Improving Cross-Company Collaboration with BPA, Teams & Office 365/SharePoint

Improving cross-company collaboration, with Teams, Power Apps, Power Automate and BPA Quality on SharePoint/Office 365.

Cross-company collaboration is complex, even in the digital world. Emails remain the traditional way to communicate with suppliers, customers and external stakeholders. However, emails are personal, not formatted and not very efficient. Using self-service portals with external stakeholders is a better alternative, however it’s more complex to setup, cost is higher and portals are not flexible to adapt.

Microsoft Teams with Office 365 brings new tools for improving communication with internal or external stakeholders. Teams is a tool for instant discussions, meetings, and file sharing. It’s now possible to post forms in Teams (using adaptive cards), which opens new doors for better cross-company collaboration.

This disruptive scenario presents a client organization improving collaboration with a major supplier using Teams. By receiving a supplier nonconformity, the client register the incident using a mobile device and the supplier gets an automatic Teams alert. A form is posted to the supplier to determine actions regarding the nonconformity. Finally, the supplier gets periodical performance indicators from the client.

In this example, Teams is used as an “unstructured” front-office collaboration tool while BPA Quality is the structured back-office software to track all data, decisions and actions. Teams is well adopted by growing number of organizations. New cool features are expected soon, like Talkie Walkie, task management, bringing Teams to shift workers and the shop floor.

At BPA, we think instant collaboration is the future of Quality. By replacing inefficient emails, heavy portals and traditional task workflows, instant collaboration improves communication with internal and external stakeholders. Benefits are numerous, sharing Teams with external users involves no additional cost for the client (Teams is part of Office 365) and it’s no charge for external stakeholders (they get invited by the client).

As a conclusion, BPA software and Office 365 provide new tools to reach Quality 4.0 and improve cross-company collaboration. This no-code scenario can easily be configured and implemented for any type of organization.

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Quality 4.0 – BPA Helps at Each Stage of the Value Chain

In February and March 2019, BCG, in collaboration with ASQ and DGQ, conducted an online survey to assess the current status and future impact of Quality 4.0 initiatives. The study can be downloaded from the BCG website below.

Quality 4.0 has many applications at each stage of the value chain. BPA software and Office 365 technologies can help organizations to implement Quality 4.0 use cases, from R&D to after-sales, including procurement, manufacturing and logistics.

Here are some examples how BPA and Office 365 technologies can help you in your Quality 4.0 journey.

R&D

Switching to an agile product/project development methodology, organizations can save a lot of time and effort. We help to better connect project teams together by providing instant collaboration tools with internal/external teams and collecting project data, actions, decisions in a structured way.

Procurement

We facilitate cross-company collaboration with suppliers by better tracking nonconformity, improvement actions, and providing supplier performance dashboard, read article.

Manufacturing

Using BPA, shift workers can access digital SOPs on touchscreen on the shop floor. We facilitate quality control in the production line, using mobile devices with object detection and AI, read article. A failure catalogue mobile app helps manufacturing workers to take decisions about nonconformities. With instant collaboration, problem solving processes will be much more efficient, read article. BPA’s underlaying technologies like Microsoft Azure allows predictive maintenance or nonconformity detection with IoT.

Logistics

Using an object detection app helps inventory workers to count and categorize inventory items, read article.

Service and after sales

We improve customer support through instant collaboration and customer surveys, read article.

Cross-functional

BPA’s end-to-end QM software facilitates cross-functional collaboration, thanks to centralized data and instant collaboration tools with internal departments and external stakeholders.  The software makes sure your organization has the needed skills and competences for achieving Quality 4.0, read article. BPA tools can successfully be used for lean management initiatives to reduce cost and reach continual improvement.

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Download the BCG study about Quality 4.0