Improvements will streamline layered process audit management
MISSION VIEJO, Calif., October 1, 2018—Ease announced the release of the Beacon Quality Android app for mobile audits, the latest in several updates to the company’s audit and corrective action platform.
Just like the iOS app, the Android app represents an improvement over the web-based version of Beacon Quality in terms of conducting mobile audits, specifically when users aren’t in Wi-Fi range. Since the app downloads data directly to a smartphone or tablet, users can start and complete audits anywhere on the plant floor. Then, when the mobile device is within Wi-Fi range, it will automatically sync data back to the cloud and delete it from the device.
“Having access to audit and mitigation data on an offline device is huge for manufacturers, as many plants have little to no Wi-Fi coverage,” says Paul Foster, Product Manager of Beacon Quality. “Apple device users were so happy with the iOS app’s capabilities and ease of use that we worked quickly to be able to offer it to our Android device customers as well.”
The app’s other popular feature is the ability to add unlimited images to the mitigation or audit record at any time.
“There’s a reason they say a picture is worth a thousand words. A photo taken during an audit can be the quickest way to describe a problem, to show ‘acceptable’ versus ‘not acceptable’ or verify that a corrective action or mitigation is complete,” Foster says. Taking photos saves time during audits and corrective actions, a key consideration for strategies like layered process audits (LPAs) that mean targeting a high number of audits.
Suppliers to General Motors (GM) and Fiat Chrysler are required to conduct LPAs, a type of high-frequency audit involving multiple layers of personnel. High-frequency auditing is a best practice for improving quality, but companies can quickly get overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork involved.
Many of them opt to automate LPAs, often reporting higher levels of success with mobile audit tools compared with the standard checklist-and-spreadsheet approach. Users say these tools are also key to boosting engagement with younger workers who prefer to leverage mobility and technology.
“Quality management professionals are constantly asking how they can attract and retain new talent in the profession,” says Foster. “Mobile technology can help bridge that gap for millennials to want to get into the quality and manufacturing industry, as it makes it less about paperwork and more about making a real impact on quality.”
About Beacon Quality
Founded in 1986, Ease, Inc. is the leading provider of cloud-based and on-premise layered process audit (LPA) software Beacon Quality, for the automotive and aerospace industries.
We have decades of experience helping companies improve visibility and control at every stage of production, with tools that promote company-wide engagement and operational excellence. Our mission: empowering businesses to deliver higher quality products better, faster and at lower cost.