The introduction of risk in manufacturing is a fear for most companies dealing with sophisticated products and complex supply chains. Threats to the organization can present themselves in the form of a product nonconformance, a component failure, a compliance violation or a safety risk that can occur internally, or externally due to poor supplier quality. These risks put a company’s reputation at stake, and in some cases may even have life or death consequences. Quality management software with risk management capabilities can mitigate these issues in a standardized fashion by presenting data that can be used to identify problems, assess consequences and manage processes to improve quality. Executing a risk management strategy is easy with the right quality management software solution.
Clear visibility across the enterprise gives companies a better understanding of threats and allows for a systematic approach to risk management. Manufacturing and quality data can be effectively tracked at multiple company locations and shared amongst departments using a quality management software solution that can be integrated with a company’s ERP system. This integration allows for consistency in processes and provides a more accurate picture of risk within the organization.
In the event of a component failure or product defect, quality management software can be used to analyze incidents and improve operational performance. The solution will audit the complete genealogy of parts used and processes followed from cradle to grave and put preventative action into play. Inspection criteria can be defined and used to obtain objective evidence of operational compliance. If a product is found to be noncompliant, a universal quality process will be automatically applied using the appropriate corrective or preventive actions to prevent an adverse occurrence.
A risk heat map can be used to represent risks to an organization in a format that illustrates the severity and probability of each occurrence. This information can be added to the quality management solution and a task plan can be created to address issues.
To reduce risk, companies perform failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA). If this data is inconsistent or improperly tracked, it can affect product quality or result in a product recall. A quality management solution with FMEA attachment functionality looks at possible failure points that drive inspection criteria to help ensure higher quality product outcomes.
Quality management software enables users to apply a risk management strategy that can be used to improve supplier quality by providing full visibility to supplier and sub-tier supplier activities. Certifications, audit information and quality-certified parts can be effectively tracked in the system. A supplier rating can be assigned to each supplier to quickly identify points of failure and take immediate action. Managers can watch for trends, identify poor performing suppliers and identify areas for improvement within the quality management solution.
The risk of failed compliance can be catastrophic for companies in highly regulated industries. Products that do not meet industry standards cannot be sold and can often jeopardize safety. A risk management strategy can be used to alleviate these concerns by effectively tracking regulatory requirements and maintaining an electronic record of all compliance-related documents.
Lack of training or workforce certifications can introduce significant risk to manufacturing operations. An improperly trained workforce will likely result in a lower quality end-product. Quality management software keeps an accurate record of required work skills and immediately identifies any gaps. Automatic reminders can be set to renew job qualifications to further reduce risk.
Today’s complex manufacturer is faced with a multitude of daily risks that can impact quality. A risk management strategy can help a company quickly respond to these issues and prevent reoccurrence. TIP Technologies has helped industry leaders reduce risk with its TIPQA Quality Management Solution for almost 30 years. To learn more about risk management, request a copy of our white paper “Operational Risk Management: Strategies for mitigating production, compliance and supply chain risks” and discover how to apply risk-based thinking within your organization.