How Can You Measure the Return on Your QMS Investment?

Every provider of electronic quality management systems claims its product will give you a significant return on your investment. But how can this ROI be truly measured? To find out, MasterControl recently surveyed customers to learn more about their levels of waste and efficiency before and after implementation of MasterControl's quality management system (QMS). Some of the results of the survey are compiled here in an informative infographic.

Electronic quality management systems like MasterControl

Reducing Waste

Survey responders noted that prior to implementing MasterControl, the average knowledge worker was spending 20 percent of his or her time searching for information that already existed somewhere within the company. In an organization that employs 50 knowledge workers, for instance, that amounts to 17,680 hours wasted each year just because personnel couldn't find the information, documents, or data they required when it was needed. That's the equivalent of devoting 10 full-time employees every year to searching for information that already exists!

An electronic QMS plays an integral role in eliminating such waste. Here are a few of the specific ways that MasterControl software solutions help companies decrease wasted efforts and resources:

  • Reduces the need to hire more people
  • Accelerates compliance
  • Eliminates a high percentage of costs associated with printing, copying, and managing paper documents
  • Eliminates shipping and packaging costs as they pertain to multiple facilities
  • Allows employees to focus their energy on high-level priorities rather than spending time managing documents or processes
  • Reduces the cost of repurposing information used by multiple departments
  • Improves auditing processes
  • Decreases outsourcing and remote management costs

Speaking about MasterControl's ability to enable a company to eliminate waste, Anthony W. Williams, VP Manufacturing at Micromed Cardiovascular put it best: “It allows us to take very few people and do an awful lot of work.”

Increasing Efficiency

Aside, perhaps, from obligatory reasons like compliance and risk mitigation, the ultimate purpose for implementing a quality management software system is to increase efficiency. Customers report that MasterControl allows them to calculate efficiency savings in four specific, measurable areas: electronic document access, electronic document management, training, and quality event process automation. Survey responses yielded the following estimations of increased efficiency following the implementation of MasterControl:

  • Electronic document access: 20 percent time saved (50 people, 2 hours/week)
  • Electronic document management: 80 percent time saved (10 people, 10 hours/week)
  • Training: 78 percent time saved (30 people, 3 hours/week)
  • Process automation: 65 percent time saved (15 people, 2 hours/week)

Based on the increased efficiency in these four areas, customers estimated a cumulative savings projection of $284,813 annually. While this amount will certainly vary from organization to organization according to size and scale, it still demonstrates how efficiency savings can add up and how quickly a company can offset its investment and save time, money, and resources for years to come.

“MasterControl has allowed us to reduce internal costs by allowing us to do tasks more efficiently,” said Jeff Robinson, Vice President of Quality Operations and Regulatory Affairs at AMPAC Fine Chemicals. “As an example, prior to the use of MasterControl our sales were roughly one-fifth of what they are now. Since we've implemented MasterControl we've been able to increase sales without increasing our workforce.”

For many MasterControl customers, simply making the transition to a paperless system has the biggest impact on their efficiency. “We spend a lot less money making copies and running the copy machine,” said John Pfaff, VP and General Manager for U.S. Operations at The MedTech Group. “We haven't done a formal ROI check, but I would feel pretty certain that we've gotten a substantial return.”

A Quality Management Software System that Pays for Itself

The true ROI test of a QMS is whether or not the system is able to pay for itself several times over. The question that decision-making executives always have to ask themselves is, “Is the software system worth the price tag?” This is sound business thinking based on the fact that a product will start adding to a company's bottom line sooner if the company is able to significantly reduce the time between product design and delivery to market. “It was a worthwhile investment for our company,” the founder of Irvine Pharmaceutical, Assad Kazeminy, said of MasterControl. “Long term, it will give you a lot of financial benefits.”

Here are just a few examples of how MasterControl is helping companies increase revenue by getting products to market faster:

  • Streamlines critical processes
  • Allows executives to have a real-time, high-level view of progress
  • Improves product quality through tracking, reporting, and troubleshooting functionality
  • Implements product enhancements more rapidly

MasterControl's customer survey showed that the average payback period after purchasing the software solution is 15.4 months. This means that in just over a year, MasterControl customers' investments in their quality management software solutions were realized and they were starting to reap long-term rewards.

“The amount of time, money, and effort that we've been able to save using MasterControl is beyond count,” Robinson said “The amount of time to handle one document is reduced from one hour or two hours to just seconds. So multiply that by the thousands of documents in the systems we have place right now and it's just a tremendous amount of savings.”


James Jardine is a marketing content writer at MasterControl, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based quality and compliance software solutions. He has covered life sciences, technology and regulatory matters for MasterControl and various industry publications since 2007. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism from the University of Utah. Prior to joining MasterControl, James held several senior communications, operations and development positions. Working for more than a decade in the non-profit sector, he served as the Utah/Idaho director of communications for the American Cancer Society and as the Utah Food Bank’s grants and contracts manager.

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