Re-defining 'Made in China'-Part One

When a product recall takes place, one of the most important parts of solving the problem is finding the root cause and taking appropriate steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. For this reason, product traceability is a major issue of concern for companies. To successfully navigate these issues, a company must have total visibility into the supply chain.

A perfect example of how traceability is absolutely essential in manufacturing can be seen in the most recent quality control incident in China. The Chinese government ordered the U.S. company Fonterra, a Shanghai subsidiary of U.S. based Abbott Pharmaceuticals, to recall its baby formula after it had been found to be tainted with botulism. Botulism, if unchecked, can lead to paralysis and death. But thankfully, the company was able to trace back the root of the cause to a dirty pipe. And only 112 of the 7,181 boxes had been sold.

In China, however, many manufacturing companies still lack the appropriate IT infrastructure necessary to oversee all aspects of the production line. And unfortunately for consumers, who rely on many of these domestic and imported products, this poses a major risk. For instance, if a food product is tainted with botulism, a company must find out where this took place. It must be discovered whether the source was the farmer, the truck that transported it, or the factory that it was made in. Without such knowledge, manufacturing quality control is a complete guessing game.

With remote, cloud-based statistical process control software such as InfinityQS Proficient 5, Chinese manufacturers can implement quality control oversight directly into their plants while staying in line with their budgets. Factories do not have to be overhauled to accommodate massive structural changes. Issues such as traceability can be logged directly into a computer, and monitored right from a smartphone or tablet. Executives can have complete visibility of their supply chain right in their product, at all times.

Stay tuned for part two of this series, where we will further examine how Chinese companies are using remote statistical process control to closely monitor the quality of their products.

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