The challenges facing manufacturers today have moved many organizations to look for more strategic approaches to operational optimization. With the aim of transforming their operations from reactive to proactive, manufacturers are leveraging statistical process control (SPC) data from across their enterprises to discover actionable insights. Those insights turn into strategic improvement plans that enable more agile and resilient organizations.
Let’s take a look at how to achieve the enterprise visibilty that enables such a transformation.
Overcoming Inherent Challenges
Today’s manufacturing environment is incredibly challenging. Quality problems can be difficult to anticipate and prevent—and even more difficult to recover from. Depending on your industry, the consequences of poor quality can range from wasted time or rework to regulatory fines and sanctions.
For example, in the food and beverage industry, issues with raw materials can hurt or even destroy a company’s brand. Just take a look at the results of recent years’ outbreaks of E. coli, listeria, and other food-borne illnesses.
Capturing as much quality data as possible is vital. With the right data, you can track trends, trace issues, and perform statistical analyses that provide better operational knowledge and help you prevent quality-related problems. In today’s competitive market, it might seem impossible to find new ways to stand out and pull ahead of competitors…until you take a closer look at the quality management systems that InfinityQS has to offer.
If you base your hard-earned reputation on quality (which I know many of us do), it’s especially important to resist the temptation to cut corners at the expense of your high standards. After all, these are standards that your customers have come to expect and now demand.
But beyond that, you need to produce a top-notch product that provides consistently superior quality—at a lower cost than your competitors.
After years of belt-tightening, you might think you’ve hit a wall when it comes to reducing costs and improving yields. Price-sensitive manufacturers struggle to fine-tune processes, lower costs, and minimize waste. You need a way to compare efficiency and cost-effective improvement approaches across your products, processes, and production sites.
Existing investments must be used to maximum advantage. Any new approaches need to leverage legacy systems and integrate smoothly with your existing infrastructure. You need a solution that can help you discover opportunities without exposing your company to added risk or cost.
Many of these hurdles seem to be on entirely different tracks. Yet there’s one solution that can address them all: enterprise visibility.
Lack of visibility into all aspects of the organization—including suppliers and throughout manufacturing operations—is a primary stumbling block in continuous improvement efforts. When you pursue improved visibility into your production processes, you can begin to head off quality problems before they begin.
When you expand that visibility across all your products and all your plants, you can work real magic that begins a business transformation.
Visionary Success with Enterprise-Wide Visibility
Using diverse analytics tools found in InfinityQS quality management solutions, you can quickly isolate cost-saving opportunities across all of your manufacturing processes and facilities. By recording and comparing process variations, you can determine how to eliminate specific variations—enabling improved product quality and lower manufacturing costs at the same time.
In place of paper and clipboards are modern workstations, manager’s laptops, and mobile tablets, all sharing a standardized feature set. Our software can be used even by people who don’t regularly use computers—and it’s configurable to all types of user roles. User-specific interfaces and intelligent use of graphics help users more easily digest data and even work across languages.
And there’s no more outdated paperwork or hard-to-maintain spreadsheets—InfinityQS solutions present the most current real-time data as well as historical data, enabling users to generate results immediately and track trends.
How does this new paradigm translate to actionable results? Consider the Food and Beverage or Pharmaceutical industries, in which filling operations are crucial. Regulatory and economic concerns mandate how much product must be put into each package. Underfilling results in regulatory issues, whereas overfilling means “giveaway” or over-dosing.
A quality solution that provides true Manufacturing Intelligence gives you both real-time and historic visibility into all your filling lines, so that you can easily determine which lines present the most regulatory concerns and which lines are giving away the most product.
This same principle of understanding—and thus reducing—variation applies to every industry. Gaining visibility into all your quality data and being able to access all that data from one location enables aggregation and analyses that you can use to improve not only your product quality, but your profitability as well.
You can examine variances to determine where outliers present problems. You can also examine outstanding successes and determine how to use them as best practices (replicate them across other lines or sites) boosting the performance of your entire enterprise.
A major U.S. food manufacturer deployed an InfinityQS solution to streamline quality control, moving away from its cumbersome paper-based system into the digital age. Hours were being wasted as employees manually recorded individual readings, calculated averages, plotted paper charts, and performed manual calculations—yet product was still being lost through overpacking. With an InfinityQS quality management solution, the manufacturer was able to identify opportunities to improve run capability and raw material use, resulting in increased cost savings and a higher-quality product. With the solution’s Advanced Reporting Suite, the manufacturer can now run reports in seconds, down from as many as 10 hours previously.
Improve Your Outlook
If you’re ready to expand your visibility into your manufacturing enterprise, then it’s time to investigate real-time quality management solutions. They are quick to deploy, easy to scale for your future needs, and bring plenty of functionality.
The solutions we offer at InfinityQS can give you the insights you need to solve local quality problems and, perhaps more importantly, compare and improve processes across many facilities. Don’t hesitate to give this type of affordable, low-risk, quick-to deploy solution a look.
To learn more, please read our Enterprise Visibility white paper for more detailed information.