A report by PWC states that, “The Global demand for manufactured products is growing at a snail’s pace. Output is expected to increase just 3.1 percent in 2016 and 3.4 percent in 2017, according to the International Monetary Fund.” While the Manufacturing sector continues to grapple with its challenges pertaining to efficiency, operational costs, and performance, it has been diligently implementing IT solutions to meet market expectations.
IT solutions are implemented to ease various functions such as Sales, Operations, Marketing, Human Resources, and Inventory Management. Likewise, technology trends such as IoT, Digital Technologies, Mobility Solutions, and Big Data are creating phenomenal solutions for the sector. Nevertheless, there is a serious need to ensure quality of the applications that are designed to leverage the new-age technologies.
Why does the Manufacturing sector need to ensure Quality?
While Quality Engineering is entwined within the processes, operations, workflows, and architecture of the organization, Quality Assurance ensures flawless flow at every level. It is critical to confirm that the internal systems and processes run smoothly and help deliver enhanced experience. There is a need to access business-critical information anytime anywhere, and also automate processes. QA makes it possible and helps deliver what is expected.
Organizations use various tools and solutions to ease some basic functions and eliminate human intervention. The objective is to accelerate activities and reach faster to the market. A case in point is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions that helps enterprises to deal with activities such as management of inventory, resource, and vendor, handle queries, and much more.
Businesses are expected to maintain a smooth workflow – right from placing the order, releasing the Purchase Order, informing the Warehouse to release the product, managing the logistics, and finally delivering the order via the logistics vendor. The process doesn’t end here, as companies have to take after sales services into consideration as well. It’s a cycle and it has to run swiftly for the business to build sustainability. This is where software testing and QA comes into play.
ERP testing is critical, as the solution has to sync with the DNA of the organization’s functions and processes. Any discrepancy can lead to disruption and lead to complications for the organization rather than a solution. If successfully implemented, the ERP applications can significantly cut the manufacturing costs, boost resource utilization, eliminate manufacturing bottlenecks, smoothen inventory and supply chain management, optimize Sales tracking and Management, and ensure flawless and speedy revenue tracking.
ERP solutions also enable teams, especially HR, Marketing, Operations, and Sales to source business-critical data from the system in various formats. These solutions help in making effective decisions and resolutions for queries/grievances. Let’s consider that a company has multiple manufacturing units or business centers; a well-implemented ERP solution can help in the smooth functioning of distributed teams and provide visibility across processes.
What’s the role of QA in ensuring Performance, Security, and Functionality?
Likewise, organizations are also leveraging Enterprise mobility solutions for activities such as regular approvals, invoicing, payments, and tracking, which can be effectively connected to the ERP systems and can be accessed anytime anywhere. It helps accelerate the business processes, boost productivity, and ensure better ROI. Nevertheless, it is important to ensure the smooth functioning of these applications with rigorous QA and software testing.
Performance, security, and functionality of enterprise applications is critical. This is where enterprises leverage services of software testing and QA experts to establish processes for Performance Testing, Security Testing, and Functional Testing for their business-critical applications.
They need to ensure effective functionality and performance of the enterprise applications. It is possible only with regular testing of ERP systems and applications. Security is much more critical, as these applications and systems hold business-sensitive data, which, if leaked, can cost millions for the company. Software Testing and QA experts are helping companies build strategies and testing mechanisms that can be sustainable and profitable in the long-run.
Independent software testing companies work with enterprises to understand their software testing and QA requirements. With the required brief they help build a comprehensive testing infrastructure with relevant tools and contemporary approaches. This helps companies to build a sustainable platform that can be leveraged time and again to test various solutions; the core focus being speed with quality.
New age technology trends are definitely empowering the sector. However, it is important to harness these trends and integrate them effectively within the DNA of the organization. This can be possible with robust QA processes and a dedicated Testing Center of Excellence. Investing in software testing and QA is absolutely indispensable today. It will help the sector to ensure sustainability, profitability, and bring velocity.
This blog has been written in collaboration with Cigniti Technologies, an Independent Software Testing company.