Manufacturers perform internal audits to identify potential improvement and growth areas and check for company and industry compliance in processes and products. However, many companies conduct internal audits without creating improved systems in cost-effective ways. Despite the universality of internal audits, many manufacturers are still making avoidable mistakes that can be costing them time, money, and morale. Here are the top 10 mistakes that I have identified over my 15 years of experience as both a QA manager and an Auditor. These ten mistakes are:
Process manufacturers commonly consider numerous costs like labor, materials, and manufacturing and impact their bottom line. Often the same companies will overlook or undervalue the cost of quality, assuming that products that fall within specifications also meet quality targets. However, simply relying on conformance without examining the cost of quality can result in a few hidden expenses at best---and at worst, amount to considerable waste, negatively impacting the bottom line and subtracting from brand reputation.
Specifications are the standards or the minimally accepted requirements for important features (or characteristics) of a product. Many manufacturers also set their own specifications. The confusion between specification compliance and quality can lead to financial loss, wasted time, and so on. For example, a product can fall within specifications but still prove unsatisfactory for clients. Additionally, manufacturers that rely solely on meeting specifications can miss out on opportunities to create more cost-effective processes. Thus, applying several statistical principles can immensely help a company identify ways to positively reform a process and product. By moving beyond the gauge parameters of specifications, manufacturers can boost quality with an efficient, optimized, and cost-effective process that performs better and satisfies the customer base.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first reached the U.S. in the spring of 2020, it disrupted businesses, forcing many people out of employment. While some employees could work remotely, many roles didn’t accommodate work-from-home arrangements. To cushion its citizens from the hardships of being out of work, the U.S. government established the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security (CARES) Act. This move played a role in shaping the future of work—for many people, the financial benefits extended well into 2021. Stimulus checks and additional unemployment assistance helped many families and individuals in need during shutdowns, but many employers faced labor shortages even after businesses were back up and running.
The majority of process, discrete and repetitive manufacturers have between 100 and 500 suppliers, according to a recent poll by SafetyChain. Managing hundreds of vendors is an enormous undertaking, but the quality and safety of your product depend on your company’s ability to do it well. If you’re using paper, spreadsheets, or siloed point solutions to manage your suppliers, there’s simply no way you’re able to proactively track their performance and address issues promptly.
Fortunately, SafetyChain’s Supplier Manager solution provides a cloud-based, centralized solution that makes supplier compliance faster, easier, and more effective. Below, we’ll take you through the core steps of effective supplier management and how you can achieve each with SafetyChain.
CAPA, or Corrective and Preventive Actions, are critical activities of pinpointing, addressing, and preventing issues in manufacturing facilities. While the Corrective Action is designed to correct immediate problems, the Preventive Action aims to prevent it from recurring. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the importance of CAPA management, and how software can support a seamless CAPA process.
Unlike the previous industrial revolutions that involved replacing existing technologies and assets with modern ones, Industry 4.0 is about mastering the hurdles and opportunities presented by disruptive technologies like big data, machine learning, and AI, which continue to blur the lines between the digital and physical worlds.
Put an end to Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA) plans that get lost in the back of a filing cabinet or on someone’s desk. By choosing a solution to modernize the process, you can easily track, schedule, and follow through on all investigations. This step-by-step guide will help you understand the SafetyChain tools available to efficiently perform CAPA when necessary to ensure that your facility can quickly meet requirements and resolve issues.
Poor quality can waste a considerable portion of an organization’s operating budget. Alarmingly, some manufacturers even have the cost of poor quality factored into their budget, meaning these companies are willing to allow it to persist in plain sight and hinder their overall performance.
While there will always be some factors that affect quality to a certain degree, identifying and addressing the factors contributing to poor quality is critical. This ensures competitiveness, supports ongoing improvement efforts, and minimizes waste. Here’s a closer look at the unexpected costs related to poor quality, as well as how to measure and address them with a cost of quality analysis.
When I enter a manufacturing plant, the first thing I look for is paper — clipboards, paper forms, folders, envelopes, binders, etc. The presence of these items on the plant floor is a telling indicator of the plant's maturity and operations.
Don't get me wrong, I love paper, and it has many uses. As a technology, few alternatives are faster, more flexible, and cheaper to implement than paper. Paper itself is not the problem, but it is a crucial symptom pointing to deeper challenges in the factory. My goal in helping Operations improve their efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability is not "to eliminate paper," however that is the inevitable result.