, centralize documentation, and facilitate real-time collaboration to ensure a smooth production process.

However, not all quality management systems offer the same features and capabilities. Hence, users should carefully consider and identify the right QMS software features that align with their specific business processes and objectives.

This article highlights five key quality management software features based on the ratings given by verified software users. We’ve also included the highest-rated QMS software tools for each feature. Read more.

Importance of key quality management software features

1. Document management

This feature in quality management software provides an essential digital filing system that centralizes all project-related documents, including procedures, policies, forms, and quality records. The feature leverages metadata tagging to organize documents into folders and enhance their searchability. This helps create, control, organize, and share critical documents efficiently throughout the project lifecycle. 

The document management feature can also offer document storage, which is rated as a “highly important” feature by 79% of reviewers of our site. This capability securely stores quality-related documents within the quality management system’s cloud storage or integrated business resources and servers. The digital storage supports PDFs, Word documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and multiple other document formats used by the business.

85% of quality management software reviewers identify document management as a highly important feature.

What business problem does document management solve?

Scattered documentation can complicate team collaboration, making it more time consuming and error prone. This may create data silos leading to uninformed decisions and inefficient quality and risk management. Document management helps bring all the documents together for secure sharing with internal and external stakeholders. The feature allows users to group documents in folders and add metadata for quick retrieval. Combining this feature with access controls/permissions features strengthens the quality management system’s data security. 

Ideal users of the document management feature

Quality control managers use the feature to create, store, revise, and approve quality-related documents. This allows their teams to access the latest versions and collaborate on revisions. Quality control inspectors leverage the feature to retrieve past quality-related records and assess them against current production trends. This helps identify trends or recurring problems. For example, spikes in non-conformances related to a specific process step might indicate a potential production issue that requires investigation. This way, the quality control inspectors can implement stricter control measures, revise production processes, or recommend adjustments to product specifications.

Top 3 products with the highest ratings for document management

Analysis performed March 2024*

Daruma

Daruma

4.58 out of 5 stars

103 reviews

Document management feature rating: 4.72/5

KAWAK

KAWAK

4.63 out of 5 stars

256 reviews

Document management feature rating: 4.63/5

GoAudits

GoAudits

4.75 out of 5 stars

108 reviews

Document management feature rating: 4.62/5

2. Access controls/permissions 

A quality management system with access controls/permissions feature helps define different user roles, each with a specific set of permissions to access the document repository. These roles reflect job functions or departments within the organization and permissions determining what users with a specific role can do with the accessed documents. Common permissions include ‘view,’ ‘edit,’ ‘approve,’ ‘publish,’ and ‘delete.’

80% of quality management software reviewers identify access controls/permissions as a highly important feature.

What business problem does access controls/permissions solve?

Unrestricted access to document repositories can expose sensitive information, such as quality control procedures or trade secrets, to cyberattacks. Access controls and permissions mitigate this risk by allowing only authorized users to access the repository and perform actions based on their defined permissions. Undefined access can also lead to confusion about who can edit or approve documents, causing delays and bottlenecks in quality processes. The feature simplifies workflows by ensuring the right people are involved at each step.

Ideal users of the access controls/permissions feature

Quality managers and information technology (IT) security teams can leverage the feature to provide secure document access to different departments. The quality assurance managers can define roles, assign permissions, and ensure the overall access control strategy aligns with the project requirements. IT security teams can ensure that the controls and permissions are set as needed and integrate seamlessly with the business’s broader security framework. 

Top 3 products with the highest ratings for access controls/permissions

Analysis performed March 2024*

Daruma

Daruma

4.58 out of 5 stars

103 reviews

Access controls/permissions feature rating: 4.66/5

GoAudits

GoAudits

4.75 out of 5 stars

108 reviews

Access controls/permissions feature rating: 4.62/5

KAWAK

KAWAK

4.63 out of 5 stars

256 reviews

Access controls/permissions feature rating: 4.58/5

3. Quality control

The quality control feature of a quality management software system helps create digital checklists or templates outlining specific inspection plans, criteria, and acceptable tolerances for the products or processes. These plans are assigned to specific quality planning and control professionals based on their expertise and workload.

Users can also schedule inspections for incoming materials, in-process production stages, or finished goods. The feature enables data capturing where users can roll out digital forms or checklists on mobile devices to capture inspection data, upload photos or videos as evidence of non-conformance, or integrate barcode scanners to identify specific batches or items for inspection.

79% of quality management software reviewers identify quality control as a highly important feature.

What business problem does quality control solve?

Ineffective quality control can result in faulty products, leading to poor customer satisfaction and damaging the brand's reputation. Such products often require rework, scrappage, or warranty claims, significantly increasing the production cost and eating into business profits.

Quality control feature ensures that the products or services consistently meet the set quality standards and customer requirements. It helps catch issues early in the production process, minimizing the number of defective products reaching customers and fostering loyalty and repeat business.

