Data exists in all areas or steps of the supply and value chain - from raw materials and suppliers right down to the manufacturing and packaging of the final product.
Conducting inspections and audits tells you how different processes are performing in your organisation. As such, they can help you make adjustments that improve your manufacturing capabilities. There are various ways to use the data collected from these inspections and audits to improve your product and quality. We’ll explore these below.
Here are the five main methods to collect and use inspection and audit data for the better of your business.
1. By supplier
The auditing of suppliers is an ongoing process that any organisation ought to do regularly. You must audit potential suppliers before deciding to work with them. Then, you must continue to inspect the quality of the goods and/or services they supply as your relationship continues. This ensures consistent value and standards of the inputs going into your manufacturing process.
There are various options you have on how to conduct the supplier auditing process. These include factory, quality management and process control audits. There are also regulations to consider in supplier audits depending on different factors, like the industry type.
2. By production line
When you’ve received materials or goods from your suppliers, it is now up to your organisation’s internal processes to produce the best result.
Set up auditing and inspection procedures for your internal manufacturing processes. Implement quality checks throughout the production line - in the beginning, during production, packaging, and post-production.
Doing this enables quick issue resolution. It alleviates the risks and costs that may arise if you identify issues too late.
3. Cross-team communication
The data you get from your audits and inspections provides you with insight into your operations and processes. You can use this insight to improve productivity, workers’ understanding of processes, and communication between your team members.
For example, data might show that there are issues in the packaging step that affect final quality. By communicating this to the packaging team, they can become more conscious of the issue and work to address it.
4. By product
When you manufacture a range of different products, you need to keep track of the manufacturing and standards of each product range. It may be useful then to run audits by product. This can help you identify improvement areas specific to each product. As a result, you can make more impactful changes rather than general ones.
These audits can also help ensure that products abide by product specifications.
5. By template
Using a standard template or platform is a useful and convenient way to conduct audits. Having a template makes auditing processes easy to implement and manage as you can introduce the system at once.
With a digital inspection platform, you can make adjustments to the template easily, update changes immediately, and keep the data in an accessible space.
Data is essential for manufacturers to be on top of their supply and value chains. By collecting as much information on every part of the chain the manufacturers can take corrective and preventative actions when needed, optimise processes, maintain good communications, and a lot more. It's advised that organisations use audits and checklists to monitor the performance of the entire chain. By using these it will be easier, simpler and more straightforward to get a the full picture of everything.
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