Developing new web-based quality system and need advice

Q

qawebguy

#1
Being an out of work web developer, I've given up looking for a job with a company and have decided to go out on my own and start an online business.

I've decided to develop an online quality application aimed at small businesses. From my research it appears that there are a lot of solutions out there, but for a small business most are not affordable.

I'm in the process of deciding on what type of web-based quality system to build first. Eventually I want to have a whole suite of applications, but I need to start somewhere. In your opinion, what would be a good choice to start with? Here are a few I'm thinking about.

CAPA/auditing
non-conforming material/supplier performance
document control
customer complaints
APQP
 
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#2
qawebguy said:
I need to start somewhere. In your opinion, what would be a good choice to start with? Here are a few I'm thinking about.

CAPA/auditing
non-conforming material/supplier performance
document control
customer complaints
APQP
Hello and welcome to the Cove :bigwave:

That sounds like a good idea. As you say, there are lots of applications around, but many of them are rather expensive and aimed at the bigger companies. Some of them also fall into the overkill category, making them unnecessarily hard to handle.

I have made several access applications for internal use, due to the fact that what I wanted either wasn't on the market, too expensive, too complicated or all of the above.

Personally I would be hard pressed to rank your suggestions, as I'm unfamiliar with the US market and all companies have different needs, but each one of them could come in handy. Particularly if you aim for companies looking for a cheap way to replace paper based systems.

Anyway: best of luck

/Claes
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
qawebguy said:
Being an out of work web developer, I've given up looking for a job with a company and have decided to go out on my own and start an online business.

I've decided to develop an online quality application aimed at small businesses. From my research it appears that there are a lot of solutions out there, but for a small business most are not affordable.

I'm in the process of deciding on what type of web-based quality system to build first. Eventually I want to have a whole suite of applications, but I need to start somewhere. In your opinion, what would be a good choice to start with? Here are a few I'm thinking about.

CAPA/auditing
non-conforming material/supplier performance
document control
customer complaints
APQP
I have a lot of experience with most of the suggested topics you list as well as with operating a web-based business. The ideal business model in my opinion is a continuing service rather than sale of a software model.

Given that, I would suggest that first application should be a complete communication system which allows each of your clients to interact with their customers and suppliers PRIVATELY (passwords to unique pages for each of your client's contacts) over the internet. I think it would have ready marketability to give you the cash flow you need to develop other applications.

Clients could notify Suppliers and Customers could notify your clients (and all interact with each other if necessary) regarding complaints, corrective actions, even orders and shipping status. You could incorporate polls, forms, alerts, archives, quality records (why print and ship paper if the data is available over the web?)

Most small companies would dearly love to have this level of sophistication but usually don't. The reason is not primarily initial cost, but lack of personnel for maintaining and updating the system. (one of the reasons we join the Cove is that it is easier than maintaining dozens of email correspondences by ourselves.)

I'm sure you recognize the necessity of creating a web identity (unique url) for each of your clients (or incorporating any pre-existing domain) with transparent links to your database applications. I suggest YOU maintain the payments for the client's domains as part of your fee structure. (I see many small businesses let their domain names lapse through ignorance.)

When you get really serious about doing this, feel free to email me directly to talk about the pragmatic parts (marketing, pricing, content details, etc.)
 
Q

qawebguy

#4
Thanks for the suggestions. I like the idea of bringing suppliers and customers into the communication loop. This was along the lines of what I was thinking about in a NCM/CAPA system.

The general layout would allow the user to log into a secure page for their company and from there they would enter data, view reports, etc.

For their suppliers the same setup would be used. They would be able to respond to corrective actions and see a "report card" grading their performance.

Customers would be able to enter complaints and view responses.

I agree that most small companies don't have the manpower to maintain a stand alone system and this option would be attractive to them. From a business perspective it's a plus as well. Instead of a one time charge for a software package and then having to deal with sysadmins whenever a problem comes up, the online model creates a monthly/yearly cash flow and leaves the technical issues with me where they belong.
 
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