Ideal users of the quality control feature

This feature allows quality control inspectors to access inspection plans, conduct digital inspections using mobile devices, capture data via photos and videos, and avoid document non-conformance. Quality control teams can leverage it to assign inspections, monitor real-time performance, and oversee corrective action processes (CAPA) initiated from the identified issues. Additionally, process engineers can use it to identify recurring problems in product design or production process, and supply chain teams can work on the quality of incoming materials to address issues and ensure consistent supplier management.

Top 3 products with the highest ratings for quality control

Analysis performed March 2024*

GoAudits

GoAudits

4.75 out of 5 stars

108 reviews

Quality control feature rating: 4.63/5

Ideagen Quality Management

Ideagen Quality Management

4.51 out of 5 stars

162 reviews

Quality control feature rating: 4.36/5

MasterControl Quality Excellence

MasterControl Quality Excellence

4.52 out of 5 stars

391 reviews

Quality control feature rating: 4.32/5

4. Version control

QMS platform's version control feature allows users to track the editor and the edits they make to the quality document using timestamps. This creates a complete history, allowing users to see how a document has evolved over time. The feature helps eliminate multiple conflicting versions of the same document. This ensures a clear understanding of the approved and current versions so that teams can make informed quality improvements.

77% of quality management software reviewers identify version control as a highly important feature.

What business problem does version control solve?

Multiple document versions can lead to confusion regarding procedural recency and accuracy, resulting in inconsistencies in achieving quality. Additionally, unauthorized edits can unintentionally introduce errors or overwrite valuable revisions. The version control feature safeguards against accidental edits and allows reverting to previous versions at any time. 

Ideal users of the version control feature

Quality assurance managers dealing with production teams making frequent, real-time changes to the process documents can leverage version control features to ensure consistency and accuracy in the shared documents. They can maintain control over documents specific to their departments or processes, approve revisions, ensure only authorized changes are made, and access the revision trail to understand the rationale behind document updates.

Top 3 products with the highest ratings for version control

Analysis performed March 2024*

Daruma

Daruma

4.58 out of 5 stars

103 reviews

Version control feature rating: 4.69/5

KAWAK

KAWAK

4.63 out of 5 stars

256 reviews

Version control feature rating: 4.66/5

MasterControl Quality Excellence

MasterControl Quality Excellence

4.52 out of 5 stars

391 reviews

Version control feature rating: 4.59/5

5. Corrective and preventive actions

Corrective and preventive actions (CAPA) within quality management system software allow for documenting the identified quality issue in detail. This includes capturing photos, recording notes, and specifying the impact of the problem. The feature also guides the users through the root cause analysis process to identify the underlying reasons behind the non-conformance. Users can develop and design corrective actions to address the immediate problem, track progress to ensure completion of corrective action, and verify effectiveness for future production.

74% of quality management software reviewers identify corrective and preventive actions (CAPA) as a highly important feature.

What business problems do corrective and preventive actions solve?

Without a systematic approach to addressing problems, businesses risk experiencing the same issues time and again. Their quality management process might also become reactive, addressing the issues when they actually occur instead of continuously working to reduce their occurrence. CAPA helps identify and eliminate the root cause of issues and implement strategic corrective actions to prevent their repetition before they impact quality. 

Ideal users of the corrective and preventive actions feature

Quality assurance inspectors and CAPA specialists leverage this feature to foster an environment that proactively identifies and eliminates issues before they become costly mistakes. They can handle the entire compliance management lifecycle, including developing and implementing corrective action(s), defining preventive action(s) for all production activities, and maintaining a centralized record of all corrective and preventive actions for future reference and trend analysis. 

Top 3 products with the highest ratings for corrective and preventive actions 

Analysis performed March 2024*

KAWAK

KAWAK

4.63 out of 5 stars

256 reviews

Corrective and preventive actions feature rating: 4.59/5

ComplianceQuest

ComplianceQuest

4.66 out of 5 stars

89 reviews

Corrective and preventive actions feature rating: 4.48/5

GoAudits

GoAudits

4.75 out of 5 stars

108 reviews

Corrective and preventive actions feature rating: 4.45/5


Methodology

Key features: To identify the key features of this article, we asked users to rate, on a scale of “low importance” to “critical,” how important different features are for quality management software. The features showcased are those that the highest percentage of reviewers rated as “highly important” or “critical” over the past two years (as of March 5, 2024).

Feature eligibility: To be included in the set of features considered, a given feature had to have at least 200 user ratings within the past two years (as of March 5, 2024), of which at least 20% must indicate the feature is “critical.” Eligible features were determined from two sources: 

  1. Our research team’s review of public information about quality management software usage, definitions, and associated features.

  2. Reviewers’ indication of the features they use for quality management.

Product selection: To identify the top-rated products per feature, we evaluated user ratings for products that offer each feature. For a given product, reviewers rate each feature on a scale of one to five stars. A given product had to have at least 20 user ratings (between March 2022-24) for the feature in question to be considered.

*We selected products for this article based on their average ratings between March 2022 - March 2024, which may differ from their current overall average ratings.