July 7, 2011
Manufacturing Adds Value with Track and Trace
We've often talked about traceability in terms of the food supply chain and the importance of being able to trace ingredients back to the supplier. But what about the automotive industry? Just as important as the safety of the food we eat is the safety of the vehicles we drive every day.
Gary Mintchell, Editor in Chief at Automation World recently published an article that emphasizes the importance of traceability in automotive supply chains as well as other industries. The article, Tracing Quality Improvement Shows Manufacturing's Value, speaks to the benefits of traceability:
"A software application often called 'track and trace' has been used to maintain a database of product lot numbers and destinations in order to reduce the scope of a potential product recall. Much like other technologies developed for industry for one purpose only to find its true meaning in another, track and trace applications have found more utility in closing the product quality loop within the manufacturing system. The goal now is reduced scrap, fewer bad products and improved customer satisfaction with the product."
Mintchell mentions the recent Toyota recalls which tarnished the company's reputation practically overnight. A company formerly known for producing the highest quality automobiles was now being mentioned in the media regularly for safety issues and tragic accidents due to faulty parts.
Our CEO, Michael Lyle was interviewed for this article and was asked how InfinityQS helps companies monitor supply chain quality and trace lots back to their suppliers in the case of a recall. He answered, "Typically, ProFicient on Demand is implemented as part of a strategic initiative to control quality within a single facility, global enterprise, and/or supply chain. Real-time visibility of supplier quality data allows manufacturers to collaborate with suppliers and ensure product quality before the product is shipped. By preventing supplier quality issues, business save time and money, and can prevent supplier related recalls."
Mintchell also included some key benefits for this "track and trace" capability:
- Collaboration with suppliers prevents quality problems before they can start.
- Feeding data automatically into the information system helps a distillery maintain consistent quality.
- “People proofing” a monotonous and redundant clerical assures customer satisfaction.
- CPG companies improve processes to achieve consistent quality.
- Companies track energy in order to become more energy efficient.
Because manufacturing has the ability to trace quality throughout the supply chain, the function is now elevated to a higher level—it plays a more strategic role for all of the above reasons.