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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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

Building Effective Customer Feedback Surveys with Office 365/SharePoint & BPA Apps

Integrated approach for building a customer feedback survey, consolidate data and take the necessary measures, using Forms, Power Automate and BPA Quality on SharePoint/Office 365.

In ISO 9001:2015, the clause 9.1 requires an organization to determine appropriate methods for monitoring and measuring customer satisfaction by using customer satisfaction surveys or providing methods for receiving and dealing with customer feedback.

It is obvious that businesses must guarantee their customers are satisfied. Happy customers will most likely remain loyal on the long term and recommend your products to other organizations. Listening to their clients makes organizations successful, and customer feedback surveys is an easy way to do it.

This no-code scenario presents a simple configuration example to prepare an effective customer feedback survey with the BPA Quality app.

The customer feedback form was built with Microsoft Forms and can be shared with customers by email, QR code or embedded in your web site. The form is adapted to fit any screen, even mobile phones. When submitting the survey, data is sent to BPA Quality using a simple Power Automate flow and internal users get notified.

Survey replies get consolidated in the BPA app, and the concerned persons will be automatically alerted in case a customer is not fully satisfied. Survey data is visible from the client organization page, together with other client-related information like contacts or complaints. Dashboard display instant metrics like the overall customer satisfaction and other consolidated metrics about customer feedback or visits.

In summary, it’s very easy to create any survey, consolidate data and take the necessary measures in the BPA app. By listening to customers, your organization will improve business results.

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QM Software Evaluation & Implementation – SAQ Event Summary

We would like to thank the SAQ section Zürich for their authorization to reuse some photos and content from their article published in the Management & Qualität review in December 2019. The original article can be downloaded below in original German language.

Last Fall 2019, the Swiss Association for Quality (SAQ, Zürich section) has organized an event about QM software evaluation and implementation.

The Swiss company Rolf Hänggi AG – specialized in the manufacture of high-precision micro-stamped and formed parts – was invited to present their QM software evaluation process and how they have implemented BPA’s Quality and Risk Management software.

The event started with a short survey. Almost half of those present still have a paper-based QM system. Amazing – when sales departments have long been working with modern CRM solutions. It is therefore questionable why QM departments have not yet made the transition to digitization.

Mr. Maradan, Production Manager at Rolf Hänggi AG, outlined the key functional points for selecting the right software. Needs were registered in details from complaint management to opportunity and risk treatment while securing the organizational knowledge. Attention was also paid to the software integration with the existing IT infrastructure.

Love at first sight

Various software providers were evaluated based on the need analysis criteria. It quickly became clear that the needs of Rolf Hänggi AG could only be met with BPA Quality & Risk Management. BPA Solutions develops flexible solutions based on Microsoft SharePoint. “After a short training, employees managed to independently map their specific requirements in the software in just six months. It was love at first sight that continues today”.

And what about the software evaluation?

The response from Mr. Maradan was clear. The less the company is aware of its needs, the more it will subordinate itself to the limits of the software. Without a thorough needs analysis – detached from potential vendors – clarity cannot be reached. Energy and time should therefore be invested in a clean needs analysis rather than theoretical evaluations.

How was the software implemented?

Rolf Hänggi AG used a classic top-down system for the implementation of the BPA Quality & Risk Management Software: In a first phase, the context of the organization was determined and measures were derived. Process owners pictured their processes and defined KPIs. With the defined basic structure, all important support processes were added in a second phase. In the last phase, supplier management and customer satisfaction processes were integrated. As a results from all modules, the management review report can now be produced by pushing a button.

Lessons learned

In the final question and answer session, someone noticed that everything sounded so positive that it could be a sales presentation. Following the organizer, Mr. Maradan stated that he would train the workforce in quality management at an early stage for a comparable project so that it could be implemented even more efficiently.


>> Download the SAQ Article (PDF, German)


BPA Quality App on Office 365/SharePoint – 3 Minute-Introduction Video

BPA Quality is an integrated app for Quality, Health, Security and Environment to fit ISO series or any regulation and methodology. It covers all modules needed for efficient continual improvement, like customer satisfaction, supplier evaluation, graphical process maps, compliance document management and more.

Customers can extend the app to their needs and replace existing spreadsheets by collaborative apps easily.

End users connect to their Office 365 company portal and access the BPA app in one click, with no need to re-authenticate.

The app works together with the tools organizations are using – like Microsoft Office, Outlook emails, calendar and reminders – in the same interface. It has powerful collaboration capabilities for document approval and sharing, discussions, reporting, AI, and automation capabilities.

