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What is the Difference between a QMS, EQMS, and an EDMS?

Quality management system

With Quality getting paramount importance everywhere, process manufacturing is no different. Terms like Quality Management System (QMS), Electronic Quality Management System (EQMS), and electronic Document Management System (EDMS) are gaining traction in board rooms, business meetings and on Google Search too. If you have been a part of such discussions, or have overheard or are wishing to know what these terms actually mean and function, then you are at the right place This blog elaborates their meanings, purpose and the distinguishing characteristics of them all for a better understanding. Continue reading-

What is a QMS?

A quality management system (QMS) is a formalized system that documents/describes the workflows, procedures, and responsibilities for achieving a company’s quality policies and objectives, the international standard specifying requirements for quality management systems is ISO 9001:2015 and it is one of the most widely used and prominent approach to quality management systems.

A QMS manages and coordinates an organization’s actions in order to conform to consumer and regulatory standards.

Also read: Different Types of Quality Management Systems

Who needs QMS Software?

In several industries, like aviation, automotive, pharmaceuticals, food, and medical devices, where quality and safety are paramount, quality management systems are crucial.

In order to legally sell their products and maintain legal compliance, government agencies need enterprises in these industries to have quality management systems that adhere to the appropriate standards and rules.

Traditional Paper-based QMS Software –

Managing documents via paper-based methodologies has now become obsolete. Paperwork demands a lot of efforts, time, and resources to keep the data updated and it also requires, workers to keep a close eye on the data entry tasks. But, no matter how precisely they do it, there still remains a scope of ending-up missing something or making errors.

The files are managed manually and are used for onboarding, record-keeping, investigations, and internal/ and external audits. Any error in the data can cause big blunders in calculations. Therefore, it became imperative to switch to a system that can store data electronically reducing these errors and improving productivity by freeing-up time and resources to focus on the tasks that actually add to the worth.

What is eQMS?

A modern digitalized approach to a quality management system is known as an electronic quality management system or eQMS. It facilitates the management and documentation of organizational-wide business processes like product development, quality assurance, and compliance sans all the manual paperwork.

Its cloud version is deployed on cloud-servers and only accessible by authorized users from anywhere, at any time. We can say also generalize that all the components of QMS solutions are present in eQMS solutions with the additional feature of being centrally accessible and more secure.

eQMS is currently outperforming traditional QMS software ease, efficiency and flexibility it offers over the traditional Quality management systems.

Difference between QMS system and eQMS system

What is EDMS?

An electronic document management system, or EDMS, is an electronic system to manage documents. It makes no difference if these documents are part of the Quality Management System, product development, human resources, legal, or any other category. Modern electronic Document Management System can store any sort of document file, including those created with Microsoft Word, PDF, 3D Drawing, or other tools.

Employees spend hours and hours of effort searching for and collecting information manually, which affects their productivity in the core tasks they do. Well, this notion of the documentation linked to paperwork has been phased out and replaced by Electronic Document Management Systems accessible on different formats such as smartphones or tablets.

You can create, edit, process, update and save documents that are in the form of images, videos, and audio files with EDMS along with text documents. It provides a single view of all the papers and includes printing, scanning, and storing options. One of the main benefits of having an efficient EDMS is the ability to automate workflows involving documents due to its connections with other software like your company’s ERP, QMS, or CRM.

This is how EDMS helps in building Quality Management –

To create a digital Quality management system, you can migrate all of your current quality documentation onto an EDMS, which is a cloud-based platform. It can benefit you with –

  • Controlling the lifecycle of documents: This system can automatically classify, organize, and structure documentation from the time a file is created until it is archived. As a result, searching is made simple, indexing is made effective, and file storage identification is improved.
  • Customized workflows for quality processes: An EDMS designed for quality specialists helps with predefined processes for necessary SOPS, but (unlike an eQMS) it also has the ability to customize them to match unique processes.
  • Change & Design Control: The right EDMS provides flexibility in changing the necessary quality processes and keeps a record of them.
  • Sends alerts for document approval and review: The EDMS maintains the system’s document flow and makes sure that all relevant reviews and approval events are completed on time.
  • Version control and audit trials: Automatically creates auditing trails for all documentation, showing version histories, changes and approvals.
  • Integrates with e-signatures: The right EDMS allows user to sign off documentation in ways that exactly reflect the regulation (e.g. FDA 21 CFR part 11)
  • Improve SOPs and record compliance for auditors: Robust search and navigation options in an EDMS will help you respond to all of your auditors’ inquiries and give you a flexible way to manage and modify SOPs while serving as a single source of truth in your workflows

Difference between QMS, EQMS, and EDMS

While QMS solutions aim to meet quality procedures, they have grown obsolete and traditional; in contrast, eQMS has all the features built in accordance with technological advancements and rapidly shifting compliance standards. The line of distinction between these two names is extremely thin.

However, we may conclude that eQMS is a more contemporary and effective version of QMS solutions. The eQMS seeks to automate quality management operations, maintain compliance, monitor product quality, identify non-conformance, and conduct audit activities while reducing costs & time to market by keeping all of the important company information in a centralized repository.

When it comes to EDMS, it differs slightly from eQMS and QMS. The area that this solution covers completely is the documentation and its lifecycle from creation to storage, however, EDMS is also a part of handling quality and eQMS.

Difference between QMS, EQMS and EDMS

QMS, EQMS, or EDMS, which one do you need?

Choosing the right solutions out of these three depends on the type of need your business operations have. The choice becomes clear only when you know what your business requirements are, what your strategy is, and which solution fits the best within your business ecosystem.

Venn diagram of QMS, EQMS and EDMS Systems

You can prefer an eQMS system as it is a complete solution serving the needs of a QMS and an EDMS. It outdoes the traditional paper-based quality management systems in ways uncountable and is quickly becoming the new standard for quality management across businesses operating in various industries and of different sizes.

If you’re also looking for an eQMS that can take your quality management process to the next level and instills a culture of Quality, BM QualityMaster is the right solution for you. Contact our experts for details.


Anmol Pandit

Anmol Pandit is the Vice President, QA, Training, & Compliance, at BatchMaster Software. With his over 20 years’ experience in technology, he is responsible for designing, managing, implementing, and continually advancing the organization’s quality, training, & compliance framework. He can be followed on LinkedIn.