Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

ITAQUA: supporting quality management in small companies

Manufacturers and related service firms can improve their productivity, competitiveness and profits through effective quality management (QM). A new methodology called ITAQUA addresses the special requirements of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). Many SMEs are unaware of how information technology (IT) can help them reach their quality goals. Those who do want to exploit IT in their quality programmes, often have difficulty in finding IT tools to match their needs. ITAQUA provides a blueprint for IT tool suppliers and thus helps bridge the gap between developers and users. The result is a set of practical tools, methods and techniques for use in real industrial situations: quality management in multi-site operations; predictive control of product quality; and evaluation development of quality systems.

ITAQUA produced specifications for a generic quality management system that can be adapted to meet the needs of SMEs in a wide range of industries. This truly user-oriented system supports quality requirement specification and quality assessment. The system comprises a number of modules. These include the quality reporting system, a reporting tool for integrating data from different databases; the tools database, listing more than 100 commercial software tools for supporting QM programmes; and the self-assessment tool for evaluating a company's quality systems against both the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) 9000 and the European Quality Association (EQA) frameworks.

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European System Management and Engineering Institute
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