SQCpack has been around for a long time. PQ first developed and released the product in the early 1980s, before PCs were widely used, when statistical process control was beginning to make an impact on manufacturing processes. For many years, one upgrade after another appeared in ads in quality magazines.
Most people we speak to have seen or used some version of SQCpack during their quality improvement careers. The program has been the flagship of the PQ Systems products for over 30 years, moving from Apple to DOS to Windows and beyond.
With this history, you might think of a new release as just another upgrade. However, SQCpack 7 is new from the ground up. The rebuild focused on simplifying the work and amplifying the results of using SPC software.
If you have not seen SQCpack 7, we encourage you to learn more about it.
The project to rebuild SQCpack started with a few goals:
- Dramatically improve the user experience, workflow, and productivity for SQCpack users
- Refresh the technology
- Add functionality for scaling SPC to the enterprise
- Extend the analytical features beyond the data managed inside SQCpack
SQCpack users spend a good portion of their days in front of the software. With this much time in any application, the friction points become clear. Any repetitive task, any long sequence of steps, any confusing work flows – these add up to steal some of the joy in your work.
During the project, PQ collaborated with experts in human factors engineering, user interface design, user experience design, information architecture, and visual design. Significant investment was directed at making SQCpack both easy to get started with and easy to scale to large deployments. Throughout product development we focused on ensuring an efficient and pleasant working experience.
It’s hard to believe, but Microsoft Windows recently turned 30. During that time much has changed about how applications work in the Windows environment. The technology behind software must be kept current. Programming languages, database options, user interface approaches, source code management, approaches to software testing, and many other tools have matured and improved dramatically. The technology refresh goal of rebuilding SQCpack takes advantage of these technologies and keeps the application relevant and useful well into the future.
Despite advances in software features and computing infrastructure, the way workers do SPC using software can still mimic the manual charting era that came before. Today, SPC workers need to track dozens and even hundreds of key process indicators. They need to track both stability and capability on a scale never possible in the pencil-and-paper era.
Innovations in SQCpack 7 help scale the SPC work without the need for scaling the SPC workforce. For example, rather than manually browsing through hundreds of charts looking for any signal, SQCpack has scanning features that notify you when a process needs attention. Work like this that used to take hours has been reduced to just a few mouse clicks. SQCpack 7 thinks bigger about the data you need to manage and how you need to analyze it for quality improvement and standards compliance, then supplies innovative workflows to help get the work done.
Microsoft SQL Server, a robust and highly scalable database, was used in SQCpack 7. This allows deployments to start small but easily scale and share data all the way to cloud based storage shared across locations. Owning SQL Server is not a requirement for using SQCpack. However, if you already use SQL Server it can be leveraged to take advantage of SQCpack.
SQCpack has always provided charts and analytical feature for the data you manage inside SQCpack. However, we realized that you keep important data in other applications. We extended the reach of our charts and analysis so that you can study this data from other applications – in place. Often, to see the entire picture of a quality issue, diverse data sources need to be combined into one analysis.
SQCpack 7 provides much more value than the SQCpack you may have used in the past.
Learn more about bringing your SPC analysis into the present, and set the stage for a more productive future.