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.
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.
While many process manufacturers understand the potential benefits of digital transformation, often, their vision is clouded by past failed projects. Just 30% of digital transformation initiatives are successful and because they require both time and financial investment.
Fortunately, we can learn from past mistakes. With a little extra planning and preparation, you can pursue a foolproof digital transformation that supports positive change throughout your facility and sets you up for continuous improvement. Avoid the frustration of attempting a digital transformation and failing by adopting a data-first approach.
At its core, manufacturing success is all about quality. Consistently adhering to quality standards ultimately delights your customers and takes you far beyond the benefits of brand loyalty. Determining the cost of quality (COQ) is a complex but essential endeavor; there’s the cost of poor quality to consider and the cost of good quality or preventing issues from happening in the first place. In plants producing hundreds of separate items, tracking the many variables that influence quality can feel like a massive undertaking. And of course, it’s not just tracking this information that facilitates change; the goal is to derive meaningful insights from the data to inform future decisions.
In Food and Beverage and CPG, it’s not just your company’s internal performance that matters. Every link in the supply chain plays a role in quality, which is why it’s critical to ensure your suppliers are performing to your expectations. A strong supplier approval program should be comprehensive enough to not only minimize risks, but also satisfy compliance regulations such as FSMA’s requirement for Foreign Supplier Verification Programs.
As you work to strengthen your supplier assessment procedure and other elements of your approval program, here are a few steps to consider incorporating into your processes.
Many leaders in process manufacturing plants know there’s a wealth of benefits to be had by going paperless. Yet, transforming processes which have been in place for years—or even decades—is a daunting prospect. Oftentimes, there’s a considerable gap between where facilities are now and where they want to be. Filling that gap is the end goal, since going paperless will allow you to leverage your plant’s data to drive measurable performance improvements and boost profitability. But where do you begin?
Here, we’ll dive into what it looks like to go digital, including the processes and technology it takes to get there.