When recalls occur within your organization, what is the first question that comes to mind? For most people, the first questions to answer are what caused the problem, and when did the problem first occur? There could be several reasons why defects occur in manufacturing processes. The reason could be the result of a design flaw, or the problem could have resulted from a defect with supplier material. However, the bottom line is that every manufacturing process needs to granularly track-and-trace the affected products to issue a recall efficiently and effectively.
In July 2020, the U.S Food and Drug Administration issued a recall of critical anti-diabetes drug batches that had shown a higher than acceptable impurities level. Later that same month, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission issued recalls for over 1 million automobiles spanning seven large automakers. Track-and-trace has always been critical for today's industrial businesses to reduce overall risk, maintain efficiency, and stay competitive. Having a proven track record for quality is essential for almost every business. Anytime an organization is selling or distributing a good, quality control is the number one factor determining brand reputation. The goal is to deliver excellence, and having an effective track-and-trace process is a key factor in doing so. Today, several customers use WorkClout as a vital track-and-trace tool to gain greater control of their overall quality process.
Manufacturing Traceability is to know which supplier lots and serial numbers were used to produce the finished good. With a simple lot and serial number system, you can have a way to track-and-trace from supplier lots to the serial numbers on products sent out to customers. Another way is by batching when producing goods in a continuous process, like chemicals. When batching, a timestamp is used to track-and-trace.
Both of these scenarios are relatively simple to track-and-trace. However, the missing link and most challenging part of this process are during the internal manufacturing process. Gaining visibility into this part of the production process remains the most challenging and crucial part of manufacturing track-and-trace.
Compliance: The cost of compliance is continually escalating in manufacturing. By implementing track-and-trace into your production line, you are enabling more consistent compliance and reducing costs. You can also cut costs on the expense, impact, and risk of product recalls by having a more accurate product availability lineage in real-time.
Supply Chain: By having a smarter and better track-and-trace solution, you make it easier to see what's moving through the supply chain. Track-and-trace enables you the ability to gather and understand historical supply chain reports in real-time.
Planning: A well-designed track-and-trace solution can help improve the accuracy of forecasting usage when planning. Track-and-trace helps optimize manufacturing schedules by knowing inventory levels throughout the process, making inventory planning and management more efficient. Over time you can observe patterns and anticipate shifts in demand to help with planning as well.
Productivity: Most importantly, track-and-trace that helps bring visibility to production increases all machine and tool capacity utilization and contributes to overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Increased OEE helps reduce scrap, rework and improves manufacturing efficiency by allowing real-time access to all product data from any production location. Lastly, the supply chain improvements lead to high-quality products delivered on time to customers that enhance the brand, reputation, loyalty, and your overall goal of delivering excellence.
Since the COVID Pandemic, the acceleration and need to move toward digitization within manufacturing has increased 10x fold. The need to remove touchpoints and allow more remote access during a workday has jumped significantly. Massive quality control issues and misrepresentation for the process have surfaced in many production lines due to the chaos that ensued from purchasing PEE and medical supplies to continue working safely.
As more and more manufacturing companies adopt a track-and-trace solution that works, the data will become more meaningful and available to them. This increased transparency will help increase overall business productivity and illuminate a positive outlook to their customers, who will be happier and safer.