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Be it Berries or Bolts - Quality and Traceability are Key
By Enabliser John
Recall. A single word that for many Australian manufacturers and distributors is amongst the scariest they can imagine. Recalls can be amongst the most damaging of all business events and for some brands it would not be overstating it to say they mark the beginning of a death spiral.
Just yesterday I was talking to a prospective Enabling customer about their quality and traceability processes. This company had nothing to do with food, they manufactured capital equipment in fact, but their challenge is a universal one – and one that is in the nation’s minds more than ever.
Their story was sadly familiar.
“If we have a quality issue, I’m looking at hours or days of tracking back through books and spreadsheets to see first of all which jobs we’re still working on that might be using the problem part, then more time to try and see where the faulty part was used with earlier products and only then can I go to the supplier and start trying to pin them down on the issue.”
My answer was simple.
“One click. You can see every job you ever completed that used that part. One click. Every open job that uses that part is on hold. One click. All of the quality history for that supplier in front of you.”
I took it a bit further.
“What about if it’s not a part, but an operation. Let’s say you did a quality test on one of your machines on January 1st and it passed the testing. Today you did your next test and it failed, so everything you’ve made that went through that machine between January 1st and today is suspect. How much work would be it be to tell me which products and customers that might effect?”
I already knew the answer, and the sad smile I got in return was confirmation. I’d didn’t even have to explain how easily that information can be brought to hand by Enabling’s customers. They already got it, and they could already start to see the return on investment calculation for their software stacking up.