The app goes beyond traditional quality management solutions and provides an innovative collaborative platform for the entire company. With unique discussion, automation and AI capabilities, organizations will ensure a company-wide alignment to continual improvement and develop a preventive mindset leading to quality products and services.

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Pareto Analysis as an Effective Quality Improvement Tool

Pareto dashboard example to determine which root causes provoked 80% of nonconformities using BPA Quality on Office 365 and Power BI.

In the quality improvement context, a Pareto chart is a simple tool that helps organizations identify the most frequent defects, complaints, or any other factor that can be counted and categorized. The chart takes its name from Vilfredo Pareto, originator of the « 80/20 rule, » which postulates that 80 percent of the problems come from 20 percent of the causes.

You can use a Pareto chart any time you have data that are broken down into categories, and you can count how often each category occurs.

For instance, a Pareto chart can be used

  • to prioritize suppliers to evaluate (e.g. in ABC categories), based on the total cost of the purchased material/services with each supplier;
  • to identify main risks or hazards that caused 80% of incidents
  • to determine major root causes that provoked 80% of the complains or nonconformities.

Knowing major root causes that caused the biggest part of complaints and nonconformities allows an organization to prioritize actions to be taken to become more efficient.

This video presents a Pareto dashboard example to determine which root causes triggered 80% of nonconformities using BPA Quality on Office 365 and Power BI. The entire scenario was configured with no code.

The bar chart represents occurrence for each root cause in decreasing order. The curve represents the cumulated percentage of these root causes. In this case, 7 root causes triggered 80% of nonconformities, which represents a bit more than 6% of all root causes.

In summary, a Pareto analysis can be done easily for any categorized data available in your BPA Quality app. The analysis outcome allows organization to prioritize actions to become more efficient and enable continuous improvement.

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Microsoft Opens Datacenters in Switzerland

It’s live ! Microsoft cloud is now available in Switzerland.

Microsoft’s cloud datacenter regions in Switzerland are up and running with local data residency for security and control as well as redundancy across the Zurich and Geneva areas.

In the first phase, selected customers (early adopters) will benefit from Microsoft cloud services in Switzerland. General availability of Azure and the availability of Office 365 delivered from the new cloud regions in Switzerland are anticipated in the coming months. Dynamics 365 and Power Platform are anticipated to be available in 2020.

BPA commits to launch services in the Swiss cloud as soon general availability of Azure and Office 365 will be confirmed. Together with Power Platform, our customers will benefit from innovative software solutions – Quality, GDPR, CRM – with the highest flexibility, including local security and performance.

Read Microsoft’s article here.

Building an Efficient Skill or Competency Matrix with Office 365 & SharePoint

Innovative way to manage skills, competencies and produce an interactive skill matrix dashboard, using Power Automate for automation, Power BI for reporting and BPA Quality on SharePoint/Office 365.

In ISO 9001:2015, the clause 7.2 specifically requires an organization to determine the necessary competency of collaborators and ensure they are qualified on the basis of appropriate education, training, or experience. All businesses have the requirement for qualified collaborators. The more competent the people, the better potential business results. A skill (or competency) matrix is typically a table that displays people’s proficiency in specified skills and knowledge.

This no-code scenario presents a simple configuration example to build an efficient skill management system with BPA Quality. The needed data for jobs, skills, and collaborators can be easily imported from existing spreadsheets generally used by organizations.

Skills need to be determined for a particular job function. They can be grouped by skill set for the applicable industry, for instance: basic skills, required skills for ISO management systems, or technical skills. The skill level is determined to accomplish a particular job function. This is the “should” level of competence needed to effectively perform a job function. Periodical collaborator assessments allow to determine the “Actual” level of competence. We generally have 4 level categories from basic to specialist. Skill gaps are automatically calculated.

The identified skill gaps will be basis of your organizational training program. In this example, the needed skill training items are automatically created using a simple workflow built with Power Automate. Responsible persons or mentors to plan training are automatically alerted.

The skill matrix dashboard is a powerful business intelligence report created with Power BI. The first matrix displays skill gaps by collaborator. Needed training is highlighted in red, collaborators exceeding skills are in green. Totals sum gaps by collaborator or skill. The second matrix displays skills by jobs. The third line displays the sum of actual skill rating by collaborator, by job and training status by collaborator.

By selecting a collaborator in the matrix, other charts are automatically filtered. For instance, Boris requires training in induction program, ISO 9001 and SAP. His job function is quality. The sum of actual skills is 1.25. Boris has 2 identified training and 1 planned.

In summary, the skill matrix dashboard gives an instant and comprehensive report about the needed skills and training needed for your organization. Using such a tool, you can guarantee your organization has the needed competencies and education to perform efficiently and improve business results.

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